Then I said: "Listen, leaders of Jacob, leaders of Israel: Don't you know anything of justice?
Haters of good, lovers of evil: Isn't justice in your job description? But you skin my people alive. You rip the meat off their bones.
You break up the bones, chop the meat, and throw it in a pot for cannibal stew."
The time's coming, though, when these same leaders will cry out for help to God, but he won't listen. He'll turn his face the other way because of their history of evil.
Here is God's Message to the prophets, the preachers who lie to my people: "For as long as they're well paid and well fed, the prophets preach, 'Isn't life wonderful! Peace to all!' But if you don't pay up and jump on their bandwagon, their 'God bless you' turns into 'God damn you.'
Therefore, you're going blind. You'll see nothing. You'll live in deep shadows and know nothing. The sun has set on the prophets. They've had their day; from now on it's night.
Visionaries will be confused, experts will be all mixed up. They'll hide behind their reputations and make lame excuses to cover up their God-ignorance."
But me - I'm filled with God's power, filled with God's Spirit of justice and strength, Ready to confront Jacob's crime and Israel's sin.
The leaders of Jacob and the leaders of Israel are Leaders contemptuous of justice, who twist and distort right living,
Leaders who build Zion by killing people, who expand Jerusalem by committing crimes.
Judges sell verdicts to the highest bidder, priests mass-market their teaching, prophets preach for high fees, All the while posturing and pretending dependence on God: "We've got God on our side. He'll protect us from disaster."
Because of people like you, Zion will be turned back into farmland, Jerusalem end up as a pile of rubble, and instead of the Temple on the mountain, a few scraggly scrub pines.
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)