A Prayer in Deep Distress

  1Woe to you who plunder, though you have not been plundered;
   And you who deal treacherously, though they have not dealt treacherously with you!
   When you cease plundering,
   You will be plundered;
   When you make an end of dealing treacherously,
   They will deal treacherously with you.
  2O Lord, be gracious to us;
   We have waited for You.
   Be their arm every morning,
   Our salvation also in the time of trouble.
   3At the noise of the tumult the people shall flee;
   When You lift Yourself up, the nations shall be scattered;
   4And Your plunder shall be gathered
   Like the gathering of the caterpillar;
   As the running to and fro of locusts,
   He shall run upon them.
  5The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high;
   He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
   6Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times,
   And the strength of salvation;
   The fear of the Lordis His treasure.
  7Surely their valiant ones shall cry outside,
   The ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.
   8The highways lie waste,
   The traveling man ceases.
   He has broken the covenant,
   He has despised the cities,
   He regards no man.
   9The earth mourns and languishes,
   Lebanon is shamed and shriveled;
   Sharon is like a wilderness,
   And Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.

Impending Judgment on Zion

  10“Now I will rise,” says the Lord;
   “Now I will be exalted,
   Now I will lift Myself up.
   11You shall conceive chaff,
   You shall bring forth stubble;
   Your breath, as fire, shall devour you.
   12And the people shall be like the burnings of lime;
   Like thorns cut up they shall be burned in the fire.
   13Hear, you who are afar off, what I have done;
   And you who are near, acknowledge My might.”
  14The sinners in Zion are afraid;
   Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites:
   “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?
   Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
   15He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
   He who despises the gain of oppressions,
   Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes,
   Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed,
   And shuts his eyes from seeing evil:
   16He will dwell on high;
   His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks;
   Bread will be given him,
   His water will be sure.

The Land of the Majestic King

  17Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
   They will see the land that is very far off.
   18Your heart will meditate on terror:
   “Where is the scribe?
   Where is he who weighs?
   Where is he who counts the towers?”
   19You will not see a fierce people,
   A people of obscure speech, beyond perception,
   Of a stammering tongue that you cannot understand.
  20Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts;
   Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet home,
   A tabernacle that will not be taken down;
   Not one of its stakes will ever be removed,
   Nor will any of its cords be broken.
   21But there the majestic Lordwill be for us
   A place of broad rivers and streams,
   In which no galley with oars will sail,
   Nor majestic ships pass by
   22(For the Lordis our Judge,
   The Lordis our Lawgiver,
   The Lordis our King;
   He will save us);
   23Your tackle is loosed,
   They could not strengthen their mast,
   They could not spread the sail.
  Then the prey of great plunder is divided;
   The lame take the prey.
   24And the inhabitant will not say, “I am sick”;
   The people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity.