1 The word of the Lord came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, and Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, concerning what he saw as it relates to Samaria and Jerusalem.
Judgment against Israel and Judah
2 Hear these words, O people! Give heed, O earth, and all that is in it. For the Lord God shall be among you for a witness against you, the Lord from His holy house. 3 For behold, the Lord is coming out of His place. He will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. 4 The mountains will shake under Him, and the valleys will melt like wax before the fire, like water pouring down a steep incline. 5 All of this is for the transgression of Jacob and the sin of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what is the sin of the house of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?
6 “I will make Samaria become as a shed in the field and a vineyard for planting, and I will tear down her stones in confusion and expose her foundations. 7 And they shall cut all of her carved images into pieces and burn down all her houses of prostitution with fire. And I shall utterly destroy all her idols, for she gathers from the price of prostitution and has accumulated from the price of a harlot.”
8 On account of this she will wail and lament. She will walk barefoot and naked, beating her breast in mourning as a serpent, and mourn as the daughters of Sirens. 9 For her calamity overwhelms her, for it has come to Judah, as far as to the gate of My people—to Jerusalem. 10 Those of Gath, do not exalt yourselves, and those of the house of Aphrah, do not rebuild your house from laughter; sprinkle dust on your laughter. 11 The one living in Shaphir, dwelling comfortably in her cities, did not come to mourn her neighbor; she will receive a calamity of grief from you.
12 Who has begun to do good for her who dwells in distress? For evils have come down from the Lord upon the gates of Jerusalem, 13 even the sound of a chariot and horseman. Those dwelling in Lachish—she was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion—for in you were found the transgressions of Israel. 14 Because of this He will cause men to be sent forth as far as the inheritance of Gath, vain houses, for they have become vanity to the kings of Israel, 15 until they bring the heirs to you, O inhabitants of Lachish; the inheritance shall come as far as Adullam, even the glory of the daughter of Israel. 16 Shave your hair and make your head bald as an eagle for the sake of your precious children; increase your widowhood, for they have been taken captive.
The Sins of Judah
1 They devised wickedness and were scheming evil on their beds, and at daybreak they put their plan into action, for they did not lift up their hands to God. 2 They coveted fields and plundered orphans; they oppressed families and plundered a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. 3 Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am devising evils against this tribe from which you shall not lift up your neck, nor will you suddenly walk upright, for this is a time of evil. 4 In that day a parable shall be taken up against you, and a dirge will be wailed, saying, ‘In misery we have suffered hardship. The portion of my people has been measured out with a measuring line, and there was no one who was able to stop Him. Our fields have been divided among them.’ 5 Therefore there will be no one to put out a measuring line for a lot for you in the assembly of the Lord.
6 “Do not shed tears, nor even weep over these things; for He will not dismiss the reproaches 7 who says, ‘The house of Jacob has provoked the Spirit of the Lord; are these not His practices? Are not His words good with Him, and have they not proceeded as predicted? 8 And previously, for enmity my people resisted against His peace. They flayed his skin to remove hope in the ravages of war. 9 Therefore those leading my people will be cast out of their luxurious homes; they have been driven out because of their wicked practices. Draw near to the everlasting mountains.’ ”
10 Arise and depart, for this is not a final resting place for you on account of uncleanness; you have been utterly destroyed by corruption. 11 You were pursued by no one pursuing! You pursued a spirit built on a falsehood; it drips on you, into the wine and the intoxicating drink, and by reason of the drop of this people, it shall happen.
12 “Jacob will be completely gathered together with all of them. I shall wait, expecting the remnant of Israel. By him, I will cause their return as sheep in trouble, as a flock in the midst of their fold. From the breach made before them, they will rush out from among their captors. 13 They will break through the gate of captivity, and their king comes out before their presence. And the Lord shall lead them.”
Rulers and False Prophets Judged
1 He will say, “Hear these things, O heads of the house of Jacob, and you remnant of Israel. Is it not for you to know judgment? 2 you who hate good and love evil; you who seize their skins in order flay them and cut their flesh off their bones? 3 who devoured the flesh of my people by removing their skin, breaking their bones, and dividing them as merely flesh for the cauldron and as meat for the pot?”
4 Thus they will cry out to the Lord, but He will not hear them. Instead, He will turn His face from them at that time because they have done wickedly in their deeds against themselves.
