When God can still be found
When life is good1 2 Why spend money on drinks?
Spend it on food, instead,
Satisfy your hunger.
Take my advice. Eat good food.
Enjoy the flavors of a meal.
3 Listen to me.
Pay attention, if you want to live.
I’m going to make a contract with you.
A never-ending agreement of love and loyalty,
Like the one I had with David.
4 I made him an international hero,
A walking example of my power.
5 It’s your turn now to give orders
To nations you’d never heard of before,
To nations who’d never heard of you, either.
Israel’s Holy God is bringing glory to you.
High honor from the LORD your God.
Look for God while you can6
Search for God while you can find him.
Talk to God while he’s near.
Learn to manage their thoughts.
They should go back to the LORD
So he can show them his mercy,
For God is eager to pardon.
God’s thoughts, our thoughts8
My thoughts aren’t your thoughts.
My conclusions aren’t yours.
And the ground is low
My thoughts and conclusions
Rise higher than yours.
10 When rain and snow fall from the sky
They don’t come back till their job is done.
They water the earth,
Give life to the seeds,
Growth to the plants,
And bread to the hungry souls.
11 When words fall from my mouth
They don’t get ignored.
They make things happen.
And they always succeed.
12 When I set you free
You’ll hit the road happy
And then you’ll head home in peace.
Mountains and hills will sing you along
As the trees and the fields clap their hands.
13 Where thorns would grow,
You’ll find cypress.
And for briars, myrtle instead.
When you see those trees think of me
And remember our agreement is forever.
It’s unclear who this poetic prophecy refers to. If neighboring chapters are any clue, this is a Welcome Wagon invitation back to Israel for the Jews just released from Babylonian exile. When Cyrus of Persia defeated Babylon in the mid-500s BC, he freed all the political prisoners, including Jews the Babylonians captured 50 years earlier, in around 586 BC.
Just about nothing is free. Humanity hasn’t yet figured out how to do without money and how to share. This is a metaphor to describe a land rich in opportunity. A nation where honest people can make a living and grow food that feeds their families and livestock.
A sacred covenant. The writer seems to say God is giving all the returning Jews the royal treatment. They get the same gracious deal God gave King David, who was one of the most admired characters of the Bible.
That’s quite a lofty promise for homeless refugees, returning to a city of toppled stones and hostile settlers.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.