God's Message came to me:
"Son of man, how would you compare the wood of a vine with the branches of any tree you'd find in the forest?
Is vine wood ever used to make anything? Is it used to make pegs to hang things from?
"I don't think so. At best it's good for fuel. Look at it: a flimsy piece of vine, thrown in the fire and then rescued - the ends burned off and the middle charred. Now is it good for anything?
"Hardly. When it was whole it wasn't good for anything. Half-burned is no improvement. What's it good for?
"So here's the Message of God, the Master: Like the wood of the vine I selected from among the trees of the forest and used as fuel for the fire, just so I'll treat those who live in Jerusalem.
I am dead set against them. Even though at one time they got out of the fire charred, the fire's going to burn them up. When I take my stand against them, you'll realize that I am God.
I'll turn this country into a wilderness because they've been faithless." Decree of God, the Master.
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)