The Lord’s Complaint
1Now hear what the Lord says:
“Get up; plead your case in front of the mountains.
Let the hills hear your story.
2Mountains, listen to the Lord’s complaint.
Foundations of the earth, listen to the Lord.
The Lord has a complaint against his people.
He will prove that Israel is wrong.”
3The Lord says, “My people, did I do something wrong to you?
How did I make you tired of me?
4I brought you from the land of Egypt.
I freed you from slavery.
I sent Moses, Aaron and Miriam to you.
5My people, remember
the evil plans of Balak king of Moab.
Remember what Balaam son of Beor told Balak.
Remember what happened from Acacia to Gilgal.
Then you will know the Lord does what is right!”
6You say, “What can I bring with me
when I come before the Lord?
What can I bring
when I bow before God on high?
Should I come before the Lord with burnt offerings,
with year-old calves?
7Will the Lord be pleased with 1,000 male sheep?
Will he be pleased with 10,000 rivers of oil?
Should I give my first child for the evil I have done?
Should I give my very own child for my sin?”
8The Lord has told you what is good.
He has told you what he wants from you:
Do what is right to other people.
Love being kind to others.
And live humbly, trusting your God.
9The voice of the Lord shouts to the city.
The wise person honors the Lord.
So pay attention to the rod of punishment.
Pay attention to the One who threatens to punish.
10Can the Lord forget that the wicked still hide
treasures they have stolen?
Do they still cheat others?
I curse their false measure!
11Can I forgive people who cheat others
with wrong weights and scales?
12The rich men in the city
still do cruel things.
The people still tell lies.
They do not tell the truth.
13So I have started to punish you.
I will destroy you because of your sins.
14You will eat, but you won’t become full.
You will still be hungry and empty.
You will store up but save nothing.
What you store up the sword will destroy.
15You will plant,
but you won’t harvest.
You will squeeze your olives.
But you won’t get any oil from them to put on your skin.
You will crush the grapes.
But you will not drink the wine.
16This is because you obey the wicked laws of King Omri.
You do all the evil that Ahab’s family does.
You follow their teachings.
So I will let you be destroyed.
The people in your city will be laughed at.
Other nations will make fun of you.