The Lord’s Promises
1Ask the Lord for rain during the springtime rains.
The Lord is the one who makes the clouds.
He sends the showers
and gives everyone green fields.
2Idols tell lies;
fortune-tellers see false visions
and tell about false dreams.
The comfort they give is worth nothing.
So the people are like lost sheep.
They are abused, because there is no shepherd.
3The Lord says, “I am angry at my shepherds,
and I will punish the leaders.
I, the Lord All-Powerful, care
for my flock, the people of Judah.
I will make them like my proud war horses.
4From Judah will come the cornerstone,
and the tent peg,
the battle bow,
and every ruler.
5Together they will be like soldiers
marching to battle through muddy streets.
The Lord is with them,
so they will fight and defeat the horsemen.
6“I will strengthen the people of Judah
and save the people of Joseph.
I will bring them back,
because I care about them.
It will be as though
I had never left them,
because I am the Lord their God,
and I will answer them.
7The people of Ephraim will be strong like soldiers;
they will be glad as when they have drunk wine.
Their children will see it and rejoice;
they will be happy in the Lord.
8I will call my people
and gather them together.
I will save them,
and they will grow in number as they grew in number before.
9I have scattered them among the nations,
but in those faraway places, they will remember me.
They and their children will live and return.
10I will bring them back from the land of Egypt
and gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon
until there isn’t enough room for them all.
11They will come through the sea of trouble.
The waves of the sea will be calm,
and the Nile River will dry up.
I will defeat Assyria’s pride
and destroy Egypt’s power over other countries.
12I will make my people strong,
and they will live as I say,” says the Lord.