1 The Eternal is great and mighty, worthy of great praise in the city of our True God, upon His holy mountain. 2 Situated high above, Mount Zion is beautiful to see, the pleasure of the entire earth. Mount Zion, in the north,[a] is the city of the great King. 3 In her palaces, the True God has revealed Himself as a mighty fortress.
4 Not long ago, enemy kings gathered together and moved forward as one to attack the city. 5 When they saw Mount Zion, they were amazed; amazement became fear, then panic. They fled for their lives. 6 They were overtaken by terror, trembling in anguish like a woman in childbirth. 7 God, You shattered the ships of Tarshish with the mighty east wind. 8 As we have heard stories of Your greatness, now we have also seen it with our own eyes right here, in the city of the Eternal, the Commander of heavenly armies. Right here, in our God’s city, the True God will preserve her forever.
9 We have meditated upon Your loyal love, O God, within Your holy temple. 10 Just as Your name reaches to the ends of the earth, O God, so Your praise flows there too; Your right hand holds justice. 11 So because of Your judgments, may Mount Zion be delighted! May the villages of Judah celebrate!
12 Explore Zion; make an accounting, note all her towers; 13 Reflect upon her defenses; stroll through her palaces So that you can tell the coming generation all about her. 14 For so is God, our True God, forever and ever; He will be our guide till the end.
18 But wait—the Eternal One has become possessive of His land; He will restore us in compassion, His people! 19 In response to our prayers, the Eternal will answer:
Eternal One: Listen! I am sending you a great harvest of grain, wine, and oil. You will be completely satisfied and no longer Will I make you a people held in contempt by the nations.
20 I will remove My armies who attack from the north far from your borders, driving them into a parched and lonely desert. Then I will separate them: the front line to the Dead Sea, the rear guard into the Mediterranean Sea with the vile stench of their rotting corpses rising up.
Surely the Eternal One has done great things!
21 Do not fear, O land. You have been revived. Celebrate and rejoice, for the Eternal One has done great things! 22 Do not fear, you wild beasts: You will eat again, for the desert pastures are green again! And so will we: the trees bear their fruit; the fig trees and the vines produce their bounty once again.
23 People of Zion, shout with joy and happiness in the Eternal, your God; The drought is over; He has sent the early autumn rain as a sign of His faithfulness. He has poured down heavy rain, autumn and spring, as before. 24 The threshing floors will be covered in grain; the vats will spill over with new wine and fresh oil.
25 Eternal One: I will compensate you for the years that the locusts have eaten—the swarming locusts, The creeping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts—[a] My great army that I unleashed against you.
26 In that day, you will eat plenty of food and always have enough, so you will praise My name, The Eternal One, your God who is merciful to you. Never again will My people be shamed among the nations. 27 Return to Me and you will know that I live among My people Israel and that I, the Eternal One, am your God and there is no other. Never again will My people be shamed among the nations.
28 Then in those days I will pour My Spirit to all humanity; your children will boldly and prophetically speak the word of God. Your elders will dream dreams; your young warriors will see visions. 29 No one will be left out. In those days I will offer My spirit to all servants, both male and female.
2 My brothers and sisters, I did not pose as an expert with all the answers. I did not pretend to explain the mystery of God with eloquent speech and human wisdom. 2 I claimed to know nothing with certainty other than the reality that Jesus is the Anointed One, the Liberating King, who was crucified on our behalf. 3 I was moved to utter despair during my time with you. I would find myself trembling in dread and fear. 4 The sermons I preached were not delivered with the kind of persuasive elegance some have come to expect, but they were effective because I relied on God’s Spirit to demonstrate God’s power. 5 If this were not so, your faith would be based on human wisdom and not the power of God.
Christianity is not merely a set of ideas and propositions. One can agree with all the truths in the Bible and still miss the power of God. Paul knows the brothers and sisters in Corinth might attempt to reduce Christianity to a new philosophy based on human understanding, but the power of God cannot be fully grasped by our eight-pound brains. We must approach God humbly as creations, not as those aspiring to fully explain the Creator of the universe.
6 However, in the presence of mature believers, we do impart true wisdom—not the phony wisdom typical of this rebellious age or of the hostile powers who rule this age. Despite what you may think, these ruling spirits are losing their grip on this world. 7 But we do impart God’s mysterious and hidden wisdom. Before the ages began, God graciously decided to use His wisdom for our glory. 8 This wisdom has not been grasped by the ruling powers of this age; if they had understood, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. 9 But as the Scriptures say,
No eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard and it has never occurred to the human heart All the things God prepared for those who love Him.[a]
10 God has shown us these profound and startling realities through His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep mysteries of God. 11 Who can see into a man’s heart and know his thoughts? Only the spirit that dwells within the man. In the same way, the thoughts of God are known only by His Spirit.
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