Court is in session

The judge took his seat and eyed the accused with anger and compassion in his eyes. He took the list of charges in front of him and read it out loud.

My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water

At this charge the jury, witnesses and spectators were appalled, shocked and utterly desolate. Somebody screamed out, “How did this happen? Is Ariel a slave? Is she a homeborn servant? Why then has she become a prey? She was planted a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then has she turned degenerate and become a wild vine? What went wrong?” At this the judge nodded to his bailiff, a grave man named Jeremiah to answer the question. “The factors that led to this horrid crime are thousandfold. I will mention only seven, as seen in the second section of my report on this crime:

They did not say, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that none passes through, where no man dwells?’

“That is, she has forgotten and refused to remember the great and wondrous miracles the Lord has performed on her behalf, both recent and ancient. She neither remembers nor cares.

And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.

“That is, she has abused the good things that the Lord has given her. The good things like food, drink, pleasure, sex, art, work, rest, play, words, music and the like. They were meant for her good and his glory, but she has used them falsely and corrupted the goodness of them all.

The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’

“That is, those who were leaders of faith were faithless. They did not seek God. Rather they turned religion into a means of gain.

Those who handle the law did not know me;

“That is, the scholars of the Bible did not understand the Lord of the word or the word of the Lord. They fell in love with their own brain pans.

The prophets prophesied by Baal

“That is, the pastors taught their flocks from secular psychology and pop-media, giving messages from popular culture rather than from the living God.

and went after things that do not profit.

“And all the people ran after those things that were useless. They pursued worthlessness and became worthless. The people who called themselves the Bride of Christ ran after rocks, trees, money, fame, cars, games, and whatever else they could find.”

The judge rose and spoke. “Therefore I still contend with you. You have spurned the grace of the most high God and judgment is coming. If you do not turn to me I will turn away from you. Behold the days will come when the Arab and the Chinese will recline at the table in the kingdom while the American and the European will be left out. Long ago I burst your bonds and broke your yoke. But you refused to serve and you turned to worthlessness. But even now, faithless Ariel, turn to me and I will heal your faithlessness. Even now…”