"And when that happens" - God's Decree - "it will be plain as the sun at high noon: I'll be the God of every man, woman, and child in Israel and they shall be my very own people."
This is the way God put it: "They found grace out in the desert, these people who survived the killing. Israel, out looking for a place to rest,
met God out looking for them!" God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!
And so now I'll start over with you and build you up again, dear virgin Israel. You'll resume your singing, grabbing tambourines and joining the dance.
You'll go back to your old work of planting vineyards on the Samaritan hillsides, And sit back and enjoy the fruit - oh, how you'll enjoy those harvests!
The time's coming when watchmen will call out from the hilltops of Ephraim: 'On your feet! Let's go to Zion, go to meet our God!'"
Oh yes, God says so: "Shout for joy at the top of your lungs for Jacob! Announce the good news to the number-one nation! Raise cheers! Sing praises. Say, 'God has saved his people, saved the core of Israel.'
"Watch what comes next: "I'll bring my people back from the north country And gather them up from the ends of the earth, gather those who've gone blind And those who are lame and limping, gather pregnant women, Even the mothers whose birth pangs have started, bring them all back, a huge crowd!
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)