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Justice Will Rule

32 A king and his leaders
    will rule with justice.
They will be a place of safety
    from stormy winds,
a stream in the desert,
and a rock that gives shade
    from the heat of the sun.
Then everyone who has eyes
    will open them and see,
and those who have ears
    will pay attention.
All who are impatient
    will take time to think;
everyone who stutters
    will talk clearly.

Fools will no longer
    be highly respected,
and crooks won’t be given
    positions of honor.
Fools talk foolishness.
They always make plans
    to do sinful things,
    to lie about the Lord,
    to let the hungry starve,
and to keep water
from those
    who are thirsty.
Cruel people tell lies—
they do evil things,
    and make cruel plans
to destroy the poor and needy,
even when they beg
    for justice.
But helpful people
can always be trusted
    to make helpful plans.

Punishment for the Women of Jerusalem

Listen to what I say,
you women
who are carefree
    and careless!
10 You may not have worries now,
    but in about a year,
the grape harvest will fail,
    and you will tremble.

11 Shake and shudder,
    you women without a care!
Strip off your clothes—
    put on sackcloth.
12 Slap your breasts in sorrow
    because of what happened
to the fruitful fields
    and vineyards,
13 and to the happy homes
    in Jerusalem.
The land of my people
    is covered with thorns.

14 The palace will be deserted,
    the crowded city empty.
Fortresses and towers
    will forever become
playgrounds for wild donkeys
    and pastures for sheep.

God’s Spirit Makes the Difference

15 When the Spirit is given to us
    from heaven,
deserts will become orchards
    thick as fertile forests.
16 Honesty and justice
    will prosper there,
17 and justice will produce
    lasting peace and security.

18 You, the Lord’s people,
will live in peace,
    calm and secure,
19 even if hailstones
flatten
    forests and cities.
20 You will have God’s blessing,
as you plant your crops
    beside streams,
while your donkeys and cattle
    roam freely about.

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