God says: "Can you produce your mother's divorce papers proving I got rid of her? Can you produce a receipt proving I sold you? Of course you can't. It's your sins that put you here, your wrongs that got you shipped out.
So why didn't anyone come when I knocked? Why didn't anyone answer when I called? Do you think I've forgotten how to help? Am I so decrepit that I can't deliver? I'm as powerful as ever, and can reverse what I once did: I can dry up the sea with a word, turn river water into desert sand, And leave the fish stinking in the sun, stranded on dry land...
Turn all the lights out in the sky and pull down the curtain."
The Master, God, has given me a well-taught tongue, So I know how to encourage tired people. He wakes me up in the morning, Wakes me up, opens my ears to listen as one ready to take orders.
The Master, God, opened my ears, and I didn't go back to sleep, didn't pull the covers back over my head.
I followed orders, stood there and took it while they beat me, held steady while they pulled out my beard, Didn't dodge their insults, faced them as they spit in my face.
And the Master, God, stays right there and helps me, so I'm not disgraced. Therefore I set my face like flint, confident that I'll never regret this.
My champion is right here. Let's take our stand together! Who dares bring suit against me? Let him try!
Look! the Master, God, is right here. Who would dare call me guilty? Look! My accusers are a clothes bin of threadbare socks and shirts, fodder for moths!
Who out there fears God, actually listens to the voice of his servant? For anyone out there who doesn't know where you're going, anyone groping in the dark, Here's what: Trust in God. Lean on your God!
But if all you're after is making trouble, playing with fire, Go ahead and see where it gets you. Set your fires, stir people up, blow on the flames, But don't expect me to just stand there and watch. I'll hold your feet to those flames.
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)