The Lord’s Promises
1Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime.
The Lord makes the clouds.
He sends the showers.
And he gives everyone green fields.
2Idols tell lies.
Fortune-tellers see false visions.
They 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.
I will punish the leaders.
I, the Lord of heaven’s armies, will care
for my flock, which is the people of Judah.
I will make them like my proud war horses.
4From Judah will come the cornerstone
and the tent peg.
From him will come the battle bow.
From him will come every ruler.
5They 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 I will save the people of Joseph.
I will bring them back
because I care for them.
It will be as though
I had never left them.
I am the Lord their God,
and I will answer their calls for help.
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 there will be as many of them as there used to be.
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 Egypt.
I will gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon.
There won’t be enough room in the land for them all.
11They will come through their sea of trouble.
The waves of the sea will be calm.
And the Nile River will dry up.
I will defeat Assyria’s pride.
I will destroy Egypt’s power over other countries.
12I will make my people strong.
And they will live as I say,” says the Lord.