And now go. Go to the exiles, your people, and speak. Tell them, 'This is the Message of God, the Master.' Speak your piece, whether they listen or not."
Then the Spirit picked me up. Behind me I heard a great commotion - "Blessed be the Glory of God in his Sanctuary!"
- the wings of the living creatures beating against each other, the whirling wheels, the rumble of a great earthquake.
The Spirit lifted me and took me away. I went bitterly and angrily. I didn't want to go. But God had me in his grip.
I arrived among the exiles who lived near the Kebar River at Tel Aviv. I came to where they were living and sat there for seven days, appalled.
At the end of the seven days, I received this Message from God:
"Son of man, I've made you a watchman for the family of Israel. Whenever you hear me say something, warn them for me.
If I say to the wicked, 'You are going to die,' and you don't sound the alarm warning them that it's a matter of life or death, they will die and it will be your fault. I'll hold you responsible.
But if you warn the wicked and they keep right on sinning anyway, they'll most certainly die for their sin, but you won't die. You'll have saved your life.
"And if the righteous turn back from living righteously and take up with evil when I step in and put them in a hard place, they'll die. If you haven't warned them, they'll die because of their sins, and none of the right things they've done will count for anything - and I'll hold you responsible.
But if you warn these righteous people not to sin and they listen to you, they'll live because they took the warning - and again, you'll have saved your life."
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)