Prophets Feature Sampler - Flipbook - Page 21
“The arrogance of Israel testifies against her;
Israel and Ephraim will stumble under their load of guilt.
Judah, too, will fall with them.
When they come with their flocks and herds
to offer sacrifices to the Lord,
they will not find him,
because he has withdrawn from them.
They have betrayed the honor of the Lord,
bearing children that are not his.
Now their false religion will devour them
along with their wealth.
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces;
now he will heal us.
He has injured us;
now he will bandage our wounds.
In just a short time he will restore us,
so that we may live in his presence.
Oh, that we might know the Lord!
Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
or the coming of rains in early spring.”
“Sound the alarm in Gibeah!
Blow the trumpet in Ramah!
Raise the battle cry in Bethaven!
Lead on into battle, O warriors of Benjamin!
One thing is certain, Israel:
On your day of punishment,
you will become a heap of rubble.
“O Israel and Judah,
what should I do with you?” asks the Lord.
“For your love vanishes like the morning mist
and disappears like dew in the sunlight.
I sent my prophets to cut you to pieces—
to slaughter you with my words,
with judgments as inescapable as light.
I want you to show love,
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me
more than I want burnt offerings.
The leaders of Judah have become like thieves.
So I will pour my anger on them like a waterfall.
“The people of Israel will be crushed and broken by my
because they are determined to worship idols.
I will destroy Israel as a moth consumes wool.
I will make Judah as weak as rotten wood.
“When Israel and Judah saw how sick they were,
Israel turned to Assyria—
to the great king there—
but he could neither help nor cure them.
I will be like a lion to Israel,
like a strong young lion to Judah.
I will tear them to pieces!
I will carry them off,
and no one will be left to rescue them.
Then I will return to my place
until they admit their guilt and turn to me.
For as soon as trouble comes,
they will earnestly search for me.”
“But like Adam, you broke my covenant
and betrayed my trust.
Gilead is a city of sinners,
tracked with footprints of blood.
Priests form bands of robbers,
waiting in ambush for their victims.
They murder travelers along the road to Shechem
and practice every kind of sin.
Yes, I have seen something horrible in Ephraim and Israel:
My people are defiled by prostituting themselves with
“O Judah, a harvest of punishment is also waiting for you,
though I wanted to restore the fortunes of my people.
I want to heal Israel, but its sins are too great.
Samaria is filled with liars.
Thieves are on the inside
and bandits on the outside!