"Wine and whiskey leave my people in a stupor.
They ask questions of a dead tree, expect answers from a sturdy walking stick. Drunk on sex, they can't find their way home. They've replaced their God with their genitals.
They worship on the tops of mountains, make a picnic out of religion. Under the oaks and elms on the hills they stretch out and take it easy. Before you know it, your daughters are whores and the wives of your sons are sleeping around.
But I'm not going after your whoring daughters or the adulterous wives of your sons. It's the men who pick up the whores that I'm after, the men who worship at the holy whorehouses - a stupid people, ruined by whores!
"You've ruined your own life, Israel - but don't drag Judah down with you! Don't go to the sex shrine at Gilgal, don't go to that sin city Bethel, Don't go around saying 'God bless you' and not mean it, taking God's name in vain.
Israel is stubborn as a mule. How can God lead him like a lamb to open pasture?
Ephraim is addicted to idols. Let him go.
When the beer runs out, it's sex, sex, and more sex. Bold and sordid debauchery - how they love it!
The whirlwind has them in its clutches. Their sex-worship leaves them finally impotent.
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)