Bilious and bloated, they gas, "God is gone." It's poison gas - they foul themselves, 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 the one.
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 nightmare - a nightmare they'll never wake up from. God will make hash of these squatters, send them packing for good.
Is there anyone around to save Israel? 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)