Ephraim, obsessed with god-fantasies, chases ghosts and phantoms. He tells lies nonstop, soul-destroying lies. Both Ephraim and Judah made deals with Assyria and tried to get an inside track with Egypt.
God is bringing charges against Israel. Jacob's children are hauled into court to be punished.
In the womb, that heel, Jacob, got the best of his brother. When he grew up, he tried to get the best of God.
But God would not be bested. God bested him. Brought to his knees, Jacob wept and prayed. God found him at Bethel. That's where he spoke with him.
God is God-of-the-Angel-Armies, God-Revealed, God-Known.
What are you waiting for? Return to your God! Commit yourself in love, in justice! Wait for your God, and don't give up on him - ever!
The businessmen engage in wholesale fraud. They love to rip people off!
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)