The Locust Army

1-3 Blow the ram’s horn trumpet in Zion!
    Trumpet the alarm on my holy mountain!
Shake the country up!
    God’s Judgment’s on its way—the Day’s almost here!
A black day! A Doomsday!
    Clouds with no silver lining!
Like dawn light moving over the mountains,
    a huge army is coming.
There’s never been anything like it
    and never will be again.
Wildfire burns everything before this army
    and fire licks up everything in its wake.
Before it arrives, the country is like the Garden of Eden.
    When it leaves, it is Death Valley.
    Nothing escapes unscathed.

4-6 The locust army seems all horses—
    galloping horses, an army of horses.
It sounds like thunder
    leaping on mountain ridges,
Or like the roar of wildfire
    through grass and brush,
Or like an invincible army shouting for blood,
    ready to fight, straining at the bit.
At the sight of this army,
    the people panic, faces white with terror.

7-11 The invaders charge.
    They climb barricades. Nothing stops them.
Each soldier does what he’s told,
    so disciplined, so determined.
They don’t get in each other’s way.
    Each one knows his job and does it.
Undaunted and fearless,
    unswerving, unstoppable.
They storm the city,
    swarm its defenses,
Loot the houses,
    breaking down doors, smashing windows.
They arrive like an earthquake,
    sweep through like a tornado.
Sun and moon turn out their lights,
    stars black out.
God himself bellows in thunder
    as he commands his forces.
Look at the size of that army!
    And the strength of those who obey him!
God’s Judgment Day—great and terrible.
    Who can possibly survive this?

Change Your Life

12 But there’s also this, it’s not too late—
    God’s personal Message!—
“Come back to me and really mean it!
    Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!”

13-14 Change your life, not just your clothes.
    Come back to God, your God.
And here’s why: God is kind and merciful.
    He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot,
This most patient God, extravagant in love,
    always ready to cancel catastrophe.
Who knows? Maybe he’ll do it now,
    maybe he’ll turn around and show pity.
Maybe, when all’s said and done,
    there’ll be blessings full and robust for your God!

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15-17 Blow the ram’s horn trumpet in Zion!
    Declare a day of repentance, a holy fast day.
Call a public meeting.
    Get everyone there. Consecrate the congregation.
Make sure the elders come,
    but bring in the children, too, even the nursing babies,
Even men and women on their honeymoon—
    interrupt them and get them there.
Between Sanctuary entrance and altar,
    let the priests, God’s servants, weep tears of repentance.
Let them intercede: “Have mercy, God, on your people!
    Don’t abandon your heritage to contempt.
Don’t let the pagans take over and rule them
    and sneer, ‘And so where is this God of theirs?’”

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