A King with Integrity
1Some day there will be a king who rules with integrity, and national leaders who govern with justice. 2Each of them will be like a shelter from the wind and a place to hide from storms. They will be like streams flowing in a desert, like the shadow of a giant rock in a barren land. 3Their eyes and ears will be open to the needs of the people. 4They will not be impatient any longer, but they will act with understanding and will say what they mean. 5No one will think that a fool is honourable or say that a scoundrel is honest. 6A fool speaks foolishly and thinks up evil things to do. What he does and what he says are an insult to the Lord, and he never feeds the hungry or gives thirsty people anything to drink. 7A stupid person is evil and does evil things; he plots to ruin the poor with lies and to prevent them getting their rights. 8But an honourable person acts honestly and stands firm for what is right.
Judgement and Restoration
9You women who live an easy life, free from worries, listen to what I am saying. 10You may be satisfied now, but this time next year you will be in despair because there will be no grapes for you to gather. 11You have been living an easy life, free from worries; but now, tremble with fear! Strip off your clothes and tie rags round your waist. 12Beat your breasts in grief because the fertile fields and the vineyards have been destroyed, 13and thorn bushes and briars are growing on my people's land. Weep for all the houses where people were happy and for the city that was full of life. 14Even the palace will be abandoned and the capital city totally deserted. Homes and the forts that guarded them will be in ruins for ever. Wild donkeys will roam there, and sheep will find pasture there.
15But once more God will send us his Spirit. The waste land will become fertile, and fields will produce rich crops. 16Everywhere in the land righteousness and justice will be done. 17Because everyone will do what is right, there will be peace and security for ever. 18God's people will be free from worries, and their homes peaceful and safe. 19(But hail will fall on the forests, and the city will be torn down.) 20How happy everyone will be with plenty of water for the crops and safe pasture everywhere for the donkeys and cattle.
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