The Fate of Those Who Oppress the Poor
1How terrible it will be for those who lie awake and plan evil! When morning comes, as soon as they have the chance, they do the evil they planned. 2When they want fields, they seize them; when they want houses, they take them. No one's family or property is safe.
3And so the Lord says, “I am planning to bring disaster on you, and you will not be able to escape it. You are going to find yourselves in trouble, and then you will not walk so proudly any more. 4When that time comes, people will use the story about you as an example of disaster, and they will sing this song of despair about your experience:
We are completely ruined!
The Lord has taken our land away
And given it to those who took us captive.”
5So then, when the time comes for the land to be given back to the Lord's people, there will be no share for any of you.
6The people preach at me and say, “Don't preach at us. Don't preach about all that. God is not going to disgrace us. 7Do you think the people of Israel are under a curse? Has the Lord lost his patience? Would he really do such things? Doesn't he speak kindly to those who do right?”
8The Lord replies, “You attack my people like enemies. Men return from battle, thinking they are safe at home, but there you are, waiting to steal the coats off their backs. 9You drive the women of my people out of the homes they love, and you have robbed their children of my blessings forever. 10Get up and go; there is no safety here any more. Your sins have doomed this place to destruction.
11“These people want the kind of prophet who goes around full of lies and deceit and says, ‘I prophesy that wine and liquor will flow for you.’
12“But I will gather you together, all you people of Israel that are left. I will bring you together like sheep returning to the fold. Like a pasture full of sheep, your land will once again be filled with many people.”
13God will open the way for them and lead them out of exile. They will break out of the city gates and go free. Their king, the Lord himself, will lead them out.