Warnings to Assyria and Promises to God’s People
1How terrible it will be for you who destroy others
but have not been destroyed yet.
How terrible it will be for you, traitor,
whom no one has turned against yet.
When you stop destroying,
others will destroy you.
When you stop turning against others,
they will turn against you.
2Lord, be kind to us.
We have waited for your help.
Give us strength every morning.
Save us when we are in trouble.
3Your powerful voice makes people run away in fear;
your greatness causes the nations to run away.
4Like locusts, your enemies will take away the things you stole in war.
Like locusts rushing about, they will take your wealth.
5The Lord is very great, and he lives in a high place.
He fills Jerusalem with fairness and justice.
6He will be your safety.
He is full of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.
Respect for the Lord is the greatest treasure.
7See, brave people are crying out in the streets;
those who tried to bring peace are weeping loudly.
8There is no one on the roads,
no one walking in the paths.
People have broken the agreements they made.
They refuse to believe the proof from witnesses.
No one respects other people.
9The land is sick and dying;
Lebanon is ashamed and dying.
The Plain of Sharon is dry like the desert,
and the trees of Bashan and Carmel are dying.
10The Lord says, “Now, I will stand up
and show my greatness.
Now, I will become important to the people.
11You people do useless things
that are like hay and straw.
A destructive wind will burn you like fire.
12People will be burned until their bones become like lime;
they will burn quickly like dry thornbushes.”
13You people in faraway lands, hear what I have done.
You people who are near me, learn about my power.
14The sinners in Jerusalem are afraid;
those who are separated from God shake with fear.
They say, “Can any of us live through this fire that destroys?
Who can live near this fire that burns on and on?”
15A person who does what is right
and speaks what is right,
who refuses to take money unfairly,
who refuses to take money to hurt others,
who does not listen to plans of murder,
who refuses to think about evil—
16this is the kind of person who will be safe.
He will be protected as he would be in a high, walled city.
He will always have bread,
and he will not run out of water.
17Your eyes will see the king in his beauty.
You will see the land that stretches far away.
18You will think about the terror of the past:
“Where is that officer?
Where is the one who collected the taxes?
Where is the officer in charge of our defense towers?”
19No longer will you see those proud people from other countries,
whose strange language you couldn’t understand.
God Will Protect Jerusalem
20Look at Jerusalem, the city of our festivals.
Look at Jerusalem, that beautiful place of rest.
It is like a tent that will never be moved;
the pegs that hold her in place will never be pulled up,
and her ropes will never be broken.
21There the Lord will be our Mighty One.
That land is a place with streams and wide rivers,
but there will be no enemy boats on those rivers;
no powerful ship will sail on them.
22This is because the Lord is our judge.
The Lord makes our laws.
The Lord is our king.
He will save us.
23You sailors from other lands, hear:
The ropes on your boats hang loose.
The mast is not held firm.
The sails are not spread open.
Then your great wealth will be divided.
There will be so much wealth that even the crippled people will carry off a share.
24No one living in Jerusalem will say, “I am sick.”
The people who live there will have their sins forgiven.