The God of gods, the Lord, speaks. He calls the earth from the rising to the setting sun.
God shines from Jerusalem, whose beauty is perfect.
Our God comes, and he will not be silent. A fire burns in front of him, and a powerful storm surrounds him.
He calls to the sky above and to the earth that he might judge his people.
He says, "Gather around, you who worship me, who have made an agreement with me, using a sacrifice."
God is the judge, and even the skies say he is right. Selah
God says, "My people, listen to me; Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God.
I do not scold you for your sacrifices. You always bring me your burnt offerings.
But I do not need bulls from your stalls or goats from your pens,
because every animal of the forest is already mine. The cattle on a thousand hills are mine.
I know every bird on the mountains, and every living thing in the fields is mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you, because the earth and everything in it are mine.
I don't eat the meat of bulls or drink the blood of goats.
Give an offering to show thanks to God. Give God Most High what you have promised.
Call to me in times of trouble. I will save you, and you will honor me."
But God says to the wicked, "Why do you talk about my laws? Why do you mention my agreement?
You hate my teachings and turn your back on what I say.
When you see a thief, you join him. You take part in adultery.
You don't stop your mouth from speaking evil, and your tongue makes up lies.
You speak against your brother and lie about your mother's son.
I have kept quiet while you did these things, so you thought I was just like you. But I will scold you and accuse you to your face.
"Think about this, you who forget God. Otherwise, I will tear you apart, and no one will save you.
Those people honor me who bring me offerings to show thanks. And I, God, will save those who do that."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.