Prophets Feature Sampler - Flipbook - Page 17
No one will be able
to rescue her from my hands.
I will put an end to her annual festivals,
her new moon celebrations, and her Sabbath days—
all her appointed festivals.
I will destroy her grapevines and fig trees,
things she claims her lovers gave her.
I will let them grow into tangled thickets,
where only wild animals will eat the fruit.
I will punish her for all those times
when she burned incense to her images of Baal,
when she put on her earrings and jewels
and went out to look for her lovers
but forgot all about me,”
says the Lord.
“But then I will win her back once again.
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there.
I will return her vineyards to her
and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
as she did long ago when she was young,
when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
When that day comes,” says the Lord,
“you will call me ‘my husband’
instead of ‘my master.’
O Israel, I will wipe the many names of Baal from your lips,
and you will never mention them again.
On that day I will make a covenant
with all the wild animals and the birds of the sky
and the animals that scurry along the ground
so they will not harm you.
I will remove all weapons of war from the land,
all swords and bows,
so you can live unafraid
in peace and safety.
I will make you my wife forever,
showing you righteousness and justice,
unfailing love and compassion.
I will be faithful to you and make you mine,
and you will finally know me as the Lord.
“In that day, I will answer,”
says the Lord.
“I will answer the sky as it pleads for clouds.
And the sky will answer the earth with rain.
Then the earth will answer the thirsty cries
of the grain, the grapevines, and the olive trees.
And they in turn will answer,
At that time I will plant a crop of Israelites
and raise them for myself.
I will show love
to those I called ‘Not loved.’
And to those I called ‘Not my people,’
I will say, ‘Now you are my people.’
And they will reply, ‘You are our God!’”
Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she
commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord
still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and
love to worship them.”
So I bought her back for fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley
and a measure of wine. Then I said to her, “You must live in my house for
many days and stop your prostitution. During this time, you will not have
sexual relations with anyone, not even with me.”
This shows that Israel will go a long time without a king or prince, and
without sacrifices, sacred pillars, priests, or even idols! But afterward the
people will return and devote themselves to the Lord their God and to
David’s descendant, their king. In the last days, they will tremble in awe of
the Lord and of his goodness.
Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel!
The Lord has brought charges against you, saying:
“There is no faithfulness, no kindness,
no knowledge of God in your land.
You make vows and break them;
you kill and steal and commit adultery.
There is violence everywhere—
one murder after another.