I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the LORD will say to me and how he will answer my complaint.
Then the LORD said to me, "Write my answer in large, clear letters on a tablet, so that a runner can read it and tell everyone else.
But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.
"Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked; a but the righteous will live by their faith. b5
Wealth c is treacherous, and the arrogant are never at rest. They range far and wide, with their mouths opened as wide as death, d but they are never satisfied. In their greed they have gathered up many nations and peoples.
But the time is coming when all their captives will taunt them, saying, 'You thieves! At last justice has caught up with you! Now you will get what you deserve for your oppression and extortion!'
Suddenly, your debtors will rise up in anger. They will turn on you and take all you have, while you stand trembling and helpless.
You have plundered many nations; now they will plunder you. You murderers! You have filled the countryside with violence and all the cities, too.
"How terrible it will be for you who get rich by unjust means! You believe your wealth will buy security, putting your families beyond the reach of danger.
But by the murders you committed, you have shamed your name and forfeited your lives.
The very stones in the walls of your houses cry out against you, and the beams in the ceilings echo the complaint.
"How terrible it will be for you who build cities with money gained by murder and corruption!
Has not the LORD Almighty promised that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes? They work so hard, but all in vain!
For the time will come when all the earth will be filled, as the waters fill the sea, with an awareness of the glory of the LORD.
"How terrible it will be for you who make your neighbors drunk! You force your cup on them so that you can gloat over their nakedness and shame.
But soon it will be your turn! Come, drink and be exposed! Drink from the cup of the LORD's judgment, and all your glory will be turned to shame.
You cut down the forests of Lebanon. Now you will be cut down! You terrified the wild animals you caught in your traps. Now terror will strike you because of your murder and violence in cities everywhere!
"What have you gained by worshiping all your man-made idols? How foolish to trust in something made by your own hands! What fools you are to believe such lies!
How terrible it will be for you who beg lifeless wooden idols to save you. You ask speechless stone images to tell you what to do. Can an idol speak for God? They may be overlaid with gold and silver, but they are lifeless inside.
But the LORD is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)