Doom to those who plot evil, who go to bed dreaming up crimes! As soon at it's morning, they're off, full of energy, doing what they've planned.
They covet fields and grab them, find homes and take them. They bully the neighbor and his family, see people only for what they can get out of them.
God has had enough. He says, "I have some plans of my own: Disaster because of this interbreeding evil! Your necks are on the line. You're not walking away from this. It's doomsday for you.
Mocking ballads will be sung of you, and you yourselves will sing the blues: 'Our lives are ruined, our homes and lands auctioned off. They take everything, leave us nothing! All is sold to the highest bidder.'"
And there'll be no one to stand up for you, no one to speak for you before God and his jury.
"Don't preach," say the preachers. "Don't preach such stuff. Nothing bad will happen to us.
Talk like this to the family of Jacob? Does God lose his temper? Is this the way he acts? Isn't he on the side of good people? Doesn't he help those who help themselves?"
"What do you mean, 'good people'! You're the enemy of my people! You rob unsuspecting people out for an evening stroll. You take their coats off their backs like soldiers who plunder the defenseless.
You drive the women of my people out of their ample homes. You make victims of the children and leave them vulnerable to violence and vice.
Get out of here, the lot of you. You can't take it easy here! You've polluted this place, and now you're polluted - ruined!
If someone showed up with a good smile and glib tongue and told lies from morning to night - 'I'll preach sermons that will tell you how you can get anything you want from God: More money, the best wines . . . you name it' - you'd hire him on the spot as your preacher!
"I'm calling a meeting, Jacob. I want everyone back - all the survivors of Israel. I'll get them together in one place - like sheep in a fold, like cattle in a corral - a milling throng of homebound people!
Then I, God, will burst all confinements and lead them out into the open. They'll follow their King. I will be out in front leading them."
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)