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Listen to what the Lord is saying to his people:

“Stand up and state your case against me. Let the mountains and hills be called to witness your complaint.

“And now, O mountains, listen to the Lord’s complaint! For he has a case against his people Israel! He will prosecute them to the full. O my people, what have I done that makes you turn away from me? Tell me why your patience is exhausted! Answer me! For I brought you out of Egypt and cut your chains of slavery. I gave you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to help you.

“Don’t you remember, O my people, how Balak, king of Moab, tried to destroy you through the curse of Balaam, son of Beor, but I made him bless you instead? That is the kindness I showed you again and again. Have you no memory at all of what happened at Acacia and Gilgal and how I blessed you there?”

“How can we make up to you for what we’ve done?” you ask. “Shall we bow before the Lord with offerings of yearling calves?”

Oh no! For if you offered him thousands of rams and ten thousands of rivers of olive oil—would that please him? Would he be satisfied? If you sacrificed your oldest child, would that make him glad? Then would he forgive your sins? Of course not!

No, he has told you what he wants, and this is all it is: to be fair, just, merciful, and to walk humbly with your God.

The Lord’s voice calls out to all Jerusalem—listen to the Lord if you are wise! “The armies of destruction are coming; the Lord is sending them. 10 For your sins are very great—is there to be no end of getting rich by cheating? The homes of the wicked are full of ungodly treasures and lying scales. 11 Shall I say ‘Good!’ to all your merchants with their bags of false, deceitful weights? How could God be just while saying that? 12 Your rich men are wealthy through extortion and violence; your citizens are so used to lying that their tongues can’t tell the truth!

13 “Therefore I will wound you! I will make your hearts miserable for all your sins. 14 You will eat but never have enough; hunger pangs and emptiness will still remain. And though you try and try to save your money, it will come to nothing at the end, and what little you succeed in storing up I’ll give to those who conquer you![a] 15 You will plant crops but not harvest them; you will press out the oil from the olives and not get enough to anoint yourself! You will trample the grapes but get no juice to make your wine.

16 “The only commands you keep are those of Omri; the only example you follow is that of Ahab! Therefore, I will make an awesome example of you—I will destroy you. I will make you the laughingstock of the world; all who see you will snicker and sneer!”


  1. Micah 6:14 See Haggai 1:6.

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