Bilious and bloated, they gas, "God is gone." Their words are poison gas, fouling the air; they poison Rivers and skies; thistles are their cash crop.
God sticks his head out of heaven. He looks around. He's looking for someone not stupid - one man, even, God-expectant, just one God-ready woman.
He comes up empty. A string of zeros. Useless, unshepherded Sheep, taking turns pretending to be Shepherd. The ninety and nine follow their fellow.
Don't they know anything, all these impostors? Don't they know they can't get away with this - Treating people like a fast-food meal over which they're too busy to pray?
Night is coming for them, and nightmares, for God takes the side of victims.
Do you think you can mess with the dreams of the poor? You can't, for God makes their dreams come true.
Is there anyone around to save Israel? Yes. God is around; God turns life around. Turned-around Jacob skips rope, turned-around Israel sings laughter.
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)