God Brings His People Home
1 “Woman, be happy!
You have not had any children,
but you should be very happy.
“Yes, the woman who is alone*
will have more children than the woman with a husband.”
This is what the LORD says.
2 “Make your tent bigger.
Open your doors wide.
Don’t think small!
Make your tent large and strong,
3 because you will grow in all directions.
Your children will take over many nations
and live in the cities that were destroyed.
4 Don’t be afraid!
You will not be disappointed.
People will not say bad things against you.
You will not be embarrassed.
When you were young, you felt shame.
But you will forget that shame now.
You will not remember the shame you felt
when you lost your husband.†
5 Your real husband is the one who made you.
His name is the LORD All-Powerful.
The Holy One of Israel is your Protector,‡
and he is the God of all the earth!
6 “Like a woman whose husband has left her,
you were very sad.
You were like a young wife left all alone.
But the LORD has called you back to him.”
This is what your God says.
7 “For a short time I turned away from you,
but with all my love I will welcome you again.
8 I was so angry that for a while I did not want to see you.
But now I want to comfort you with kindness forever.”
The LORD your Savior said this.
9 “Remember, in Noah’s time I punished the world with the flood.
But I made a promise to Noah that I would never again destroy the world with water.
In the same way, I promise that I will never again be angry with you
and say bad things to you.
10 “The mountains may disappear,
and the hills may become dust,
but my faithful love will never leave you.
I will make peace with you,
and it will never end.”
The LORD who loves you said this.
11 “You poor city!
Enemies came against you like storms,
and no one comforted you.
But I will rebuild you.
I will use a beautiful mortar to lay the stones of your walls.
I will use sapphire stones when I lay the foundation.
12 The stones on top of the wall will be made from rubies.
I will use shiny jewels for the gates.
I will use precious stones to build the walls around you.
13 I, the LORD, will teach your children,
and they will have real peace.
14 You will be built on goodness.
You will be safe from cruelty and fear.
So you will have nothing to fear.
Nothing will come to hurt you.
15 I will never send anyone to attack you.
And if any army tries to attack you, you will defeat them.
16 “Look, I made the blacksmith. He blows on the fire to make it hotter. Then he takes the hot iron and makes the kind of tool he wants to make. In the same way, I made the ‘Destroyer’ to destroy things.
17 “People will make weapons to fight against you, but their weapons will not defeat you. Some people will say things against you, but anyone who speaks against you will be proved wrong.”
The LORD says, “That is what my servants get! They get the good things§
that come from me, their LORD.