The Lord's Challenge to His People
1 The Lord said to his people:
Come and present your case
to the hills and mountains.
2 Israel, I am bringing charges
against you—
I call upon the mountains
and the earth's firm foundation
to be my witnesses.

3 My people, have I wronged you
in any way at all?
Please tell me.
4 I rescued you from Egypt,
where you were slaves.
I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam
to be your leaders.
5 Don't forget the evil plans
of King Balak of Moab
or what Balaam son of Beor
said to him.
Remember how I, the Lord,
saved you many times
on your way from Acacia
to Gilgal.
True Obedience
6 What offering should I bring
when I bow down to worship
the Lord God Most High?
Should I try to please him
by sacrificing
calves a year old?
7 Will thousands of sheep
or rivers of olive oil
make God satisfied with me?
Should I sacrifice to the Lord
my first-born child as payment
for my terrible sins?
8 The Lord God has told us
what is right
and what he demands:
“See that justice is done,
let mercy be your first concern,
and humbly obey your God.”
Cheating and Violence
9 I am the Lord,
and you are wise to respect
my power to punish.
So listen to my message
for the city of Jerusalem:
10 You store up stolen treasures
and use dishonest scales.
11 But I, the Lord, will punish you
for cheating with weights
and with measures.
12 You rich people are violent,
and everyone tells lies.

13 Because of your sins,
I will wound you and leave you
ruined and defenseless.
14 You will eat,
but still be hungry;
you will store up goods,
but lose everything—
I, the Lord, will let it all
be captured in war.
15 You won't harvest what you plant
or use the oil
from your olive trees
or drink the wine
from grapes you grow.

16 Jerusalem, this will happen
because you followed
the sinful example
of kings Omri and Ahab.
Now I will destroy you
and your property.
Then the people of every nation
will make fun and insult you.