Prophets Feature Sampler - Flipbook - Page 25
“The people of Israel have been swallowed up;
they lie among the nations like an old discarded pot.
Like a wild donkey looking for a mate,
they have gone up to Assyria.
The people of Israel have sold themselves—
sold themselves to many lovers.
But though they have sold themselves to many allies,
I will now gather them together for judgment.
Then they will writhe
under the burden of the great king.
“Israel has built many altars to take away sin,
but these very altars became places for sinning!
Even though I gave them all my laws,
they act as if those laws don’t apply to them.
The people love to offer sacrifices to me,
feasting on the meat,
but I do not accept their sacrifices.
I will hold my people accountable for their sins,
and I will punish them.
They will return to Egypt.
Israel has forgotten its Maker and built great palaces,
and Judah has fortified its cities.
Therefore, I will send down fire on their cities
and will burn up their fortresses.”
O people of Israel,
do not rejoice as other nations do.
For you have been unfaithful to your God,
hiring yourselves out like prostitutes,
worshiping other gods on every threshing floor.
So now your harvests will be too small to feed you.
There will be no grapes for making new wine.
You may no longer stay here in the Lord’s land.
Instead, you will return to Egypt,
and in Assyria you will eat food
that is ceremonially unclean.
There you will make no offerings of wine to the Lord.
None of your sacrifices there will please him.
They will be unclean, like food touched by a person in mourning.
All who present such sacrifices will be defiled.
They may eat this food themselves,
but they may not offer it to the Lord.
What then will you do on festival days?
How will you observe the Lord’s festivals?
Even if you escape destruction from Assyria,
Egypt will conquer you, and Memphis will bury you.
Nettles will take over your treasures of silver;
thistles will invade your ruined homes.
The time of Israel’s punishment has come;
the day of payment is here.
Soon Israel will know this all too well.
Because of your great sin and hostility,
you say, “The prophets are crazy
and the inspired men are fools!”
The prophet is a watchman over Israel for my God,
yet traps are laid for him wherever he goes.
He faces hostility even in the house of God.
The things my people do are as depraved
as what they did in Gibeah long ago.
God will not forget.
He will surely punish them for their sins.
The Lord says, “O Israel, when I first found you,
it was like finding fresh grapes in the desert.
When I saw your ancestors,
it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season.
But then they deserted me for Baalpeor,
giving themselves to that shameful idol.
Soon they became vile,
as vile as the god they worshiped.
The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird,
for your children will not be born
or grow in the womb
or even be conceived.
Even if you do have children who grow up,
I will take them from you.
It will be a terrible day when I turn away
and leave you alone.
I have watched Israel become as beautiful as Tyre.
But now Israel will bring out her children for slaughter.”