“Quiet down, far-flung ocean islands. Listen!
Sit down and rest, everyone. Recover your strength.
Gather around me. Say what’s on your heart.
Together let’s decide what’s right.
“Who got things rolling here,
got this champion from the east on the move?
Who recruited him for this job,
then rounded up and corralled the nations
so he could run roughshod over kings?
He’s off and running,
pulverizing nations into dust,
leaving only stubble and chaff in his wake.
He chases them and comes through unscathed,
his feet scarcely touching the path.
“Who did this? Who made it happen?
Who always gets things started?
I did. GOD. I’m first on the scene.
I’m also the last to leave.
“Far-flung ocean islands see it and panic.
The ends of the earth are shaken.
Fearfully they huddle together.
They try to help each other out,
making up stories in the dark.
The godmakers in the workshops
go into overtime production, crafting new models of no-gods,
Urging one another on—‘Good job!’ ‘Great design!’—
pounding in nails at the base
so that the things won’t tip over.
“But you, Israel, are my servant.
You’re Jacob, my first choice,
descendants of my good friend Abraham.
I pulled you in from all over the world,
called you in from every dark corner of the earth,
Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side.
I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’
Don’t panic. I’m with you.
There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.