The Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, is emptying Jerusalem and Judah Of all the basic necessities, plain bread and water to begin with.
He's withdrawing police and protection, judges and courts, pastors and teachers,
captains and generals, doctors and nurses, and, yes, even the repairmen and jacks-of-all-trades.
He says, "I'll put little kids in charge of the city. Schoolboys and schoolgirls will order everyone around.
People will be at each other's throats, stabbing one another in the back: Neighbor against neighbor, young against old, the no-account against the well-respected.
One brother will grab another and say, 'You look like you've got a head on your shoulders. Do something! Get us out of this mess.'
And he'll say, 'Me? Not me! I don't have a clue. Don't put me in charge of anything.'
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)