God's orders: "Go to the royal palace and deliver this Message.
Say, 'Listen to what God says, O King of Judah, you who sit on David's throne - you and your officials and all the people who go in and out of these palace gates.
This is God's Message: Attend to matters of justice. Set things right between people. Rescue victims from their exploiters. Don't take advantage of the homeless, the orphans, the widows. Stop the murdering!
"'If you obey these commands, then kings who follow in the line of David will continue to go in and out of these palace gates mounted on horses and riding in chariots - they and their officials and the citizens of Judah.
But if you don't obey these commands, then I swear - God's Decree! - this palace will end up a heap of rubble.'"
This is God's verdict on Judah's royal palace: "I number you among my favorite places - like the lovely hills of Gilead, like the soaring peaks of Lebanon. Yet I swear I'll turn you into a wasteland, as empty as a ghost town.
I'll hire a demolition crew, well-equipped with sledgehammers and wrecking bars, Pound the country to a pulp and burn it all up.
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)