Hear the word of the LORD, O Israel!
This is what the LORD says: "Do not act like other nations who try to read their future in the stars. Do not be afraid of their predictions, even though other nations are terrified by them.
Their ways are futile and foolish. They cut down a tree and carve an idol.
They decorate it with gold and silver and then fasten it securely with hammer and nails so it won't fall over.
There stands their god like a helpless scarecrow in a garden! It cannot speak, and it needs to be carried because it cannot walk. Do not be afraid of such gods, for they can neither harm you nor do you any good."
LORD, there is no one like you! For you are great, and your name is full of power.
Who would not fear you, O King of nations? That title belongs to you alone! Among all the wise people of the earth and in all the kingdoms of the world, there is no one like you.
The wisest of people who worship idols are stupid and foolish. The things they worship are made of wood!
They bring beaten sheets of silver from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz, and they give these materials to skillful craftsmen who make their idols. Then they dress these gods in royal purple robes made by expert tailors.
But the LORD is the only true God, the living God. He is the everlasting King! The whole earth trembles at his anger. The nations hide before his wrath.
Say this to those who worship other gods: "Your so-called gods, who did not make the heavens and earth, will vanish from the earth." a12
But God made the earth by his power, and he preserves it by his wisdom. He has stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
When he speaks, there is thunder in the heavens. He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses.
Compared to him, all people are foolish and have no knowledge at all! They make idols, but the idols will disgrace their makers, for they are frauds. They have no life or power in them.
Idols are worthless; they are lies! The time is coming when they will all be destroyed.
But the God of Israel b is no idol! He is the Creator of everything that exists, including Israel, his own special possession. The LORD Almighty is his name!
"Pack your bag and prepare to leave; the siege is about to begin,"
says the LORD. "For suddenly, I will fling you from this land and pour great troubles upon you. At last you will feel my anger."
My wound is desperate, and my grief is great. My sickness is incurable, but I must bear it.
My home is gone, and no one is left to help me rebuild it. My children have been taken away, and I will never see them again.
The shepherds of my people have lost their senses. They no longer follow the LORD or ask what he wants of them. Therefore, they fail completely, and their flocks are scattered.
Listen! Hear the terrifying roar of great armies as they roll down from the north. The towns of Judah will be destroyed and will become a haunt for jackals.
I know, LORD, that a person's life is not his own. No one is able to plan his own course.
So correct me, LORD, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die.
Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to recognize you -- on nations that do not call upon your name. For they have utterly devoured your people Israel, c making the land a desolate wilderness.
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)