They arrive like an earthquake, sweep through like a tornado. Sun and moon turn out their lights, stars black out.
God himself bellows in thunder as he commands his forces. Look at the size of that army! And the strength of those who obey him! God's Judgment Day - great and terrible. Who can possibly survive this? Change Your Life
But there's also this, it's not too late - God's personal Message! - "Come back to me and really mean it! Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!"
Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here's why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, This most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe.
Who knows? Maybe he'll do it now, maybe he'll turn around and show pity. Maybe, when all's said and done, there'll be blessings full and robust for your God!
Blow the ram's horn trumpet in Zion! Declare a day of repentance, a holy fast day. Call a public meeting.
Get everyone there. Consecrate the congregation. Make sure the elders come, but bring in the children, too, even the nursing babies, Even men and women on their honeymoon - interrupt them and get them there.
Between Sanctuary entrance and altar, let the priests, God's servants, weep tears of repentance. Let them intercede: "Have mercy, God, on your people! Don't abandon your heritage to contempt. Don't let the pagans take over and rule them and sneer, 'And so where is this God of theirs?'"
At that, God went into action to get his land back. He took pity on his people.
God answered and spoke to his people, "Look, listen - I'm sending a gift: Grain and wine and olive oil. The fast is over - eat your fill! I won't expose you any longer to contempt among the pagans.
I'll head off the final enemy coming out of the north and dump them in a wasteland. Half of them will end up in the Dead Sea, the other half in the Mediterranean. There they'll rot, a stench to high heaven. The bigger the enemy, the stronger the stench!" The Trees Are Bearing Fruit Again
Fear not, earth! Be glad and celebrate! God has done great things.
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)