because they rejected my laws and did not follow my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths. For their hearts were devoted to their idols.
Yet I looked on them with pity and did not destroy them or put an end to them in the wilderness.
I said to their children in the wilderness, “Do not follow the statutes of your parents or keep their laws or defile yourselves with their idols.
I am the LORD your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.”
“ ‘But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws, of which I said, “The person who obeys them will live by them,” and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness.
But I withheld my hand, and for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.
Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the wilderness that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries,
because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes lusted after their parents’ idols.
So I gave them other statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live;
I defiled them through their gifts—the sacrifice of every firstborn—that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the LORD.’