The Lord Will Restore Zion
1 The destroyer is as good as dead,
you who have not been destroyed!
The deceitful one is as good as dead,
the one whom others have not deceived!
When you are through destroying, you will be destroyed;
when you finish deceiving, others will deceive you!
2 Lord, be merciful to us! We wait for you.
Give us strength each morning!
Deliver us when distress comes.
3 The nations run away when they hear a loud noise;
the nations scatter when you spring into action!
4 Your plunder disappears as if locusts were eating it;
they swarm over it like locusts!
5 The Lord is exalted,
indeed, he lives in heaven;
he fills Zion with justice and fairness.
6 He is your constant source of stability;
he abundantly provides safety and great wisdom;
he gives all this to those who fear him.
7 Look, ambassadors cry out in the streets;
messengers sent to make peace weep bitterly.
8 Highways are empty,
there are no travellers.
Treaties are broken,
witnesses are despised,
human life is treated with disrespect.
9 The land dries up and withers away;
the forest of Lebanon shrivels up and decays.
Sharon is like the desert;
Bashan and Carmel are parched.
10 “Now I will rise up,” says the Lord.
“Now I will exalt myself;
now I will magnify myself.
11 You conceive straw,
you give birth to chaff;
your breath is a fire that destroys you.
12 The nations will be burned to ashes;
like thorn bushes that have been cut down, they will be set on fire.
13 You who are far away, listen to what I have done!
You who are close by, recognize my strength!”
14 Sinners are afraid in Zion;
panic grips the godless.
They say, ‘Who among us can coexist with destructive fire?
Who among us can coexist with unquenchable fire?’
15 The one who lives uprightly
and speaks honestly;
the one who refuses to profit from oppressive measures
and rejects a bribe;
the one who does not plot violent crimes
and does not seek to harm others –
16 This is the person who will live in a secure place;
he will find safety in the rocky, mountain strongholds;
he will have food
and a constant supply of water.
17 You will see a king in his splendour;
you will see a wide land.
18 Your mind will recall the terror you experienced,
and you will ask yourselves, “Where is the scribe?
Where is the one who weighs the money?
Where is the one who counts the towers?”
19 You will no longer see a defiant people
whose language you do not comprehend,
whose derisive speech you do not understand.
20 Look at Zion, the city where we hold religious festivals!
You will see Jerusalem,
a peaceful settlement,
a tent that stays put;
its stakes will never be pulled up;
none of its ropes will snap in two.
21 Instead the Lord will rule there as our mighty king.
Rivers and wide streams will flow through it;
no war galley will enter;
no large ships will sail through.
22 For the Lord, our ruler,
the Lord, our commander,
the Lord, our king –
he will deliver us.
23 Though at this time your ropes are slack,
the mast is not secured,
and the sail is not unfurled,
at that time you will divide up a great quantity of loot;
even the lame will drag off plunder.
24 No resident of Zion will say, “I am ill”;
the people who live there will have their sin forgiven.