Israel's people have turned away from the Lord.
“This is what the Lord says: I remember how you used to love me. That was when I first made you my people.
You loved me as a young wife loves her husband.
You followed me through the
where nobody grew any food.
It was like the first food that grew on my land.
Anyone else who ate that food was doing something bad.” ’
That is what the Lord said.
and all the families in Israel.
But I did nothing that was wrong. But they went a long way from me.
They went to gods of wood and stone that could not do anything for them.
And then they could not do anything for themselves.
He brought them out of Egypt.
He led them through the
an empty place with many valleys.
It was a dry and dark place.
Nobody goes through it and nobody lives in it.
where you could eat very good food.
But you came and you made my country like something dirty.
You made it too bad for me to look at.
Your leaders did not obey me.
They hoped that gods of wood and stone would help them.
Those gods cannot help anyone.
‘And I will be the
Ask them if anyone has ever done this before.
But their gods are not really gods.
But my people have changed him who is greater than any god.
They have changed him for things of wood and stone that cannot help them.
They have left me. I am like a river of living water.
And they have dug holes in the earth for themselves.
These holes cannot hold water. They let water run away.
But they have become slaves to their enemies.
They have destroyed their country.
They have burnt their towns and nobody lives in them.
So they have made you ashamed.
It is because you stopped following the Lord, your God.
He was leading you in the way that you should go.
And the water from the river of Assyria is not better to drink than yours is.
You have gone away from the Lord your God.
And you are not afraid to make me angry.
Those are very bad things and they will cause you to have very bad pain.
You must think about that and you must understand it.’
That is what the great, powerful Lord says.
You cut through any thing that tied us together.
You said, “I will not work for you!”
So you sold yourselves to any people that would take you.
You were like a
You were strong and you had the best
But now you have become weak, and bad.
You are like a wild vine that has
and you may use a lot of soap,’ says the most powerful Lord.
‘But you will always seem dirty to me.
And you say that you do not
But remember what you did in the valley.
Think carefully what you have done.
You are like a fast female animal.
You run all over the country.
that lifts its nose in the air.
It is looking for a male horse.
Nobody can keep it from what it wants.
Any males who follow it will catch it easily.
You are like that.
Do not run for so long that your feet hurt.
You say, “I cannot change.
I love foreign gods. I must obey them!”
He is ashamed when people catch him.
So the people of Israel are ashamed.
They, their kings, their officers, and their
They call a stone their mother.
They have turned away from me.
They do not show their faces to me.
But then troubles happen to them.
“Come and save us!” they ask me.
Ask them to come and save you.
Ask for their help when you have troubles.
Judah, you have many towns.
And you have as many gods.
You have all turned against me,’ says the Lord.
But they would not turn back to me.
You have killed your
You are like hungry animals.’
‘I have not been like a
I have not been like a dark place where nobody lives.
But my people say, “We can go where we like.
We do not want to visit you any more.”
A wife does not forget her valuable gifts.
But my people have forgotten me for many years.
Very bad women, even, can learn from you.
That blood gave life to people who never hurt you.
It was the blood of people who never took your things.
God is not angry with me!”
But I will
You say “I have not
So I will
You want to change.
You know now that Assyria cannot help you.
And you will soon know that Egypt cannot help you.
You will leave your country with your hands on your heads.
The Lord has not chosen the people that you have chosen.
They will not help you.’