The Making of God’s People
4 1-4 But when all is said and done,
God’s Temple on the mountain,
Firmly fixed, will dominate all mountains,
towering above surrounding hills.
People will stream to it
and many nations set out for it,
Saying, “Come, let’s climb God’s mountain.
Let’s go to the Temple of Jacob’s God.
He will teach us how to live.
We’ll know how to live God’s way.”
True teaching will issue from Zion,
God’s revelation from Jerusalem.
He’ll establish justice in the rabble of nations
and settle disputes in faraway places.
They’ll trade in their swords for shovels,
their spears for rakes and hoes.
Nations will quit fighting each other,
quit learning how to kill one another.
Each man will sit under his own shade tree,
each woman in safety will tend her own garden.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies says so,
and he means what he says.
5 Meanwhile, all the other people live however they wish,
picking and choosing their gods.
But we live honoring God,
and we’re loyal to our God forever and ever.
6-7 “On that great day,” God says,
“I will round up all the hurt and homeless,
everyone I have bruised or banished.
I will transform the battered into a company of the elite.
I will make a strong nation out of the long lost,
A showcase exhibit of God’s rule in action,
as I rule from Mount Zion, from here to eternity.
8 “And you stragglers around Jerusalem,
eking out a living in shantytowns:
The glory that once was will be again.
Jerusalem’s daughter will be the kingdom center.”
* * *
9-10 So why the doomsday hysterics?
You still have a king, don’t you?
But maybe he’s not doing his job
and you’re panicked like a woman in labor.
Well, go ahead—twist and scream, Daughter Jerusalem.
You are like a woman in childbirth.
You’ll soon be out of the city, on your way
and camping in the open country.
And then you’ll arrive in Babylon.
What you lost in Jerusalem will be found in Babylon.
God will give you new life again.
He’ll redeem you from your enemies.
11-12 But for right now, they’re ganged up against you,
many godless peoples, saying,
“Kick her when she’s down! Violate her!
We want to see Zion grovel in the dirt.”
These blasphemers have no idea
what God is thinking and doing in this.
They don’t know that this is the making of God’s people,
that they are wheat being threshed, gold being refined.
13 On your feet, Daughter of Zion! Be threshed of chaff,
be refined of dross.
I’m remaking you into a people invincible,
into God’s juggernaut to crush the godless peoples.
You’ll bring their plunder as holy offerings to God,
their wealth to the Master of the earth.