"And now, here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to start all over again. I'm taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I'll court her.
I'll give her bouquets of roses. I'll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope. She'll respond like she did as a young girl, those days when she was fresh out of Egypt.
"At that time" - this is God's Message still - "you'll address me, 'Dear husband!' Never again will you address me, 'My slave-master!'
I'll wash your mouth out with soap, get rid of all the dirty false-god names, not so much as a whisper of those names again.
At the same time I'll make a peace treaty between you and wild animals and birds and reptiles, And get rid of all weapons of war. Think of it! Safe from beasts and bullies!
And then I'll marry you for good - forever! I'll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness.
Yes, I'll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go. You'll know me, God, for who I really am.
"On the very same day, I'll answer" - this is God's Message - "I'll answer the sky, sky will answer earth,
Earth will answer grain and wine and olive oil, and they'll all answer Jezreel.
I'll plant her in the good earth. I'll have mercy on No-Mercy. I'll say to Nobody, 'You're my dear Somebody,' and he'll say 'You're my God!'"
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)