The special day of the Lord
18 You want the special day of the Lord to come. But it will be very bad for you! You think that God will punish your enemies on that day. But that day will not bring light to you, it will bring darkness. 19 Nobody will escape! It will be like a man who runs away from a lion, but then he meets a bear! When he goes into his house to be safe, he puts his hand on a wall and a snake bites him!
20 Know this: The day of the Lord will be dark, not light. It will bring trouble, not joy.
21 The Lord says, ‘When you have your festivals, I hate them! When you meet to worship me, it does not make me happy! 22 When you bring burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, they do not please me. I will not accept your friendship offerings of fat animals. 23 When you sing songs to worship me, I will not listen. They are just noise! I do not want to hear the music of your harps.
24 What I do want to see is justice! I want to see that you always do what is right. Those good things should never stop, like a river that always runs with water.
25 You people of Israel's family, listen to me! I led you through the wilderness for 40 years. During that time, did you worship me with sacrifices and offerings? No!
26 Instead, you have idols that you have made for yourselves. You have the idol of Sakkuth, your king. You have the idol of Kaiwan, your star god. Now you will have to carry them with you. 27 I will send you away as prisoners. Your enemies will take you beyond Damascus.’
That is what the Lord says, and he is God Almighty.