For a long time now, I've let you in on the way I work: I told you what I was going to do beforehand, then I did it and it was done, and that's that.
I know you're a bunch of hardheads, obstinate and flint-faced,
So I got a running start and began telling you what was going on before it even happened. That is why you can't say, 'My god-idol did this.' 'My favorite god-carving commanded this.'
You have all this evidence confirmed by your own eyes and ears. Shouldn't you be talking about it? And that was just the beginning. I have a lot more to tell you, things you never knew existed.
This isn't a variation on the same old thing. This is new, brand-new, something you'd never guess or dream up. When you hear this you won't be able to say, 'I knew that all along.'
You've never been good listeners to me. You have a history of ignoring me, A sorry track record of fickle attachments - rebels from the womb.
But out of the sheer goodness of my heart, because of who I am, I keep a tight rein on my anger and hold my temper. I don't wash my hands of you.
Do you see what I've done? I've refined you, but not without fire. I've tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction.
Out of myself, simply because of who I am, I do what I do. I have my reputation to keep up. I'm not playing second fiddle to either gods or people.
"Listen, Jacob. Listen, Israel - I'm the One who named you! I'm the One. I got things started and, yes, I'll wrap them up.
Earth is my work, handmade. And the skies - I made them too, horizon to horizon. When I speak, they're on their feet, at attention.
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)