Listen to this message that the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel and Judah -- the entire family I rescued from Egypt:
"From among all the families on the earth, I chose you alone. That is why I must punish you for all your sins."
Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?
Does a lion ever roar in a thicket without first finding a victim? Does a young lion growl in its den without first catching its prey?
Does a bird ever get caught in a trap that has no bait? Does a trap ever spring shut when there's nothing there to catch?
When the war trumpet blares, shouldn't the people be alarmed? When disaster comes to a city, isn't it because the LORD planned it?
"But always, first of all, I warn you through my servants the prophets. I, the Sovereign LORD, have now done this."
The lion has roared -- tremble in fear! The Sovereign LORD has spoken -- I dare not refuse to proclaim his message!
Announce this to the leaders of Philistia a and Egypt: "Take your seats now on the hills around Samaria, and witness the scandalous spectacle of all Israel's crimes."
"My people have forgotten what it means to do right," says the LORD. "Their fortresses are filled with wealth taken by theft and violence.
Therefore," says the Sovereign LORD, "an enemy is coming! He will surround them and shatter their defenses. Then he will plunder all their fortresses."
This is what the LORD says: "A shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion's mouth will recover only two legs and a piece of ear. So it will be when the Israelites in Samaria are rescued with only a broken chair and a tattered pillow.
Now listen to this, and announce it throughout all Israel, b " says the Lord, the LORD God Almighty.
"On the very day I punish Israel for its sins, I will destroy the pagan altars at Bethel. The horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground.
And I will destroy the beautiful homes of the wealthy -- their winter mansions and their summer houses, too -- all their palaces filled with ivory. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)