1 I am depressed! Indeed, it is as if the summer fruit has been gathered, and the grapes have been harvested. There is no grape cluster to eat, no fresh figs that I crave so much. 2 Faithful men have disappeared from the land; there are no godly men left. They all wait in ambush so they can shed blood; they hunt their own brother with a net. 3 They are determined to be experts at doing evil; government officials and judges take bribes, prominent men make demands, and they all do what is necessary to satisfy them. 4 The best of them is like a thorn; the most godly among them are more dangerous than a row of thorn bushes. The day you try to avoid by posting watchmen -- your appointed time of punishment -- is on the way, and then you will experience confusion. 5 Do not rely on a friend; do not trust a companion! Don't even share secrets with the one who lies in your arms! 6 For a son thinks his father is a fool, a daughter challenges her mother, and a daughter-in-law her mother-in-law; a man's enemies are his own servants. 7 But I will keep watching for the Lord; I will wait for the God who delivers me. My God will hear my lament.
8 My enemies, do not gloat over me! Though I have fallen, I will get up. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. 9 I must endure the Lord's anger, for I have sinned against him. But then he will defend my cause, and accomplish justice on my behalf. He will lead me out into the light; I will experience firsthand his deliverance. 10 When my enemies see this, they will be covered with shame. They say to me, "Where is the Lord your God?" I will gloat over them. Then they will be trampled down like mud in the streets.
11 It will be a day for rebuilding your walls; in that day your boundary will be extended. 12 In that day people will come to you from Assyria as far as Egypt, from Egypt as far as the Euphrates River, from the seacoasts and the mountains. 13 The earth will become desolate because of what its inhabitants have done.
14 Shepherd your people with your shepherd's rod, the flock that belongs to you, the one that lives alone in a thicket, in the midst of a pastureland. Allow them to graze in Bashan and Gilead, as they did in the old days.
15 "As in the days when you departed from the land of Egypt, I will show you miraculous deeds." 16 Nations will see this and be disappointed by all their strength, they will put their hands over their mouths, and act as if they were deaf. 17 They will lick the dust like a snake, like serpents crawling on the ground. They will come trembling from their strongholds to the Lord our God; they will be terrified of you.
18 There is no other God like you! You forgive sin and pardon the rebellion of those who remain among your people. You do not remain angry forever, but delight in showing loyal love. 19 You will once again have mercy on us; you will conquer our evil deeds; you will hurl our sins into the depths of the sea. 20 You will be loyal to Jacob and extend your loyal love to Abraham, which you promised on oath to our ancestors in ancient times.