33 Oh, how bad it will be for the one who ruins and is not yet ruined,
who lies, cheats, and steals without experiencing the same in return.
It will come back to you. When you’ve exhausted your destroying,
you will find yourself destroyed,
And your treachery will come back to haunt you at the treacherous hands of others.
If Assyria thinks it has a license to do whatever it wishes, to destroy whatever is in its path, to betray with impunity, then it is sure to be surprised when God shows up to rescue His people.
2 We’ve been waiting for you, Eternal One, to come and shower us with grace.
In the morning, be our strength; in times of trouble, be what saves us.
3 People flee when they hear the crashing thunder of Your voice;
nations scatter when You arise.
4 The spoil of the nations is gathered—swiftly and decisively—
as a hungry locust gathers, as a swarm of locusts rushes to strip the land.
5 The Eternal One is high above it all; for that is where He lives;
He will fill Zion (that heaven on earth) with justice and all manner of doing right.
6 God will be what holds things together,
fast and firm during these times.
He will be boundless salvation,
the roots and fruits of wisdom and knowledge.
Zion’s most precious possession
is the people’s awe-filled respect of the Eternal.
Reverence for God is crucial to the welfare of God’s people, regardless of where they live.
7 Look, their stoutest men run screaming in the streets;
their messengers of peace have broken down in bitter tears.
8 The roads are empty; no one ventures out.
The Assyrians have broken their treaty,
Disavowing the promises they made before witnesses.
They show no respect for anyone.
9 The land itself, like a new widow, grieves and wastes away.
Lush Lebanon decays, once-rose-covered Sharon looks like a desert,
And the tree-topped mountains of Bashan and Carmel
are completely denuded.
10 Eternal One: Now’s the time for action. I will arise.
People will esteem Me and recognize My greatness.
11 For you have produced nothing but chaff and worthless stubble.
Your breath is a fire that will sweep back and consume you.
12 Your people will be burned to ashes
like thornbushes cut down and burned up in the fire.
13 Listen well, wherever you are; make sure you know
that I have accomplished this.
Near and far, you’d better take note of My incomparable strength.
14 Those who do wrong, the guilty and criminal in Zion, are terrified;
in the presence and power of God, the godless tremble.
They ask themselves,
“Who could possibly survive this all-consuming conflagration?
Who can live through the unrelenting heat, the flames, the smoke?”
15 I will tell you who: the one who goes through life with integrity and
speaks truth with conviction, refusing to take part in fraud and abuse,
Whose hands are free of bribes, whose ears are covered to violent schemes,
and whose eyes are shut to the temptations of evil.
16 That one will survive and prosper on the heights of Zion
and take comfort in the shelter of rock fortresses,
And never be hungry, never thirsty.
17 Ah, you will see for yourself the beauty of the One who rules over all.
Your eyes will take in a land that stretches far beyond the horizon.
18 You will think back on the terror you experienced:
“Where is the officer who counted the plunder, weighed out our taxes, and calculated our defenses?”
19 You will no longer see rude and arrogant people in charge of the city,
and you will no longer have to listen to their strange babbling and incomprehensible muttering.
20 Ah, just look at Zion! The city where we celebrate,
where we make our God-appointed feasts.
You’ll see a Jerusalem at peace, untroubled, undisturbed,
like a permanent tent with stakes driven deep and ropes that never break.
21 There, the Eternal, so splendid and regal,
will be for us a place of broad rivers and wide canals.
No large boats will pass through them—
no mighty ships will sail their waters.
22 For the Eternal One is our Judge; He has prescribed our laws;
He rules over us, and He is the One who will save us.
23 You who try to sail in will be unable,
as if your lines are limp, your mast is wobbly, and your sails are furled.
The spoils in your hold will be divided among the deserving.
Even those who can hardly walk will take what you had taken.
24 And nobody who lives in God’s city will say he doesn’t feel well.
For everyone will be washed clean and forgiven for their wrongdoing.