Idolatry and True Worship
1People of Israel, listen to the message that the Lord has for you. 2He says,
“Do not follow the ways of other nations;
do not be disturbed by unusual sights in the sky,
even though other nations are terrified.
3The religion of these people is worthless.
A tree is cut down in the forest;
it is carved by the tools of the woodcarver,
4and decorated with silver and gold.
It is fastened down with nails
to keep it from falling over.
5Such idols are like scarecrows in a field of melons;
they cannot speak;
they have to be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them:
they can cause you no harm,
and they can do you no good.”
6 Lord, there is no one like you;
you are mighty,
and your name is great and powerful.
7 # Rev 15.4 Who would not honour you, the king of all nations?
You deserve to be honoured.
There is no one like you
among all the wise men of the nations
or among any of their kings.
8All of them are stupid and foolish.
What can they learn from wooden idols?#10.8 What can… idols?; or What their idols teach is worthless.
9Their idols are covered with silver from Spain
and with gold from Uphaz,
all the work of artists;
they are dressed in violet and purple cloth
woven by skilled weavers.
10But you, Lord, are the true God,
you are the living God
and the eternal king.
When you are angry, the world trembles;
the nations cannot endure your anger.
11(You people must tell them that the gods who did not make the earth and the sky will be destroyed. They will no longer exist anywhere on earth.)
A Hymn of Praise to God
12The Lord made the earth by his power;
by his wisdom he created the world
and stretched out the heavens.
13At his command the waters above the sky#10.13 waters above the sky: See Gen 1.6–8. roar;
he brings clouds from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning flash in the rain
and sends the wind from his storeroom.
14At the sight of this, people feel stupid and senseless;
those who make idols are disillusioned,
because the gods they make are false and lifeless.
15They are worthless and should be despised;
they will be destroyed when the Lord comes to deal with them.
16The God of Jacob is not like them;
he is the one who made everything,
and he has chosen Israel to be his very own people.
The Lord Almighty is his name.
The Coming Exile
17People of Jerusalem, you are under siege! Gather up your belongings. 18The Lord is going to throw you out of this land; he is going to crush you until not one of you is left. The Lord has spoken.
19The people of Jerusalem cried out,
“How badly we are hurt!
Our wounds will not heal.
And we thought this was something we could endure!
20Our tents are ruined;
the ropes that held them have broken.
Our children have all gone away;
there is no one left to put up our tents again;
there is no one to hang their curtains.”
21I answered, “Our leaders are stupid;
they do not ask the Lord for guidance.
This is why they have failed,
and our people have been scattered.
22Listen! News has come!
There is a great commotion in a nation to the north;
its army will turn the cities of Judah into a desert,
a place where jackals live.”
23 Lord, I know that no one is the master of his own destiny;
no person has control over his own life.
24Correct your people, Lord;
but do not be too hard on us
or punish us when you are angry;
that would be the end of us.
25Turn your anger on the nations that do not worship you
and on the people who reject you.
They have killed your people;
they have destroyed us completely
and left our country in ruins.