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New International Version
12 "Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning."
13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing – grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God.
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly.
16 Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.
17 "Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the portico and the altar. Let them say, "Spare your people, LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, "Where is their God?"
18 Then the LORD was jealous for his land and took pity on his people.
19 The LORD replied to them: "I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations."
20 "I will drive the northern horde far from you, pushing it into a parched and barren land; its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea. And its stench will go up; its smell will rise." Surely he has done great things!
21 Do not be afraid, land of Judah; be glad and rejoice. Surely the LORD has done great things!
22 Do not be afraid, you wild animals, for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green. The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
23 Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.
24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
25 "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm – my great army that I sent among you."
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.
12 Therefore also now, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored].
13 Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil [when His conditions are met].
14 Who knows but what He will turn, revoke your sentence [of evil], and leave a blessing behind Him [giving you the means with which to serve Him], even a cereal or meal offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion; set apart a fast [a day of restraint and humility]; call a solemn assembly.
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation; assemble the elderly people, gather the children and the nursing infants; let the bridegroom [who is legally exempt from attending] go forth from his chamber and the bride out of her closet. [None is exempt from the humiliation.]
17 Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar; and let them say, Have pity and spare Your people, O Lord, and give not Your heritage to reproach, that the [heathen] nations should rule over them or use a byword against them. Why should they say among the peoples, Where is their God?
18 Then was the Lord jealous for His land and had pity on His people.
19 Yes, the Lord answered and said to His people, Behold, I am sending you grain and juice [of the grape] and oil, and you shall be satisfied with them; and I will no more make you a reproach among the [heathen] nations.
20 But I will remove far off from you the northern [destroyer's] army and will drive it into a land barren and desolate, with its front toward the eastern [Dead] Sea and with its rear toward the western [Mediterranean] Sea. And its stench shall come up [like that of a decaying mass of locusts, a symbol and forecast of the fate of the northern army in the final day of the Lord], and its foul odor shall come up, because He has done great things [the Lord will have destroyed the invaders]! [Isa. 34:1-4, 8; Jer. 25:31-35; Joel 2:11.]
21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things! [Zech. 12:8-10.]
22 Be not afraid, you wild beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness have sprung up and are green; the tree bears its fruit, and the fig tree and the vine yield their [full] strength.
23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord, your God; for He gives you the former or early rain in just measure and in righteousness, and He causes to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.
24 And the [threshing] floors shall be full of grain and the vats shall overflow with juice [of the grape] and oil.
25 And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten--the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you.
26 And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame.
King James Version
12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.
17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.
19 Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:
20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.
21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.
22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.
23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
Becoming a Christian
Would you like to experience forgiveness and new life from the God of the Bible, who calls every person to believe that he sent his son Jesus Christ to make this possible?
The Bible explains why everyone needs to receive forgiveness and is called to serve Jesus Christ. The consistency of the Bible story, which was authored by people living thousands of years apart from diverse cultures and even different languages, is often cited as evidence of divine inspiration. Wikipedia has a list of many Biblical prophesies which have come true.
The story of God's plan to restore his relationship with us can be summarised in eight famous Bible verses below.
- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
- All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
- If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
- Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The truth in these verses is simple, yet to embrace it means letting go of all our personal hopes and dreams and embracing God's greater purpose for our lives instead, a purpose far above anything we could dream or imagine.
This is the most important decision you will ever make, because it affects not just the rest of your life here on earth, but what comes after as well. Don't put it off until too late. If you died tonight make the decision to spend eternity with your loving Father in Heaven.
If you're wondering what to do next as a new Christian, check out these helpful suggestions from Mary Fairchild on About.com: