I'll scrub them clean from the dirt they've done against me. I'll forgive everything they've done wrong, forgive all their rebellions.
And Jerusalem will be a center of joy and praise and glory for all the countries on earth. They'll get reports on all the good I'm doing for her. They'll be in awe of the blessings I am pouring on her.
"Yes, God's Message: 'You're going to look at this place, these empty and desolate towns of Judah and streets of Jerusalem, and say, "A wasteland. Unlivable. Not even a dog could live here."
But the time is coming when you're going to hear laughter and celebration, marriage festivities, people exclaiming, "Thank God-of-the-Angel-Armies. He's so good! His love never quits," as they bring thank offerings into God's Temple. I'll restore everything that was lost in this land. I'll make everything as good as new.' I, God, say so.
"God-of-the-Angel-Armies says: 'This coming desolation, unfit for even a stray dog, is once again going to become a pasture for shepherds who care for their flocks.
You'll see flocks everywhere - in the mountains around the towns of the Shephelah and Negev, all over the territory of Benjamin, around Jerusalem and the towns of Judah - flocks under the care of shepherds who keep track of each sheep.' God says so. A Fresh and True Shoot from the David-Tree
"'Watch for this: The time is coming' - God's Decree - 'when I will keep the promise I made to the families of Israel and Judah.
When that time comes, I will make a fresh and true shoot sprout from the David-Tree. He will run this country honestly and fairly. He will set things right.
That's when Judah will be secure and Jerusalem live in safety. The motto for the city will be, "God Has Set Things Right for Us."
God has made it clear that there will always be a descendant of David ruling the people of Israel
and that there will always be Levitical priests on hand to offer burnt offerings, present grain offerings, and carry on the sacrificial worship in my honor.'"
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)