"'But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!" NIV translation
Throughout the Bible, water is a picture of the Spirit of God and of purification. He uses the imagery of flowing waters to point out the fact that they were following the letter of the law with their religious activities but not the spirit as they did not put it into their every day lives. That is a good reminder for us as well. We can read the Bible a million times but we must apply it in our daily lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
"'Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?'" NIV translation
The answer to God's question is no they did not. They were in the wilderness because of disobedience. He compares their present idolatry to the disobedience of their fathers before them. It is a sort of warning as their ancestors had wandered for forty years until all the disobedient had perished.
"'You have lifted up the shrine of your king, the pedestal of your idols, the star of your god - which you made for yourselves.'" NIV translation
Now, God plainly restates the charge of idolatry against the people of Israel. You almost feel the sense of a courtroom where a decision has been made.
It is easy for us to say that this is all history and we know better than to worship idols but do we? You do not have to physically bow down in front of a statue for it to be an idol. If something (anything) means more to you than your relationship with God, it is an idol. The best way to find out if you have idols is to keep track of your activities for a week and at the end of that time look back at them. Break the things up into groups and how much time you spent thinking about them. Anything that gets more of your thoughts and time than God is an idol.
"'Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,' says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty." NIV translation
The verdict is in and the sentence is handed down. They would be conquered and led away as slaves. As Christians, we will probably not be led away in chains but we can be "free slaves". A "free slave" is one who legally has been set free but does not walk in that freedom. We are free in Christ but we can continue to live as slaves to the things of this world.