Micah Is Sad Because Israel Has Sinned
1I'm suffering very much!
I'm like someone who gathers summer fruit in a vineyard
after the good fruit has already been picked.
No grapes are left to eat.
None of the early figs I long for remain.
2Faithful people have disappeared from the land.
Those who are honest are gone.
All men hide and wait
to spill the blood of others.
They use nets to try and trap one another.
3They are very good at doing what is evil.
Rulers require gifts.
Judges accept money from people
who want special favors.
Those who are powerful
always get what they want.
All of them make evil plans together.
4The best of them are as harmful as thorns.
The most honest of them are even worse.
The time your prophets warned you about has come.
God is about to punish you.
Panic has taken hold of you.
5Don't trust your neighbors.
Don't put your faith in your friends.
Be careful of what you say
even to your own wife.
6Sons don't honor their fathers.
Daughters refuse to obey their mothers.
Daughters-in-law are against their mothers-in-law.
A man's enemies are the members of his own family.
7So I will look to the Lord.
I'll put my trust in God my Savior.
He will hear me.
Jerusalem Will Be Rebuilt
8The people of Jerusalem say, "Don't laugh when we suffer,
you enemies of ours!
We have fallen.
But we'll get up.
Even though we sit in the dark,
the Lord will give us light.
9We've sinned against the Lord.
So he is angry with us.
That will continue until he takes up our case.
Then he'll do what is right for us.
He'll bring us out into the light.
Then we'll see him save us.
10The people of Nineveh will see it too.
And they will be put to shame.
After all, they said to us,
'Where is the Lord your God?'
But we will see them destroyed.
Soon they will be stomped on
like mud in the streets."
11People of Jerusalem, the time will come
when your walls will be rebuilt.
Land will be added to your territory.
12At that time your people will come back to you.
They'll return from Assyria
and the cities of Egypt.
They'll come from the countries
between Egypt and the Euphrates River.
They'll return from the lands
between the seas.
They'll come back from the countries
between the mountains.
13But the rest of the earth will be deserted.
The people who live in it
have done many evil things.
Prayer and Praise
14Lord, be like a shepherd to your people.
Take good care of them.
They are your flock.
They live by themselves
in the safety of a forest.
Rich grasslands are all around them.
Let them eat grass in Bashan and Gilead
just as they did long ago.
15The Lord says to his people, "I showed your people my wonders
when they came out of Egypt long ago.
In the same way, I will show them to you."
16When the nations see those wonders,
they will be put to shame.
All of their power will be taken away from them.
They will be so amazed
that they won't be able to speak or hear.
17They'll be forced to eat dust like a snake.
They'll be like creatures
that have to crawl on the ground.
They'll come out of their dens
trembling with fear.
They'll show respect for the Lord our God.
They will also have respect for his people.
18Lord, who is a God like you?
You forgive sin.
You forgive your people
when they do what is wrong.
You don't stay angry forever.
Instead, you take delight in showing
your faithful love to them.
19Once again you will show loving concern for us.
You will completely wipe out
the evil things we've done.
You will throw all of our sins
into the bottom of the sea.
20You will be true to Jacob's people.
You will show your faithful love
to Abraham's children.
You will do what you promised to do for our people
when you took an oath long ago.