The Lord Will Show His Power
1Look at you. You attack others when you have not been attacked. You turn against others when no one has turned against you. So when you stop your attacks, you will be attacked. 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.
4You people stole things in war. Those things will be taken from you. Many will come and take your wealth. It will be like the times when locusts come and eat all your crops.
5The Lord is very great. He lives in a very high place. He fills Zion with justice and goodness.
6Jerusalem, you are rich with wisdom and knowledge of God. You are rich with salvation. You respect the Lord, and that makes you rich.
7But listen! The messengers are crying outside. The messengers#33:7 messengers … messengers The Hebrew text has two different words that can also mean “angels.” who bring peace are crying very hard. 8The roads are empty; there is no one walking along the paths. People don’t respect each other. They have broken the agreements they made, and they refuse to believe what witnesses#33:8 witnesses Literally, “cities.” tell them. 9The land is sick and dying. Lebanon is dying and Sharon Valley is dry and empty. Bashan and Carmel once grew beautiful plants—but now those plants have stopped growing.
10The Lord says, “Now, I will stand and show people how great and powerful I am. 11You people have done useless things. These things are like hay and straw. They are worth nothing! Your breath will be like a fire and burn you. 12People will be burned until their bones become lime.#33:12 lime A white powder that is often used to make mortar or cement. It can be made by burning bones, shells, or limestone. They will burn quickly like thorns and dry bushes.
13“You people in faraway lands, listen to what I have done. You people who are near me, learn about my power.”
14The sinners in Zion are afraid. Those who do wrong shake with fear. They say, “Can any of us live through this fire that destroys? Who can live near this fire that burns forever?”#33:14 fire that … burns forever This might mean God, the Fire (Light) of Israel.
15Good, honest people who refuse to hurt others for money will live through that fire. They refuse to take bribes or listen to plans to murder other people. They refuse to look at plans for doing bad things. 16They will live safely in high places. They will be protected in high rock fortresses. They will always have food and water.
17Your eyes will see the King in his beauty. You will see the great land. 18-19When you think about the troubles you had in the past, you will wonder, “Where are those foreigners who spoke languages we could not understand. Where are the officials and tax collectors from other lands? Where are the spies who counted our defense towers?”
God Will Protect Jerusalem
20Look at Zion, the city of our religious festivals. Look at Jerusalem—that beautiful place of rest. Jerusalem is like a tent that will never be moved. The pegs that hold her in place will never be pulled up. Her ropes will never be broken, 21-23because the Lord is our powerful leader there. That land is a place with streams and wide rivers, but there will be no enemy boats or powerful ships on those rivers. You men who work on such boats can stop your work with the ropes. You cannot make the mast strong enough. You will not be able to open your sails, because the Lord is our judge. He makes our laws. He is our king. He saves us. The Lord will give us our wealth. Even crippled people will get their share. 24No one living there will say, “I am sick,” because everyone living there has had their guilt removed.