1–2 6 Listen now, listen to God:
“Take your stand in court.
If you have a complaint, tell the mountains;
make your case to the hills.
listen, Jury Earth—
For I am bringing charges against my people.
I am building a case against Israel.
Have I burdened you, worn you out? Answer!
I paid a good price to get you out of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you—
and Aaron and Miriam to boot!
and how Balaam son of Beor turned the tables on him.
Remember all those stories about Shittim and Gilgal.
Keep all God’s salvation stories fresh and present.”
and show proper respect to the high God?
Should I bring an armload of offerings
topped off with yearling calves?
with buckets and barrels of olive oil?
Would he be moved if I sacrificed my firstborn child,
my precious baby, to cancel my sin?
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.
If you know what’s good for you, you’ll listen.
So listen, all of you!
This is serious business.
you’ve piled up by cheating and fraud?
and shifty scheming?
bullying their way with bluffs and lies.
You’ll pay for your sins down to your last cent.
hollow stomachs, empty hearts.
No matter how hard you work, you’ll have nothing to show for it—
bankrupt lives, wasted souls.
but never get a lawn.
You’ll make jelly
but never spread it on your bread.
You’ll press apples
but never drink the cider.
the decadent lifestyle of the family of Ahab.
Because you’ve slavishly followed their fashions,
I’m forcing you into bankruptcy.
Your way of life will be laughed at, a tasteless joke.
Your lives will be derided as futile and fake.”
About The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language
Many people assume that a book about a holy God should sound elevated, stately, and ceremonial. If this is how you’ve always viewed the Bible, you’re about to make a surprising discovery. The Message brings the life-changing power of the New Testament, the vibrant passion of the Psalms, and the rich, practical wisdom of Proverbs into easy-to-read modern language that echoes the rhythm and idioms of the original Greek and Hebrew. Written in the same kind of language you’d use to talk with friends, write a letter, or discuss politics, The Message preserves the authentic, earthy flavor and the expressive character of the Bible’s best-loved books. Whether you’ve been reading the Bible for years or are exploring it for the first time, The Message will startle and surprise you. And it will allow you to experience firsthand the same power and directness that motivated its original readers to change the course of history so many centuries ago.
Copyright 2005 Eugene H. Peterson.
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