1 Keeping the Law is worth many offerings; it is a fellowship offering in itself. 2 Returning a kindness is like a grain offering; giving to the poor is like a thanksgiving offering. 3 Keeping away from sin will please the Lord and make atonement for sin. 4 But don't come to the Temple without an offering; 5 the Law requires that you bring one. 6 When someone righteous offers a sacrifice and the fat drips down on the altar, a pleasant smell rises to the Most High. 7 The Lord will accept the offerings made by a righteous person and will not forget them. 8 Praise the Lord by making generous offerings to him; don't be stingy with the first of your crops. 9 Be cheerful with every gift you make, and when you pay your tithes, do it gladly. 10 Give to the Most High as he has given to you, just as generously as you can. 11 The Lord always repays and will do it many times over. 12 But don't try to bribe him or rely on offerings that you have obtained dishonestly. He will not accept them.
God's Justice
The Lord is fair and does not show partiality. 13 He is not prejudiced against the poor; when someone prays who has been wronged, the Lord listens. 14 When orphans and widows pour out their prayers, he does not ignore them. 15 The tears running down a widow's cheek cry out in accusation against the one who has caused her distress.
16 Serve the Lord willingly, and the Lord will accept you; your prayers will reach the skies. 17 The prayer of a humble person goes past the clouds and keeps on going until it reaches the Lord Most High, where it stays until he answers by seeing that justice is done and that the guilty are punished.
18 And the Lord will act quickly. He will show no patience with wicked people. He will take vengeance by crushing the heathen. He will completely wipe out the merciless and the arrogant, and will destroy the authority of the wicked. 19 He will give each of us what our thoughts and actions deserve. Because of the Lord's mercy, his people will be happy when he has judged their case. 20 In times of trouble his mercy is as welcome as rain after a long drought.