Israel Needs to Repent
1Listen to this funeral song that I sing about you, people of Israel.
2“The young girl Israel has fallen,
and she will not rise up again.
She was left alone in her own land,
and there is no one to help her up.”
3This is what the Lord God says:
“If a thousand soldiers leave a city,
only a hundred will return;
if a hundred soldiers leave a city,
only ten will return.”
4This is what the Lord says to the nation of Israel:
“Come to me and live.
5But do not look in Bethel
or go to Gilgal,
and do not go down to Beersheba.
The people of Gilgal will be taken away as captives,
and Bethel will become nothing.”
6Come to the Lord and live,
or he will move like fire against the descendants of Joseph.
The fire will burn Bethel,
and there will be no one to put it out.
7You turn justice upside down,
and you throw on the ground what is right.
8God is the one who made the star groups Pleiades and Orion;
he changes darkness into the morning light,
and the day into dark night.
He calls for the waters of the sea
to pour out on the earth.
The Lord is his name.
9He destroys the protected city;
he ruins the strong, walled city.
10You hate those who speak in court against evil,
and you can’t stand those who tell the truth.
11You walk on poor people,
forcing them to give you grain.
You have built fancy houses of cut stone,
but you will not live in them.
You have planted beautiful vineyards,
but you will not drink the wine from them.
12I know your many crimes,
your terrible sins.
You hurt people who do right,
you take money to do wrong,
and you keep the poor from getting justice in court.
13In such times the wise person will keep quiet,
because it is a bad time.
14Try to do good, not evil,
so that you will live,
and the Lord God All-Powerful will be with you
just as you say he is.
15Hate evil and love good;
be fair in the courts.
Maybe the Lord God All-Powerful will be kind
to the people of Joseph who are left alive.
16This is what the Lord, the Lord God All-Powerful, says:
“People will be crying in all the streets;
they will be saying, ‘Oh, no!’ in the public places.
They will call the farmers to come and weep
and will pay people to cry out loud for them.
17People will be crying in all the vineyards,
because I will pass among you to punish you,” says the Lord.
The Lord’s Day of Judging
18How terrible it will be for you who want
the Lord’s day of judging to come.
Why do you want that day to come?
It will bring darkness for you, not light.
19It will be like someone who runs from a lion
and meets a bear,
or like someone who goes into his house
and puts his hand on the wall,
and then is bitten by a snake.
20So the Lord’s day of judging will bring darkness, not light;
it will be very dark, not light at all.
21The Lord says, “I hate and reject your feasts;
I cannot stand your religious meetings.
22If you offer me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I won’t accept them.
You bring your best fellowship offerings of fattened cattle,
but I will ignore them.
23Take the noise of your songs away from me!
I won’t listen to the music of your harps.
24But let justice flow like a river,
and let goodness flow like a never-ending stream.
25“People of Israel, you did not bring me sacrifices and offerings
while you traveled in the desert for forty years.
26You have carried with you
your king, the god Sakkuth,
and Kaiwan your idol,
and the star gods you have made.
27So I will send you away as captives beyond Damascus,”
says the Lord, whose name is the God All-Powerful.