5 Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who were proclaiming peace upon them while they themselves ate, but who, when nothing was put in their mouths, stirred up war against them: 6 “Therefore to you there will be darkness instead of vision, and to you there will be darkness instead of prophecy. For the sun will set on the prophets, and the day shall become very dark on them. 7 And the seers of dreams will be put to shame, and the prophets will be laughed to scorn. And all the people will speak evil of them, because there will be no one heeding them.”
8 Surely I shall strengthen myself in the Spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of power, to proclaim to Jacob his ungodliness and to Israel his sins. 9 Indeed, hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob and the remnant of the house of Israel, you who despise judgment and are perverting everything that is upright, 10 who build up Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with injustice. 11 Her leaders make decisions founded on a bribe, and her priests give answers for pay, and her prophets prophesy for money. And they lean on the Lord, saying, “Is not the Lord with us? No harm can come upon us.” 12 Therefore on account of you, Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall be as a shed in the field, and the mountain of the house as a grove of trees.
The Lord Shall Reign
1 And it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord will be revealed. It will be raised up on the top of the mountains, and it will be exalted far above the hills, and peoples will hasten to it. 2 And many nations will go there and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. They will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 3 And He will judge between many peoples and rebuke strong nations afar off. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into sickles. Nation shall no more lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. 4 But everyone shall be at rest under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord Almighty has spoken these things. 5 For all the peoples shall walk each one his own way, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.
6 “In that day,” says the Lord, “I shall gather her who has been broken, and I will welcome her who has been exiled, even those whom I have rejected. 7 And I shall make her who has been broken into a remnant, and her that was rejected into a strong nation. So the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion henceforth and forever. 8 And you, O daughter of Zion, dark tower of the flock, on you it will come and enter in, even the former kingdom of Babylon to the daughter of Jerusalem.”
9 And now, why have you experienced such evils? Was there no king in your midst? Or did your counsel perish? For your birth pangs have seized you as one in labor. 10 Suffer birth pains and take courage, O daughter of Zion, and draw near like a woman giving birth; for now you will be exiled from the city, and you will abide in the flat open country, and you will have come as far off as Babylon; and from that place the Lord your God shall redeem you from the hand of your enemies.
11 Now many nations have gathered against you, saying, “We will rejoice, and our eyes will gaze upon Zion.” 12 But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord nor perceive His counsel, for He gathered them like sheaves for the threshing floor.
13 “Arise and thresh them, O daughter of Zion, for I shall make your horns iron, and I will make your hooves bronze. And you will cause the nations to melt away, and you will winnow many peoples. You will dedicate their abundance to the Lord and their strength to the Lord of all the earth. 14 Now the daughter of Ephraim will be blockaded by a siege wall; for he ordered affliction against us, and they shall smite the tribes of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.”
39 But You pushed him away and scorned him;
You rejected Your anointed;
40 You overturned the covenant of Your servant;
You profaned his sanctuary to the ground.
41 You pulled down all his walls;
You put cowardice in his stronghold;
42 All who traveled through there robbed him;
He was a disgrace to his neighbors.
43 You exalted the right hand of his enemies;
You delighted all his adversaries;
44 You turned away Your help from his sword,
And did not support him in his war.
45 You deprived him of purification;
You broke his throne to pieces on the ground;
46 You shortened the days of his time;
You poured down shame upon him.
47 How long, O Lord: will You turn away to the end?
Will Your wrath always burn like fire?
48 Let my substance be remembered, as to what sort it is,
For did You create all the sons of men in vain?
49 What kind of man is there who will live and not see death?
Will he deliver his soul from the hand of Hades?
50 Where, O Lord, are Your mercies of old,
Which in Your truth You swore to David?
51 Remember, O Lord, the reproach of Your servants I bore in my bosom,
The reproach of many nations,
52 Wherewith Your enemies scorned, O Lord,
Wherewith they scorned the change of Your anointed.
53 Blessed is the Lord forever.
7 He who does many evil things perfects wickedness,
And he who provokes with words,
He shall not be saved.
8 He who gains discernment loves himself,
And he who guards discernment will find good things.
9 A false witness shall not be unpunished,
And he who kindles evil will perish by it.
10 Luxury is not profitable for a man without discernment,
And it is not good if a servant begins to rule with arrogance.
11 A merciful man is longsuffering,
And his boast goes against the lawless.
12 The anger of a king is like the roar of a lion,
But as dew upon the grass, thus is his grace.
1 Thessalonians 3
1 Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone,
2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith,
3 that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.
4 For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.
5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.
Encouraged by Timothy
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you—
7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith.
8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.
9 For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God,
10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?
Prayer for the Church
11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you.
12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.