"Go down the rows of vineyards and rip out the vines, but not all of them. Leave a few. Prune back those vines! That growth didn't come from God!
They've betrayed me over and over again, Judah and Israel both." God's Decree.
"They've spread lies about God. They've said, 'There's nothing to him. Nothing bad will happen to us, neither famine nor war will come our way.
The prophets are all windbags. They speak nothing but nonsense.'"
Therefore, this is what God said to me, God-of-the-Angel-Armies: "Because they have talked this way, they are going to eat those words. Watch now! I'm putting my words as fire in your mouth. And the people are a pile of kindling ready to go up in flames.
"Attention! I'm bringing a far-off nation against you, O house of Israel." God's Decree. "A solid nation, an ancient nation, A nation that speaks another language. You won't understand a word they say.
When they aim their arrows, you're as good as dead. They're a nation of real fighters!
They'll clean you out of house and home, rob you of crops and children alike. They'll feast on your sheep and cattle, strip your vines and fig trees. And the fortresses that made you feel so safe - leveled with a stroke of the sword!
"Even then, as bad as it will be" - God's Decree! - "it will not be the end of the world for you.
And when people ask, 'Why did our God do all this to us?' you must say to them, 'It's tit for tat. Just as you left me and served foreign gods in your own country, so now you must serve foreigners in their own country.'
"Tell the house of Jacob this, put out this bulletin in Judah:
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)