Note well: God's Judgment Day is on the way: "Plunder will be piled high and handed out.
I'm bringing all the godless nations to war against Jerusalem - Houses plundered, women raped, Half the city taken into exile, the other half left behind."
But then God will march out against the godless nations and fight - a great war!
That's the Day he'll take his stand on the Mount of Olives, facing Jerusalem from the east. The Mount of Olives will be split right down the middle, from east to west, leaving a wide valley. Half the mountain will shift north, the other half south.
Then you will run for your lives down the valley, your escape route that will take you all the way to Azal. You'll run for your lives, just as you ran on the day of the great earthquake in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah. Then my God will arrive and all the holy angels with him.
What a Day that will be! No more cold nights - in fact, no more nights!
The Day is coming - the timing is God's - when it will be continuous day. Every evening will be a fresh morning.
What a Day that will be! Fresh flowing rivers out of Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea, half to the western sea, flowing year-round, summer and winter!
God will be king over all the earth, one God and only one. What a Day that will be!
The land will stretch out spaciously around Jerusalem - to Geba in the north and Rimmon in the south, with Jerusalem towering at the center, and the commanding city gates - Gate of Benjamin to First Gate to Corner Gate to Hananel Tower to the Royal Winery - ringing the city
full of people. Never again will Jerusalem be totally destroyed. From now on it will be a safe city.
But this is what will happen to all who fought against Jerusalem: God will visit them with a terrible plague. People's flesh will rot off their bones while they are walking around; their eyes will rot in their sockets and their tongues in their mouths; people will be dying on their feet!
Mass hysteria when that happens - total panic! Fellow soldiers fighting and killing each other - holy terror!
And then Judah will jump into the fray!
The plague will also hit the animals - horses, mules, camels, donkeys. Everything alive in the military camps will be hit by the plague.
All the survivors from the godless nations that fought against Jerusalem will travel to Jerusalem every year to worship the King, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, and celebrate the Feast of Booths.
If any of these survivors fail to make the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship the King, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, there will be no rain.
If the Egyptians don't make the pilgrimage and worship, there will be no rain for them. Every nation that does not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths will be hit with the plague.
Egypt and any other nation that does not make pilgrimage to celebrate the Feast of Booths gets punished.
On that Day, the Big Day, all the horses' harness bells will be inscribed "Holy to God." The cooking pots in the Temple of God will be as sacred as chalices and plates on the altar.
In fact, all the pots and pans in all the kitchens of Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to God-of-the-Angel-Armies. People who come to worship, preparing meals and sacrifices, will use them. On that Big Day there will be no buying or selling in the Temple of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
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)