The False Gods of Babylon
1The gods named Bel and Nebo are brought down in shame.
The statues of them are being carried away on the backs of animals.
They used to be carried around by the people who worshiped them.
But now they’ve become a heavy load for tired animals.
2The gods named Bel and Nebo are brought down in shame together.
They aren’t able to save their own statues.
They themselves are carried off as prisoners.
3The Lord says, “Family of Jacob, listen to me.
Pay attention, you people of Israel who are left alive.
I have taken good care of you since your life began.
I have carried you since you were born as a nation.
4I will continue to carry you even when you are old.
I will take good care of you even when your hair is gray.
I have made you, and I will carry you.
I will take care of you, and I will save you.
I am the Lord.
5“Who will you compare me with?
Who is equal to me?
What am I like?
Who can you compare me with?
6Some people pour out gold from their bags.
They weigh out silver on the scales.
They hire someone who works with gold to make it into a god.
They bow down to it and worship it.
7They lift it up on their shoulders and carry it.
They set it up in its place, and there it stands.
It can’t move from that spot.
Someone might cry out to it.
But it does not answer.
It can’t save them from their troubles.
8So remember this, you who refuse to obey me.
Keep it in your minds and hearts.
9“Remember what happened in the past.
Think about what took place long ago.
I am God. There is no other God.
I am God. There is no one like me.
10Before something even happens, I announce how it will end.
In fact, from times long ago I announced what was still to come.
I say, ‘My plan will succeed.
I will do anything I want to do.’
11I will send for a man from the east to carry out my plan.
From a land far away, he will come like a bird that kills its food.
I will bring about what I have said.
I will do what I have planned.
12Listen to me, you stubborn people.
Pay attention, you who now refuse to do what I have said is right.
13The time is almost here for me to make everything right.
It is not far away.
The time for me to save you will not be put off.
I will save the city of Zion.
I will bring honor to Israel.