That is why the Lord is going to teach you letter by letter, line by line, lesson by lesson. Then you will stumble with every step you take. You will be wounded, trapped, and taken prisoner.
Now you arrogant leaders who rule here in Jerusalem over this people, listen to what the Lord is saying.
You boast that you have made a treaty with death and reached an agreement with the world of the dead. You are certain that disaster will spare you when it comes, because you depend on lies and deceit to keep you safe. 1
This, now, is what the Sovereign Lord says: "I am placing in Zion a foundation that is firm and strong. In it I am putting a solid cornerstone on which are written the words, "Faith that is firm is also patient.' 2
Justice will be the measuring line for the foundation, and honesty will be its plumb line." Hailstorms will sweep away all the lies you depend on, and floods will destroy your security.
The treaty you have made with death will be abolished, and your agreement with the world of the dead will be canceled. When disaster sweeps down, you will be overcome.
It will strike you again and again, morning after morning. You will have to bear it day and night. Each new message from God will bring new terror!
You will be like the person in the proverb, who tries to sleep in a bed too short to stretch out on, with a blanket too narrow to wrap himself in.
The Lord will fight as he did at Mount Perazim and in the valley of Gibeon, in order to do what he intends to do - strange as his actions may seem. He will complete his work, his mysterious work. 3
Don't laugh at the warning I am giving you! If you do, it will be even harder for you to escape. I have heard the Lord Almighty's decision to destroy the whole country.
Listen to what I am saying; pay attention to what I am telling you.