Listen now, listen to God: "Take your stand in court. If you have a complaint, tell the mountains; make your case to the hills.
And now, Mountains, hear God's case; listen, Jury Earth - For I am bringing charges against my people. I am building a case against Israel.
"Dear people, how have I done you wrong? Have I burdened you, worn you out? Answer!
I delivered you from a bad life in Egypt; I paid a good price to get you out of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you - and Aaron and Miriam to boot!
Remember what Balak king of Moab tried to pull, 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."
How can I stand up before God and show proper respect to the high God? Should I bring an armload of offerings topped off with yearling calves?
Would God be impressed with thousands of rams, with buckets and barrels of olive oil? Would he be moved if I sacrificed my firstborn child, my precious baby, to cancel my sin?
But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do, 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.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)