"Destruction is certain for Ariel, a the City of David. Year after year you offer your many sacrifices.
Yet I will bring disaster upon you, and there will be much weeping and sorrow. For Jerusalem will become as her name Ariel means -- an altar covered with blood.
I will be your enemy, surrounding Jerusalem and attacking its walls. I will build siege towers around it and will destroy it.
Your voice will whisper like a ghost from the earth where you will lie buried.
"But suddenly, your ruthless enemies will be driven away like chaff before the wind.
In an instant, I, the LORD Almighty, will come against them with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and storm and consuming fire.
All the nations fighting against Jerusalem b will vanish like a dream! Those who are attacking her walls will vanish like a vision in the night.
A hungry person dreams of eating but is still hungry. A thirsty person dreams of drinking but is still faint from thirst when morning comes. In the same way, your enemies will dream of a victorious conquest over Jerusalem, c but all to no avail."
Are you amazed and incredulous? Do you not believe it? Then go ahead and be blind if you must. You are stupid, but not from wine! You stagger, but not from beer!
For the LORD has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep. He has closed the eyes of your prophets and visionaries.
All these future events are a sealed book to them. When you give it to those who can read, they will say, "We can't read it because it is sealed."
When you give it to those who cannot read, they will say, "Sorry, we don't know how to read."
And so the Lord says, "These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. And their worship of me amounts to nothing more than human laws learned by rote. d14
Because of this, I will do wonders among these hypocrites. I will show that human wisdom is foolish and even the most brilliant people lack understanding."
Destruction is certain for those who try to hide their plans from the LORD, who try to keep him in the dark concerning what they do! "The LORD can't see us," you say to yourselves. "He doesn't know what is going on!"
How stupid can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you. You are only the jars he makes! Should the thing that was created say to the one who made it, "He didn't make us"? Does a jar ever say, "The potter who made me is stupid"?
Soon -- and it will not be very long -- the wilderness of Lebanon will be a fertile field once again. And the fertile fields will become a lush and fertile forest.
In that day deaf people will hear words read from a book, and blind people will see through the gloom and darkness.
The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the LORD. Those who are poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
Those who intimidate and harass will be gone, and all those who plot evil will be killed.
Those who make the innocent guilty by their false testimony will disappear. And those who use trickery to pervert justice and tell lies to tear down the innocent will be no more.
That is why the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, says to the people of Israel, e "My people will no longer pale with fear or be ashamed.
For when they see their many children and material blessings, they will recognize the holiness of the Holy One of Israel. They will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
Those in error will then believe the truth, and those who constantly complain will accept instruction.
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)