1 1God’s Message as it came to Micah of Moresheth. It came during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. It had to do with what was going on in Samaria and Jerusalem. God Takes the Witness Stand 2Listen, people—all of you. Listen, earth, and everyone in it: The Master, God, takes the witness stand against you, the Master from his Holy Temple. 3Look, here he comes! God, from his place! He comes down and strides across mountains and hills. 4Mountains sink under his feet, valleys split apart; The rock mountains crumble into gravel, the river valleys leak like sieves. 5All this because of Jacob’s sin, because Israel’s family did wrong. You ask, “So what is Jacob’s sin?” Just look at Samaria—isn’t it obvious? And all the sex–and–religion shrines in Judah— isn’t Jerusalem responsible? 6“I’m turning Samaria into a heap of rubble, a vacant lot littered with garbage. I’ll dump the stones from her buildings in the valley and leave her abandoned foundations exposed. 7All her carved and cast gods and goddesses will be sold for stove wood and scrap metal, All her sacred fertility groves burned to the ground, All the sticks and stones she worshiped as gods, destroyed. These were her earnings from her life as a whore. This is what happens to the fees of a whore.” 8This is why I lament and mourn. This is why I go around in rags and barefoot. This is why I howl like a pack of coyotes, and moan like a mournful owl in the night. 9God has inflicted punishing wounds; Judah has been wounded with no healing in sight. Judgment has marched through the city gates. Jerusalem must face the charges. 10Don’t gossip about this in Telltown. Don’t waste your tears. In Dustville, roll in the dust. 11In Alarmtown, the alarm is sounded. The citizens of Exitburgh will never get out alive. Lament, Last–Stand City: There’s nothing in you left standing. 12The villagers of Bittertown wait in vain for sweet peace. Harsh judgment has come from God and entered Peace City. 13All you who live in Chariotville, get in your chariots for flight. You led the daughter of Zion into trusting not God but chariots. Similar sins in Israel also got their start in you. 14Go ahead and give your good–bye gifts to Good–byeville. Miragetown beckoned but disappointed Israel’s kings. 15Inheritance City has lost its inheritance. Glorytown has seen its last of glory. 16Shave your heads in mourning over the loss of your precious towns. Go bald as a goose egg—they’ve gone into exile and aren’t coming back.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About