God has a quarrel with Israel's people
‘Stand up! Explain in front of the mountains what I want to say.
Speak loud so that the hills can hear your voice.
Hear this, you strong places that have always been there deep in the earth.
The Lord has a quarrel with Israel's people.
Hear the reasons why the Lord is angry with you, his people.’
‘How have I made you tired of me?
You were slaves in that country,
but I made you free people.
I sent Moses to lead you,
and Aaron and Miriam with him.
And remember what Balaam, Beor's son, answered him.
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal.
Then you will remember that I, the Lord, do good things.’
What God wants from his people
‘I must know what to bring when I come.
I bend down to
I must know what to offer when I bend down.
He is God and he is greater than everything.
Perhaps he would like it if I burn young cows one year old for him.
or ten thousand rivers of
I have not obeyed God.
I might even kill and burn my oldest son, because of that.
I have done wrong things and I must pay God for that.
Perhaps, if I give my own child to him, that will be enough to pay.’
‘You must be fair to other people,’ God says.
‘You must want to be kind.
And you must be careful to do what I show you.’
God will punish people that are not honest
So it is good for us to listen carefully to what he says.
‘Listen to me, because I have the authority to
I will not forget this.
You bad people use false weights to measure the food that you sell.
You are not being honest if you weigh things like that.
Everyone there says things that are not true.
All of them speak false words.
I have begun to destroy you because you have done bad things.
You will store things and you will try to keep them safe.
But you will fail to save them.
I will cause enemies to destroy all your things in the war.
but you will not bring in the
but you will not use the olive oil for yourselves.
You will crush
but you will not drink the
You have done what King Ahab and all his people did.
You have copied their
So I must destroy you and all your things completely.
Then people from other countries will not be kind or polite to you.
Instead, they will make you ashamed.’