How horrible it will be for you, you destroyer, although you haven’t been destroyed. How horrible it will be for you, you traitor, although you haven’t been betrayed. When you’ve finished destroying, you will be destroyed. When you’ve finished being a traitor, you will be betrayed.
2 O Lord, have pity on us. We wait with hope for you. Be our strength in the morning. Yes, be our savior in times of trouble. 3 People flee from the noise of your army. Nations scatter when you attack. 4 You nations, your loot is gathered as grasshoppers harvest a crop. Like swarming locusts, people rush for your loot.
5 The Lord is honored because he lives on high. He will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. 6 He will be the foundation of your future. The riches of salvation are wisdom and knowledge. The fear of the Lord is your treasure.
7 Heroes cry in the streets. Messengers of peace cry bitterly. 8 Highways are deserted. Travelers stop traveling. Agreements are broken. Witnesses[a] are rejected. People are no longer respected. 9 The country grieves and wastes away. Lebanon is ashamed and is decaying. Sharon has become like a wilderness. Bashan and Carmel are shaken.
10 The Lord says, “Now I will arise. Now I will get up. Now I will be lifted up.” 11 You will be pregnant with hay. You will give birth to straw. Your breath will be a fire which will burn you up. 12 People will be cremated. They will be set on fire like dry thornbushes.
13 Hear what I have done, you people who are far away! Acknowledge my might, you people who are near! 14 The sinners in Zion are terrified. Trembling seizes the ungodly. Can any of us live through a fire that destroys? Can any of us live through a fire that burns forever? 15 The person who does what is right and speaks the truth will live. He rejects getting rich by extortion and refuses to take bribes. He refuses to listen to those who are plotting murders. He doesn’t look for evil things to do. 16 This person will live on high. His stronghold will be a fortress made of rock. He will have plenty of food and a dependable supply of water.
17 Your eyes will see how handsome the king is. You will see a land that stretches into the distance. 18 Your mind will be thinking of the terrors in the past. Where are the scribes? Where are the tax collectors? Where are those who counted the towers? 19 You will no longer see those savage people, those people with an unrecognizable language, with a foreign language that you can’t understand. 20 Look at Zion, the city of our festivals. Your eyes will see Jerusalem as a peaceful place. It is a tent that can’t be moved. Its tent pegs will never be pulled out, and none of its ropes will be broken. 21 The Lord will be our mighty defender in a place surrounded by wide rivers and streams. Ships with oars won’t travel on them. Stately ships won’t sail on them. 22 The Lord is our judge. The Lord is our lawgiver. The Lord is our king. The Lord is our savior.
23 Your ropes hang loose, your mast isn’t secure, and your sail isn’t spread out. A large amount of loot will be distributed. Lame people will carry off your loot. 24 No one who lives in Zion will say, “I’m sick.” The sins of its inhabitants will be forgiven.
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