A message about Jerusalem
14 So listen to the Lord's message, you leaders in Jerusalem who rule these people. Do not laugh at what the Lord is doing.
15 You boast, ‘We have made a covenant with death. Yes, we have made an agreement with Sheol. When trouble comes to our city like a deep flood of water, we will be safe. We trust in our lies to keep us safe.’
16 So the Almighty Lord says this:
‘Look! I am putting a special stone in Zion. It is a valuable stone, because it makes a strong foundation at the corner of my building. Anyone who trusts in that foundation will never be disappointed.
17 Justice and righteousness will make that foundation strong and true. But if you trust in lies, a storm of ice will destroy your safe place. A flood of water will destroy the place where you are hiding. 18 I will stop your covenant with death. Your agreement with Sheol will not continue. When trouble comes like a deep flood of water, it will drown you. 19 A flood of punishment will come again and again, and it will carry you away. It will come every morning, and all through the day and the night.’
When you understand this message from the Lord, you will be very afraid. 20 You will not be able to rest, like a tall person who tries to sleep on a short bed. Your blanket will not cover your whole body.
21 But the Lord will do a great thing, like he did at Mount Perazim. He will be very angry, as he was in the Gibeon Valley. He will do something that is very wonderful and strange.
22 So do not laugh at me when I warn you. If you do not listen, your punishment will become even worse. The Lord Almighty has told me what he has decided. He has decided to destroy the whole land.
23 So listen carefully to my message. Hear what I am saying!
24 A farmer ploughs the ground because he wants to plant seeds in it. He does not continue to plough for ever. 25 When he has prepared the ground, he plants many different seeds. He plants dill and cummin. He plants wheat, barley and different grains in their proper places.
26 God teaches the farmer and he tells him the right thing to do. 27 After the harvest, the farmer knows how to remove seeds from dill or from cummin. He will not pull a heavy iron weight over dill. He will not run the wheels of a cart over cummin. Instead, he will hit them with a light stick.
28 When he crushes grain to make flour for bread, he does not do it for a long time. He drives the wheels of his cart over the grain, but he does not let his horses crush it.
29 The Lord Almighty causes farmers to know all that. His ideas are very wise, and he shows us how to live in a wise way.