‘Look! There are days coming,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘and I will send a famine into the land, a famine, not for bread, and a thirst, not for water, but for hearing the words of Jehovah. And they will certainly stagger from sea all the way to sea, and from north even to the sunrise. They will keep roving about while searching for the word of Jehovah, but they will not find [it].
In that day the pretty virgins will swoon away, also the young men, because of the thirst; those who are swearing by the guiltiness of Sa·mar′i·a, and who actually say: “As your god is alive, O Dan!” and, “As the way of Be′er-she′ba is alive!” And they will certainly fall, and they will rise up no more.’”
Amos 8:11-14, NWT
But as for me, I said: “It is for nothing that I have toiled. For unreality and vanity I have used up my own power. Truly my judgment is with Jehovah, and my wages with my God.” And now Jehovah, the One forming me from the belly as a servant belonging to him, has said [for me] to bring back Jacob to him in order that to him Israel itself may be gathered. And I shall be glorified in the eyes of Jehovah, and my own God will have become my strength. And he proceeded to say: “It has been more than a trivial matter for you to become my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back even the safeguarded ones of Israel; I also have given you for a light of the nations, that my salvation may come to be to the extremity of the earth.”
This is what Jehovah, the Repurchaser of Israel, his Holy One, has said to him that is despised in soul, to him that is detested by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings themselves will see and certainly rise up, [and] princes, and they will bow down, by reason of Jehovah, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who chooses you.”
This is what Jehovah has said: “In a time of goodwill I have answered you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you; and I kept safeguarding you that I might give you as a covenant for the people, to rehabilitate the land, to bring about the repossessing of the desolated hereditary possessions, to say to the prisoners, ‘Come out!’ to those who are in the darkness, ‘Reveal yourselves!’ By the ways they will pasture, and on all beaten paths their pasturing will be. They will not go hungry, neither will they go thirsty, nor will parching heat or sun strike them. For the One who is having pity upon them will lead them, and by the springs of water he will conduct them. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways themselves will be on an elevation. Look! These will come even from far away, and, look! these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Si′nim.”
Give a glad cry, YOU heavens, and be joyful, you earth. Let the mountains become cheerful with a glad outcry. For Jehovah has comforted his people, and he shows pity upon his own afflicted ones.”
But Zion kept saying: “Jehovah has left me, and Jehovah himself has forgotten me.” Can a wife forget her suckling so that she should not pity the son of her belly? Even these women can forget, yet I myself shall not forget you. Look! Upon [my] palms I have engraved you. Your walls are in front of me constantly. Your sons have hurried up. The very ones tearing you down and devastating you will go forth even from you. Raise your eyes all around and see. They have all of them been collected together. They have come to you. “As I am living,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “with all of them you will clothe yourself just as with ornaments, and you will bind them on yourself like a bride.
Although there are your devastated places and your desolated places and the land of your ruins, although now you are too cramped to be dwelling, and those swallowing you down have been far away, yet in your own ears the sons of your bereaved state will say, ‘The place has become too cramped for me. Do make room for me, that I may dwell.’ And you will for certain say in your heart, ‘Who has become father to these for me, since I am a woman bereaved of children and sterile, gone into exile and taken prisoner? As for these, who has brought [them] up? Look! I myself had been left behind alone. These—where have they been?’”
I have kept quiet for a long time. I continued silent. I kept exercising self-control. Like a woman giving birth I am going to groan, pant, and gasp at the same time. I shall devastate mountains and hills, and all their vegetation I shall dry up. And I will turn rivers into islands, and reedy pools I shall dry up. And I will make the blind ones walk in a way that they have not known; in a roadway that they have not known I shall cause them to tread. I shall turn a dark place before them into light, and rugged terrain into level land. These are the things that I will do for them, and I will not leave them.
Who among YOU people will give ear to this? Who will pay attention and listen for later times? Who has given Jacob for mere pillage, and Israel to the plunderers? Is it not Jehovah, the One against whom we have sinned, and in whose ways they did not want to walk and to whose law they did not listen. So He kept pouring out upon him rage, his anger, and the strength of war. And it kept consuming him all around, but he took no note; and it kept blazing up against him, but he would lay nothing to heart.”
God is indeed good to Israel, to those clean in heart.
As for me, my feet had almost turned aside,
My steps had nearly been made to slip.
For I became envious of the boasters,
[When] I would see the very peace of wicked people.
For they have no deathly pangs;
And their paunch is fat.
They are not even in the trouble of mortal man,
And they are not plagued the same as other men.
Therefore haughtiness has served as a necklace to them;
Violence envelops them as a garment.
Their eye has bulged from fatness;
They have exceeded the imaginations of the heart.
They scoff and speak about what is bad;
About defrauding they speak in an elevated style.
They have put their mouth in the very heavens,
And their tongue itself walks about in the earth.
Therefore he brings his people back hither,
And the waters of what is full are drained out for them.
And they have said: “How has God come to know?
And does there exist knowledge in the Most High?”
Look! These are the wicked, who are at ease indefinitely.
They have increased [their] means of maintenance.
Surely it is in vain that I have cleansed my heart
And that I wash my hands in innocence itself.
And I came to be plagued all day long,
And my correction is every morning.
If I had said: “I will tell a story like that,”
Look! against the generation of your sons
I should have acted treacherously.
And I kept considering so as to know this;
It was a trouble in my eyes,
Until I proceeded to come into the grand sanctuary of God.
I wanted to discern their future.
Surely on slippery ground is where you place them.
You have made them fall to ruins.
O how they have become an object of astonishment as in a moment!
[How] they have reached their end, have been brought to their finish through sudden terrors!
Like a dream after awaking, O Jehovah,
[So] when arousing [yourself] you will despise their very image.
For my heart was soured
And in my kidneys I was sharply pained,
And I was unreasoning and I could not know;
I became as mere beasts from your standpoint.
But I am constantly with you;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With your counsel you will lead me,
And afterward you will take me even to glory.
Whom do I have in the heavens?
And besides you I do have no other delight on the earth.
My organism and my heart have failed.
God is the rock of my heart and my share to time indefinite.
For, look! the very ones keeping away from you will perish.
You will certainly silence every one immorally leaving you.
But as for me, the drawing near to God is good for me.
In the Sovereign Lord Jehovah I have placed my refuge,
To declare all your works.
Psalms 73, NWT
A Melody of Asaph