1Now hear what the Lord says: Tell your side of the story to the mountains. Let the hills hear your story. 2The Lord has a complaint against his people. Mountains, listen to the Lord’s complaint. Foundations of the earth, hear the Lord. He will prove that Israel is wrong! 3˻The Lord says˼, ”My people, tell me what I did! Did I do something wrong against you? Did I make life too hard for you? 4˻I will tell you the things I did!˼ I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to you. I brought you from the land of Egypt. I freed you from slavery. 5My people, remember the ˻evil˼ plans of Balak king of Moab. Remember what Balaam son of Beor said to Balak. Remember the things that happened from Acacia to Gilgal. Remember those things and you will know the Lord is right!” 6What must I bring when I come to meet with the Lord? What must I do when I bow down to God above? Should I come to the Lord with burnt offerings and a year-old calf? 7Will the Lord be pleased with 1,000 rams or 10,000 rivers of oil? Should I give my first child as payment for my crimes? Should I give the child that came from my body as payment for my sins? 8Man, the Lord told you what goodness is. This is what the Lord wants from you: Be fair to other people. Love kindness and loyalty. Live humbly with your God. ˻Don’t try to impress him with gifts.˼ 9The voice of the Lord shouts to the city. A wise person honors the Lord’s name. So pay attention to the punishing rod. and to the One who holds that rod! 10Do the bad people still hide treasures that they have stolen? Do bad people still cheat people with baskets that are too small? ˻Yes! All of those things are still happening!˼ 11Should I pardon the bad people who still use weights and scales to cheat people? Should I pardon the people who still have bags with weights that give the wrong measure? ˻No!˼ 12Rich people in that city are still cruel! The people in that city still tell lies. Yes, those people tell their lies! 13So I have started to punish you. I will destroy you because of your sins. 14You will eat, but you will not become full. You will still be hungry and empty. You will try to bring people in to safety. But people with swords will kill the people you rescued! 15You will plant your seeds, but you will not gather food. You will try to squeeze oil from your olives, but you will not get any oil. You will crush your grapes, but you will not get enough juice to have wine to drink. 16Why? Because you obey the laws of Omri. You do all the ˻bad˼ things that Ahab’s family does. You follow their teachings. So I will let you be destroyed. People will whistle in amazement when they see your destroyed city. Then you will bear the shame that the other nations bring to you.