What misery is mine! I feel like the fruit picker after the harvest who can find nothing to eat. Not a cluster of grapes or a single fig can be found to satisfy my hunger.
The godly people have all disappeared; not one fair-minded person is left on the earth. They are all murderers, even setting traps for their own brothers.
They go about their evil deeds with both hands. How skilled they are at using them! Officials and judges alike demand bribes. The people with money and influence pay them off, and together they scheme to twist justice.
Even the best of them is like a brier; the straightest is more crooked than a hedge of thorns. But your judgment day is coming swiftly now. Your time of punishment is here.
Don't trust anyone -- not your best friend or even your wife!
For the son despises his father. The daughter defies her mother. The daughter-in-law defies her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household.
As for me, I look to the LORD for his help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.
Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD himself will be my light.
I will be patient as the LORD punishes me, for I have sinned against him. But after that, he will take up my case and punish my enemies for all the evil they have done to me. The LORD will bring me out of my darkness into the light, and I will see his righteousness.
Then my enemies will see that the LORD is on my side. They will be ashamed that they taunted me, saying, "Where is the LORD -- that God of yours?" With my own eyes I will see them trampled down like mud in the streets.
In that day, Israel, your cities will be rebuilt, and your borders will be extended.
People from many lands will come and honor you -- from Assyria all the way to the towns of Egypt, and from Egypt all the way to the Euphrates River, a and from many distant seas and mountains.
But the land b will become empty and desolate because of the wickedness of those who live there.
O LORD, come and rule your people; lead your flock in green pastures. Help them to live in peace and prosperity. Let them enjoy the fertile pastures of Bashan and Gilead as they did long ago.
"Yes," says the LORD, "I will do mighty miracles for you, like those I did when I rescued you from slavery in Egypt."
All the nations of the world will stand amazed at what the LORD will do for you. They will be embarrassed that their power is so insignificant. They will stand in silent awe, deaf to everything around them.
They will come to realize what lowly creatures they really are. Like snakes crawling from their holes, they will come out to meet the LORD our God. They will fear him greatly, trembling in terror at his presence.
Where is another God like you, who pardons the sins of the survivors among his people? You cannot stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing mercy.
Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!
You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love as you promised with an oath to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)