Listen to the Message that God is sending your way, House of Israel. Listen most carefully:
"Don't take the godless nations as your models. Don't be
impressed by their glamour and glitz, no matter how much
they're impressed.The religion of these peoples is nothing but
smoke.An idol is nothing but a tree chopped down, then shaped
by a woodsman's ax.They trim it with tinsel and balls, use
hammer and nails to keep it upright.It's like a scarecrow in a cabbage
patch—can't talk! Dead wood that has to be carried—can't
walk!Don't be impressed by such stuff. It's useless for either
good or evil."
6-9All this is nothing compared to you, O God.
You're wondrously great, famously great.Who can fail to be
impressed by you, King of the nations? It's your very nature
to be worshiped!Look far and wide among the elite of the nations.
The best they can come up with is nothing compared to
you.Stupidly, they line them up—a lineup of sticks, good for
nothing but making smoke.Gilded with silver foil from Tarshish,
covered with gold from Uphaz,Hung with violet and purple
fabrics— no matter how fancy the sticks, they're still sticks.
10But God is the real thing— the living God, the
eternal King.When he's angry, Earth shakes. Yes, and the
godless nations quake.
11-15"Tell them this, 'The stick gods
who made nothing, neither sky nor earth,Will come to nothing
on the earth and under the sky.'"But it is God whose power
made the earth, whose wisdom gave shape to the world,
who crafted the cosmos.He thunders, and rain pours down.
He sends the clouds soaring.He embellishes the storm with
lightnings, launches wind from his warehouse.Stick-god
worshipers looking mighty foolish, god-makers embarrassed by
their handmade gods!Their gods are frauds—dead sticks,
deadwood gods, tasteless jokes. When the
fires of judgment come, they'll be ashes.
16But the Portion-of-Jacob
is the real thing. He put the whole universe togetherAnd pays
special attention to Israel. His name?
Even though we have tasted of the Kingdom of God, we still yet choose stick gods. I don't understand it, but I do it.