1 Why are you far away, LORD? Why do you hide yourself when I am in trouble?
2 Proud and brutal people hunt down the poor. But let them get caught by their own evil plans!
3 The wicked brag about their deepest desires. Those greedy people hate and curse you, LORD.
4 The wicked are too proud to turn to you or even think about you.
5 They are always successful, though they can't understand your teachings, and they keep sneering at their enemies.
6 In their hearts they say, "Nothing can hurt us! We'll always be happy and free from trouble."
7 They curse and tell lies, and all they talk about is how to be cruel or how to do wrong.
8 They hide outside villages, waiting to strike and murder some innocent victim.
9 They are hungry lions hiding in the bushes, hoping to catch some helpless passerby. They trap the poor in nets and drag them away.
10 They crouch down and wait to grab a victim.
11 They say, "God can't see! He's got on a blindfold."
12 Do something, LORD God, and use your powerful arm to help those in need.
13 The wicked don't respect you. In their hearts they say, "God won't punish us!"
14 But you see the trouble and the distress, and you will do something. The poor can count on you, and so can orphans.
15 Now break the arms of all merciless people. Punish them for doing wrong and make them stop.
16 Our LORD, you will always rule, but nations will vanish from the earth.
17 You listen to the longings of those who suffer. You offer them hope, and you pay attention to their cries for help.
18 You defend orphans and everyone else in need, so that no one on earth can terrify others again.
The Contemporary English Version c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Amos: Hypertext Bible Commentary