"In the end I will turn things around for the people. I'll give them a language undistorted, unpolluted, Words to address God in worship and, united, to serve me with their shoulders to the wheel.
They'll come from beyond the Ethiopian rivers, they'll come praying - All my scattered, exiled people will come home with offerings for worship.
You'll no longer have to be ashamed of all those acts of rebellion. I'll have gotten rid of your arrogant leaders. No more pious strutting on my holy hill!
I'll leave a core of people among you who are poor in spirit - What's left of Israel that's really Israel. They'll make their home in God.
This core holy people will not do wrong. They won't lie, won't use words to flatter or seduce. Content with who they are and where they are, unanxious, they'll live at peace."
So sing, Daughter Zion! Raise the rafters, Israel! Daughter Jerusalem, be happy! celebrate!
God has reversed his judgments against you and sent your enemies off chasing their tails. From now on, God is Israel's king, in charge at the center. There's nothing to fear from evil ever again! God Is Present Among You
Jerusalem will be told: "Don't be afraid. Dear Zion, don't despair.
Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he'll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.
"The accumulated sorrows of your exile will dissipate. I, your God, will get rid of them for you. You've carried those burdens long enough.
At the same time, I'll get rid of all those who've made your life miserable. I'll heal the maimed; I'll bring home the homeless. In the very countries where they were hated they will be venerated.
On Judgment Day I'll bring you back home - a great family gathering! You'll be famous and honored all over the world. You'll see it with your own eyes - all those painful partings turned into reunions!" God's Promise.
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)