The Lord Talks about Idols
1-2 The Lord said:

Listen to me,
you people of Israel.
Don't follow the customs
of those nations
who become frightened
when they see something strange
happen in the sky.
3 Their religion is worthless!
They chop down a tree,
carve the wood into an idol,
4 cover it with silver and gold,
and then nail it down
so it won't fall over.

5 An idol is no better
than a scarecrow.
It can't speak,
and it has to be carried,
because it can't walk.
Why worship an idol
that can't help or harm you?
Jeremiah Praises the Lord
6 Our Lord, great and powerful,
you alone are God.
7 You are King of the nations.
Everyone should worship you.
No human anywhere on earth
is wiser than you.
8 Idols are worthless,
and anyone who worships them
is a fool!
9 Idols are made by humans.
A carver shapes the wood.
A metalworker hammers out
a covering of gold from Uphaz
or of silver from Tarshish.
Then the idol is dressed
in blue and purple clothes.

10 You, Lord, are the only true
and living God.
You will rule for all time.
When you are angry
the earth shakes,
and nations are destroyed.

11 You told me to say
that idols did not create
the heavens and the earth,
and that you, the Lord,
will destroy every idol.

12 With your wisdom and power
you created the earth
and spread out the heavens.
13 The waters in the heavens roar
at your command.
You make clouds appear—
you send the winds
from your storehouse
and make lightning flash
in the rain.

14 People who make idols
are so stupid!
They will be disappointed,
because their false gods
are not alive.
15 Idols are merely a joke,
and when the time is right,
they will be destroyed.

16 But you, Israel's God,
created all things,
and you chose Israel
to be your very own.
Your name is the Lord
Judah Will Be Thrown from Its Land
17 I said to the people of Judah,
“Gather your things;
you are surrounded.
18 The Lord said these troubles
will lead to your capture,
and he will throw you
from this land
like a rock from a sling.”

19 The people answered,
“We are wounded
and doomed to die.
Why did we say
we could stand the pain?
20 Our homes are destroyed;
our children are dead.
No one is left
to help us find shelter.”

21 But I told them,
“Our leaders were stupid failures,
because they refused
to listen to the Lord.
And so we've been scattered
like sheep.

22 “Sounds of destruction
rumble from the north
like distant thunder.
Soon our towns will be ruins
where only jackals live.”
Jeremiah Prays
23 I know, Lord, that we humans
are not in control
of our own lives.
24 Correct me, as I deserve,
but not in your anger,
or I will be dead.
25 Our enemies refuse
to admit that you are God
or to worship you.
They have wiped out our people
and left our nation
lying in ruins.
So get angry
and sweep them away!