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The Lord’s Case

Now hear what the Lord says:
    “Get up; plead your case in front of the mountains;
    let the hills hear your story.
Mountains, listen to the Lord’s legal case.
    Foundations of the earth, listen.
The Lord has a legal case against his people,
    and he will accuse Israel.”

He says, “My people, what did I do to you?
    How did I make you tired of me?
    Tell me.
I brought you from the land of Egypt
    and freed you from slavery;
    I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to you.
My people, remember
    the evil plans of Balak king of Moab
    and what Balaam son of Beor told Balak.
Remember what happened from Acacia to Gilgal
    so that you will know the Lord does what is right!”

You say, “What can I bring with me
    when I come before the Lord,
    when I bow before God on high?
Should I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with year-old calves?
Will the Lord be pleased with a thousand male sheep?
    Will he be pleased with ten thousand 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?”
The Lord has told you, human, what is good;
    he has told you what he wants from you:
to do what is right to other people,
    love being kind to others,
    and live humbly, obeying your God.

The voice of the Lord calls to the city,
    and the wise person honors him.
So pay attention to the rod of punishment;
    pay attention to the One who threatens to punish.
10 Are there still in the wicked house
    wicked treasures
    and the cursed false measure?
11 Can I forgive people who cheat others
    with wrong weights and scales?
12 The rich people of the city
    do cruel things.
Its people tell lies;
    they do not tell the truth.
13 As for me, I will make you sick.
    I will attack you, ruining you because of your sins.
14 You will eat, but you won’t become full;
    you will still be hungry and empty.
You will store up, but save nothing,
    and what you store up, the sword will destroy.
15 You will plant,
    but you won’t harvest.
You will step on your olives,
    but you won’t get any oil from them.
You will crush the grapes,
    but you will not drink the new wine.
16 This is because you obey the laws of King Omri
    and do all the things that Ahab’s family does;
    you follow their advice.
So I will let you be destroyed.
    The people in your city will be laughed at,
    and other nations will make fun of you.

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