Yes, God will raise up a faraway nation against you, swooping down on you like an eagle, a nation whose language you can't understand,
a mean-faced people, cruel to grandmothers and babies alike.
They'll ravage the young of your animals and the crops from your fields until you're destroyed. They'll leave nothing behind: no grain, no wine, no oil, no calves, no lambs - and finally, no you.
They'll lay siege to you while you're huddled behind your town gates. They'll knock those high, proud walls flat, those walls behind which you felt so safe. They'll lay siege to your fortified cities all over the country, this country that God, your God, has given you.
And you'll end up cannibalizing your own sons and daughters that God, your God, has given you. When the suffering from the siege gets extreme, you're going to eat your own babies.
The most gentle and caring man among you will turn hard, his eye evil, against his own brother, his cherished wife, and even the rest of his children who are still alive,
refusing to share with them a scrap of meat from the cannibal child-stew he is eating. He's lost everything, even his humanity, in the suffering of the siege that your enemy mounts against your fortified towns.
And the most gentle and caring woman among you, a woman who wouldn't step on a wildflower, will turn hard, her eye evil, against her cherished husband, against her son, against her daughter,
against even the afterbirth of her newborn infants; she plans to eat them in secret - she does eat them! - because she has lost everything, even her humanity, in the suffering of the siege that your enemy mounts against your fortified towns.
If you don't diligently keep all the words of this Revelation written in this book, living in holy awe before This Name glorious and terrible, God, your God,
then God will pound you with catastrophes, you and your children, huge interminable catastrophes, hideous interminable illnesses.
He'll bring back and stick you with every old Egyptian malady that once terrorized you.
And yes, every disease and catastrophe imaginable - things not even written in the Book of this Revelation - God will bring on you until you're destroyed.
Because you didn't listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, you'll be left with a few pitiful stragglers in place of the dazzling stars-in-the-heavens multitude you had become.
And this is how things will end up: Just as God once enjoyed you, took pleasure in making life good for you, giving you many children, so God will enjoy getting rid of you, clearing you off the Earth. He'll weed you out of the very soil that you are entering in to possess.
He'll scatter you to the four winds, from one end of the Earth to the other. You'll worship all kinds of other gods, gods neither you nor your parents ever heard of, wood and stone no-gods.
But you won't find a home there, you'll not be able to settle down. God will give you a restless heart, longing eyes, a homesick soul.
You will live in constant jeopardy, terrified of every shadow, never knowing what you'll meet around the next corner.
In the morning you'll say, "I wish it were evening." In the evening you'll say, "I wish it were morning." Afraid, terrorized at what's coming next, afraid of the unknown, because of the sights you've witnessed.
God will ship you back to Egypt by a road I promised you'd never see again. There you'll offer yourselves for sale, both men and women, as slaves to your enemies. And not a buyer to be found.
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)