"My people are foolish and do not know me," says the LORD. "They are senseless children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no talent at all for doing right!"
I looked at the earth, and it was empty and formless. I looked at the heavens, and there was no light.
I looked at the mountains and hills, and they trembled and shook.
I looked, and all the people were gone. All the birds of the sky had flown away.
I looked, and the fertile fields had become a wilderness. The cities lay in ruins, crushed by the LORD's fierce anger.
This is what the LORD says: "The whole land will be ruined, but I will not destroy it completely.
The earth will mourn, the heavens will be draped in black, because of my decree against my people. I have made up my mind and will not change it."
At the noise of marching armies, the people flee in terror from the cities. They hide in the bushes and run for the mountains. All the cities have been abandoned -- not a person remains!
What are you doing, you who have been plundered? Why do you dress up in your most beautiful clothing and jewelry? Why do you brighten your eyes with mascara? It will do you no good! Your allies despise you and will kill you.
I hear a great cry, like that of a woman giving birth to her first child. It is the cry of Jerusalem's people a gasping for breath, pleading for help, prostrate before their murderers.
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)