The righteous pass away; the godly often die before their time. And no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
For the godly who die will rest in peace.
"But you -- come here, you witches' children, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
Whom do you mock, making faces and sticking out your tongues? You children of sinners and liars!
You worship your idols with great passion beneath every green tree. You slaughter your children as human sacrifices down in the valleys, under overhanging rocks.
Your gods are the smooth stones in the valleys. You worship them with drink offerings and grain offerings. They, not I, are your inheritance. Does all this make me happy?
You have committed adultery on the mountaintops by worshiping idols there, and so you have been unfaithful to me.
Behind closed doors, you have set up your idols and worship them instead of me. This is adultery, for you are loving these idols instead of loving me. You have climbed right into bed with these detestable gods.
You have given olive oil and perfume to Molech as your gift. You have traveled far, even into the world of the dead, to find new gods to love.
You grew weary in your search, but you never gave up. You strengthened yourself and went on.
Why were you more afraid of them than of me? How is it that you don't even remember me or think about me? Is it because I have not corrected you that you have no fear of me?
"Now I will expose your so-called good deeds that you consider so righteous. None of them will benefit or save you.
Let's see if your idols can do anything for you when you cry to them for help. They are so helpless that a breath of wind can knock them down! But whoever trusts in me will possess the land and inherit my holy mountain.
I will say, 'Rebuild the road! Clear away the rocks and stones so my people can return from captivity.'"
The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts.
For I will not fight against you forever; I will not always show my anger. If I did, all people would pass away -- all the souls I have made.
I was angry and punished these greedy people. I withdrew myself from them, but they went right on sinning.
I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them and comfort those who mourn.
Then words of praise will be on their lips. May they have peace, both near and far, for I will heal them all," says the LORD.
"But those who still reject me are like the restless sea. It is never still but continually churns up mire and dirt.
There is no peace for the wicked," says my God.
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)