A Message concerning the desert at the sea: As tempests drive through the Negev Desert, coming out of the desert, that terror-filled place,
A hard vision is given me: The betrayer betrayed, the plunderer plundered. Attack, Elam! Lay siege, Media! Persians, attack! Attack, Babylon! I'll put an end to all the moaning and groaning.
Because of this news I'm doubled up in pain, writhing in pain like a woman having a baby, Baffled by what I hear, undone by what I see.
Absolutely stunned, horror-stricken, I had hoped for a relaxed evening, but it has turned into a nightmare.
The banquet is spread, the guests reclining in luxurious ease, Eating and drinking, having a good time, and then, "To arms, princes! The fight is on!"
The Master told me, "Go, post a lookout. Have him report whatever he spots.
When he sees horses and wagons in battle formation, lines of donkeys and columns of camels, Tell him to keep his ear to the ground, note every whisper, every rumor."
Just then, the lookout shouted, "I'm at my post, Master, Sticking to my post day after day and all through the night!
I watched them come, the horses and wagons in battle formation. I heard them call out the war news in headlines: 'Babylon fallen! Fallen! And all its precious god-idols smashed to pieces on the ground.'"
Dear Israel, you've been through a lot, you've been put through the mill. The good news I get from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, I now pass on to you.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)