Israel Is Corrupt
1I feel so empty inside—
like someone starving
for grapes or figs,
after the vines and trees
have all been picked clean.
2No one is loyal to God;
no one does right.
Everyone is brutal
and eager to deceive
everyone else.
3People cooperate to commit crime.
Judges and leaders demand bribes,
and rulers cheat in court.#7.3 court: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 3.
4The most honest of them
is worse than a thorn patch.
Your doom has come!
Lookouts sound the warning,
and everyone panics.
5Don't trust anyone,
not even your best friend,
and be careful what you say
to the one you love.
6 # Mt 10.3536Lk 12.53 Sons refuse to respect
their own fathers,
daughters rebel against
their own mothers,
and daughters-in-law despise
their mothers-in-law.
Your family is now your enemy.
7But I trust the Lord God
to save me,
and I will wait for him
to answer my prayer.
The Nation Turns to God
8My enemies, don't be glad
because of my troubles!
I may have fallen,
but I will get up;
I may be sitting in the dark,
but the Lord is my light.
9I have sinned against the Lord.
And so I must endure his anger,
until he comes to my defense.
But I know that I will see him
making things right for me
and leading me to the light.
10You, my enemies, said,
“The Lord God is helpless.”
Now each of you
will be disgraced
and put to shame.
I will see you trampled
like mud in the street.
A Bright Future
11Towns of Judah, the day is coming
when your walls will be rebuilt,
and your boundaries enlarged.
12People will flock to you
from Assyria and Egypt,
from Babylonia#7.12 Babylonia: The Hebrew text has “the river,” meaning the Euphrates River, which stood for Babylonia.
and everywhere else.
13Those nations will suffer disaster
because of what they did.
Micah's Prayer and the Lord's Answer
14Lead your people, Lord!
Come and be our shepherd.
Grasslands surround us,
but we live in a forest.
So lead us to Bashan and Gilead,#7.14 Bashan and Gilead: Two regions east of the Jordan River, known for their fertile pasturelands.
and let us find pasture
as we did long ago.
15I, the Lord, will work miracles
just as I did when I led you
out of Egypt.
16Nations will see this
and be ashamed because
of their helpless armies.
They will be in shock,
unable to speak or hear,
17because of their fear of me,
your Lord and God.
Then they will come trembling,
crawling out of their fortresses
like insects or snakes,
lapping up the dust.
No One Is Like God
The people said:
18Our God, no one is like you.
We are all that is left
of your chosen people,
and you freely forgive
our sin and guilt.
You don't stay angry forever;
you're glad to have pity
19and pleased to be merciful.
You will trample on our sins
and throw them in the sea.
20You will keep your word
and be faithful to Jacob
and to Abraham,
as you promised our ancestors
many years ago.
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