"But for now, dear servant Jacob, listen - yes, you, Israel, my personal choice.
God who made you has something to say to you; the God who formed you in the womb wants to help you. Don't be afraid, dear servant Jacob, Jeshurun, the one I chose.
For I will pour water on the thirsty ground and send streams coursing through the parched earth. I will pour my Spirit into your descendants and my blessing on your children.
They shall sprout like grass on the prairie, like willows alongside creeks.
This one will say, 'I am God's,' and another will go by the name Jacob; That one will write on his hand 'God's property' - and be proud to be called Israel."
God, King of Israel, your Redeemer, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says: "I'm first, I'm last, and everything in between. I'm the only God there is.
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)