Israel’s Ultimate Deliverance
1Look, a righteous king is coming!
And honest princes will rule under him.
2Each one will be like a shelter from the wind
and a refuge from the storm,
like streams of water in the desert
and the shadow of a great rock in a parched land.
3Then everyone who has eyes will be able to see the truth,
and everyone who has ears will be able to hear it.
4Even the hotheads will be full of sense and understanding.
Those who stammer will speak out plainly.
5In that day ungodly fools will not be heroes.
Scoundrels will not be respected.
6For fools speak foolishness
and make evil plans.
They practice ungodliness
and spread false teachings about the lord.
They deprive the hungry of food
and give no water to the thirsty.
7The smooth tricks of scoundrels are evil.
They plot crooked schemes.
They lie to convict the poor,
even when the cause of the poor is just.
8But generous people plan to do what is generous,
and they stand firm in their generosity.
9Listen, you women who lie around in ease.
Listen to me, you who are so smug.
10In a short time—just a little more than a year—
you careless ones will suddenly begin to care.
For your fruit crops will fail,
and the harvest will never take place.
11Tremble, you women of ease;
throw off your complacency.
Strip off your pretty clothes,
and put on burlap to show your grief.
12Beat your breasts in sorrow for your bountiful farms
and your fruitful grapevines.
13For your land will be overgrown with thorns and briers.
Your joyful homes and happy towns will be gone.
14The palace and the city will be deserted,
and busy towns will be empty.
Wild donkeys will frolic and flocks will graze
in the empty forts# Hebrew the Ophel. and watchtowers
15until at last the Spirit is poured out
on us from heaven.
Then the wilderness will become a fertile field,
and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops.
16Justice will rule in the wilderness
and righteousness in the fertile field.
17And this righteousness will bring peace.
Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever.
18My people will live in safety, quietly at home.
They will be at rest.
19Even if the forest should be destroyed
and the city torn down,
20the lord will greatly bless his people.
Wherever they plant seed, bountiful crops will spring up.
Their cattle and donkeys will graze freely.