A Good Kingdom Is Coming
1A king will rule in a way that brings justice,
and leaders will make fair decisions.
2Then each ruler will be like a shelter from the wind,
like a safe place in a storm,
like streams of water in a dry land,
like a cool shadow from a large rock in a hot land.
3People will look to the king for help,
and they will truly listen to what he says.
4People who are now worried will be able to understand.
Those who cannot speak clearly now will then be able to speak clearly and quickly.
5Fools will not be called great,
and people will not respect the wicked.
6A fool says foolish things,
and in his mind he plans evil.
A fool does things that are wicked,
and he says wrong things about the Lord.
A fool does not feed the hungry
or let thirsty people drink water.
7The wicked person uses evil like a tool.
He plans ways to take everything from the poor.
He destroys the poor with lies,
even when the poor person is in the right.
8But a good leader plans to do good,
and those good things make him a good leader.
Hard Times Are Coming
9You women who are calm now,
stand up and listen to me.
You women who feel safe now,
hear what I say.
10You women feel safe now,
but after one year you will be afraid.
There will be no grape harvest
and no summer fruit to gather.
11Women, you are calm now, but you should shake with fear.
Women, you feel safe now, but you should tremble.
Take off your nice clothes
and put rough cloth around your waist to show your sadness.
12Beat your breasts in grief, because the fields that were pleasant are now empty.
Cry, because the vines that once had fruit now have no more grapes.
13Cry for the land of my people,
in which only thorns and weeds now grow.
Cry for the city that once was happy
and for all the houses that once were filled with joy.
14The palace will be empty;
people will leave the noisy city.
Strong cities and towers will be empty.
Wild donkeys will love to live there, and sheep will go there to eat.
Things Will Get Better
15This will continue until God pours his Spirit from above upon us.
Then the desert will be like a fertile field
and the fertile field like a forest.
16Justice will be found even in the desert,
and fairness will be found in the fertile fields.
17That fairness will bring peace,
and it will bring calm and safety forever.
18My people will live in peaceful places
and in safe homes
and in calm places of rest.
19Hail will destroy the forest,
and the city will be completely destroyed.
20But you will be happy as you plant seeds near every stream
and as you let your cattle and donkeys wander freely.