“This Generation Seeks Me With Their Lips”

“This generation seeks me with their lips

“But not with their hearts.

“They change the prophet’s words in order to confound him

“And say, ‘he will neither notice, nor take care.’

“Who, I ask you, Who brings the sun through its course?

“Who waters the lilies, and causes the wetlands to dry up?

“Who causes the rains to fall in one place

“Upon the forests, and yet they do not bear their leafs?

“I, the LORD your God.”

I heard this and sat in wonder,

Seeing the almighty acts of the LORD

Who to this day was good to me

And has not filled my heart with sorrows.

The nations bray and burst into laughter

When they hear the awesome wonder of our God.

But, I say, it is they who are deceived.

Does not rain fall in one place

And not another?

Does not the warmth shine in one place

And not another?

Is there not cold in places where it is warm,

And warmth where it should be cold?

Do the nations truly deceive themselves

To consider that they truly understand this?

For it is the wrath of the LORD,

And no thing else

That causes my lands to dry up.

I watch, and am sore vexed

As pools of water fill the gullies

But where are the budding flowers?

Are they not in Shevat?

Why then do the nations say,

“Aha! Our idols have told us so!

“We are sore vexed, let us fix it by making the nations even more poor!”

Yet it is because of your idolatry,

And nothing else.

For your dishonoring the Sabbaths

And violating the workers’ rights.

For, one man is deathly ill

And you provoke him to come in and do his task.

Another is healthy, but he does not come into work.

One man says, “I wish to have off on the Sabbath.”

And the nation laughs him to scorn.

On your holidays, yes, even these,

All men go about their business

Buying and selling, and having no rest.

Therefore the land has no rest,

And it mourns.

 

Do the flowers bloom in Shevat?

Do they not sleep?

Do the little animals frolic in the winter?

Why then, do you wander to and fro

Looking for you food, and do not take wonder

At the strange thing the LORD has done?

For you wish to place Baal at every street corner.

Must I be like a diviner

And tell you what is not true?

Tell you strange enchantments to get you to listen?

Must I talk to the flowers

And pretend like they listen?

No, for the LORD has told me.

He is sore wroth at this generation

Who has not the rest of the LORD.

To and fro they go,

Therefore, the forests are become a desert.

And the deserts a forest.

The peoples who have not known His name

Shall know it, and the peoples who honor Him

With their lips shall stop taking the name of the LORD on them.

For they are deceitful.

Do not the nations know that the LORD is God?

Yes, they do know, but they stiffen their necks.

Who is it, I ask you, that brings the rains?

Who brings the circle of the earth to bear

And brings light in due season

And shuts up the light in due season?

Is it not the LORD Who created man and the earth?

Why then are you so mad?

Why do you drive your wagons to and fro

Going place to place

Roaring like a lion fed in the wildernesses?

 

This people dishonors their God

And they take the name of the LORD falsely

Upon their lips.

This prophet shall be at rest.

He shall eat, shall he not?

And even if it is not so,

He shall rest, knowing the wrath of the LORD

Is upon this nation, and he will sleep

And know that the LORD is God.

The evidence is all around you

Why do you not look?

Did you seek God?

Is this why you said, “I cannot see Him.”

Is this why you offer incense to that shameful thing Baal?

“Come together, and let us reason,

“Though you sins were red as scarlet

“Yet will I make them white as snow.”

Yet, men said to themselves,

“My sins are not scarlet

“They are mine, and mine to bear.”

Therefore, you must bear them

Shameful nation of the Philistines.

Had not the LORD spoken

Yet the prophet sealed the vision?

It was sealed for your hardheartedness

Yet none speak the Words of the LORD

Which are loving-kindness to the generations that seek Him. Selah.

 

Therefore, repent, and throw from yourselves the idols you carry.

Throw them into the waters,

Like the priests of Rome.

For even they, whom the whole world scorns

Know the LORD is awesome and mighty.

They fear Him, whom Israel says, “These are sinners worse than us.”

Are they Israel? Is not Judah suffering from an unrighteous king

And yet the priests perform the rituals, and they throw away the abominations?

They live poor, and they minister like workers to cleans the sinners?

What does Israel do, but call the police on the innocent man for a word?

What does Israel do, but band together and stiffen their necks against the prophets?

Yet, I say to you, greater woes come if there is no rest.

This prophet will return to his LORD with an ill report about this generation

Who had not liberated him,

But rather loved to have him poor.

“How have we not liberated him?”

By words accountable, you had not laid accusations

Against the government that did this.

Which professes “Freedom” when there is none.

For this, you band together with arms

Which is just what Satan wanted!

No, I say, repent, in dust and ashes.

You grow worse with every folly

And you grow more cold with every sin.

Rather, a man’s work is to be eaten from

And where is this prophet’s work?

It is spoiled by Jackals

And you all know just who they are.

Yet you say, “Let us fight!”

No… For then you will lose.

The Assyrian will be broken by the sword

And by the exorcise of laws.

Yet, my people would not have it.

Therefore, this prophet will rest.

What will you do?

Continue to go to and fro

Eating and drinking,

Marrying wives and blessing children.

Mixed wine is in your cups.

Therefore, the nations who have not known the LORD

They shall seek Him and they shall find Him.

Woe to the generation who rejected the LORD their God

Mighty to save and compassionate to a thousand generations.

 

Was not my command to you that you be charitable?

Yet, you say, “Charity is weak.”

Is charity weak? Is it an abomination

To give to those less fortunate than you?

Must you, in your vanities

Perform the service of healing,

Yet heal it superficially?

The daughter was violated

Yet you say to her, “Be still, for it is of none affect.”

The man was falsely accused,

Yet you say to him, “It will be alright. Be at peace.”

Yet, with what little abundance they had

They gave to the poor, therefore they will be at rest.

What of you, nation of hypocrites?

Your offerings were to the priests

But what of the poor?

The poor you cast off your stoops.

The poor you called “Degenerate”

“Liar”

And “Lazy.”

Must I prophesy to you?

Is Esdras in your holy scripture?

Is there not prophecy in it?

Is there not prophecies all around you

To testify the power of the LORD Almighty God?

Does not God show Himself through these things?

How you judge a prophet for a little error of wording

Yet you, by your great abundant hypocrisies

Speak foolishness to thousands?

You tell them, “God loves the powerful one.”

You tell them, “God is with the one whose arm has brought him all things.”

Yet, to the poor digging through your  garbage you say,

“Get away! Even our garbage is too sacred for you beggars.”

When will this generation learn?

Did not the prophet set examples for you?

When to follow laws,

And when not to?

When to give, and what to give

And how did he give of his sustenance what he could afford?

You call him lazy, yet he works every day

Silently finding the truth, seeking his God

Finding wisdom, and telling it to you?

If he has one  fault

And LORD knows what it is,

What faults do you have?

If he has spoken falsehood

It shall fall upon his head,

Yet why do you listen to him

Secretly in his bedchambers?

Is this the light of God?

To spy upon the innocent

And lay to bear his every word

Like you yourselves were God?

Hypocrites!

For the nations are filled with wrath

And the poor man is still not fed.

 

Was there not one commandment given to you

Above the rest? Who clothed Christ? Who fed Christ?

Who visited Christ in Prison? Who healed Christ when he was sick?

Who had comforting words for Christ? Was it any of you?

Yet you call yourselves greater than this man who speaks to you,

Who did all these things.

You call him a liar for speaking words in utterance hastily.

While you bring it to pass.

Hypocrites. Idolaters. Thieves. Jackals. Serpents.

These words mean nothing to you

Therefore, a new generation will serve the Almighty

And you will altogether go to the pits.