God wants you to go tell it on the mountain. It wants to know what you have to say for yourself. Didn’t It rescue you from Egypt, like, a 1000 years ago? Didn’t It thwart Balak’s plan to have Balaam curse you? And yet you twiddle your thumbs and ask, what does God want me to do? God already told you! God cries out in exasperation, Do you really expect me to spare the cheaters and liars? The rich who oppress the poor? No longer! I’m down for some poetic justice, says God. You’ll sow and harvest, you’ll go hungry because you cheated on me!
Micah continued, Hey leaders and politicians, aren’t you supposed to practice justice? Yet you eat the poor! You take bribes! You lie! Jerusalem will pay!
Hey you prophets! Shouldn’t you tell the truth? Instead you lie and predict peace. You will all be disgraced.
Micah continued, Woe to people who plot wickedness, who are greedy and oppress and take the property of poor people. You’ll get your comeuppance! Everyone will taunt you!
You guys keep telling me to stop preaching, but should you really silence someone on a mission from God? Stop listening to the prosperity preachers. Those guys are liars. You better stop thinking this peace and prosperity will last. Doom is coming!
The last recorded message of Amos.
God showed Amos a basket of fruit and was all, Amos, what do you see?
Fruit, Amos answered.
Exactly, said God. The time is ripe for Israel’s punishment. All the sinners and oppressors of the poor will die bloody deaths. They will long for me, but I will ignore them!
(And so ends the words of Amos. Next the blessedly short Obadiah)
Amos said, God says to tell you that you’re fucked. It says, Israel’s troops will be decimated. If you seek allies, they will betray you. Your only hope is to turn to the star-maker, me, God. And I’m mad at you because you tax and oppress the poor while you live in luxury. I wish you would repent and stop doing evil. Then I might have mercy. But you won’t. So woe to you! Meeting my anger is like meeting a hungry lion in a dark canyon. I mean, I hate how you worship! All your religious ceremonies disgust me. I can’t stand your hypocritical frippery! You idol worship and betray me. For these reasons, those of you that I don’t kill will be sent into exile.
God told me to judge Jerusalem and to list all the reasons why It was angry and had decided to destroy the city. So I announced to everyone, Jerusalem has been condemned to doom and destruction for these reasons:
- The people worship idols, practice polytheism, and all around cheat on God.
- The rules are violent and corrupt and the religious leaders find excuses for all of their misdeeds.
- Many people openly despise their parents.
- People generally treat foreigners badly and they don’t take care of poor women and children and other needy people.
- They break the Sabbath and bastardize the rituals God prefers.
- People lie and slander in order to incite violence.
- Did I mention they cheat on God? It especially dislikes the fertility rituals people commonly perform.
- Sons sleep with their fathers’ wives and girlfriends.
- Men sleep with women on their periods and that really grosses God out.
- Men also sleep with their friends’ wives–some even rape their daughters-in-laws and sisters.
- There are hitmen and goons who commit violence for money.
- People there loan money at interest and generally make profits from their neighbors’ work.
For these reasons God has decided to destroy Jerusalem and kill or scatter its people.
Then Jeremiah went and stood outside of the palace and shouted, If you start making sure everyone follows God’s rules, It might yet spare you! But you have to stop oppressing and cheating poor people! You have to treat widows and orphans well–with charity and love! You can’t abuse and mistreat immigrants! And you have to stop killing the innocent. If you do these things, God will forgive you and spare the city! But you won’t, of course, and so everyone will die and the the city will be destroyed!
Here me, King Zedekiah! Your brother, King Jehohaz isn’t king anymore because he is a captive and will die one! And your brother, King Jehoiakim, who mourns him? Or his ill-fated son, who will also die a slave in a foreign land, childless and forgotten!
When Isaiah wasn’t prophesying disaster, he was praising God for causing disasters and destroying cities. He also praised God for offering solace to the poor and the oppressed–because one day, God would provide everyone with a bounteous feast and remove all sadness from every heart. And on that day everyone would praise God.
Isaiah was a prophet under four kings of Judah, Uzziah/Azariah, Jothan, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. So basically, he was that guy who stands on the street corner and yells at everyone passing by about how they’re going to hell and how the world is going to end for over 50 years. This is a collection of his prophecies.
Isaiah preached that God told him that Judah was doomed. Doomed! For the usual stuff–the people had forsaken It, etc. Isaiah would stand there and tell anyone who would listen, and the empty air, when no one would, that God was going to burn Judah with fire and then let foreigners come in and rule it.
This land is Sodom and Gomorrah, Isaiah would yell. You are such sinners that God no longer accepts your sacrifices! It turns Its nose up at the smell of the burning bull and goat, at your incense! Repent, ye sinners!
Jerusalem is a whore, open to all comers! Isaiah ranted. It’s filled with murders and rebels. Everyone is greedy and oppress the poor! God will punish the city. It will burn out the wicked and restore the city’s righteousness.
Job continued, Just look at the world! Look at it! Prove to me that the wicked are punished! I can give you 60 examples otherwise. Look at the rich who embezzle and cheat, who destroy the health and life of the poor, if it lines their own pockets. Are they punished? Look at the poor, who try to live good, humble lives. Are they rewarded? Do they even have enough food? Decent clothes? Murderers go free. Cheaters flaunt their mistresses. No vengeance from God comes! They die of old age in the arms of their loved ones and their crimes are forgotten!