591Don't think that the LORD is too weak to save you or too deaf to hear your call for help! 2It is because of your sins that he doesn't hear you. It is your sins that separate you from God when you try to worship him. 3You are guilty of lying, violence, and murder.
4You go to court, but you haven't got justice on your side. You depend on lies to win your case. You carry out your plans to hurt others. 5-6The evil plots you make are as deadly as the eggs of a poisonous snake. Crush an egg, out comes a snake! But your plots will do you no good — they are as useless as clothing made of cobwebs! 7
You are always planning something evil, and you can hardly wait to do it. You never hesitate to murder innocent people. You leave ruin and destruction wherever you go, 8and no one is safe when you are about. Everything you do is unjust. You follow a crooked path, and no one who walks that path will ever be safe.
9The people say, “Now we know why God does not save us from those who oppress us. We hope for light to walk by, but there is only darkness, 10and we grope about like blind people. We stumble at noon, as if it were night, as if we were in the dark world of the dead. 11We are frightened and distressed. We long for God to save us from oppression and wrong, but nothing happens.
12“LORD, our crimes against you are many. Our sins accuse us. We are well aware of them all. 13We have rebelled against you, rejected you, and refused to follow you. We have oppressed others and turned away from you. Our thoughts are false; our words are lies. 14Justice is driven away, and right cannot come near. Truth stumbles in the public square, and honesty finds no place there. 15There is so little honesty that those who stop doing evil find themselves the victims of crime.”
The LORD has seen this, and he is displeased that there is no justice. 16
He is astonished to see that there is no one to help the oppressed. So he will use his own power to rescue them and to win the victory. 17
He will wear justice like a coat of armour and saving power like a helmet. He will clothe himself with the strong desire to set things right and to punish and avenge the wrongs that people suffer. 18He will punish his enemies according to what they have done, even those who live in distant lands. 19From east to west everyone will fear him and his great power. He will come like a rushing river, like a strong wind.
The LORD says to his people, “I will come to Jerusalem to defend you and to save all of you that turn from your sins. 21And I make a covenant with you: I have given you my power and my teachings to be yours for ever, and from now on you are to obey me and teach your children and your descendants to obey me for all time to come.”
601Arise, Jerusalem, and shine like the sun;
The glory of the LORD is shining on you!
2Other nations will be covered by darkness,
But on you the light of the LORD will shine;
The brightness of his presence will be with you.
3Nations will be drawn to your light,
And kings to the dawning of your new day.
4Look around you and see what is happening:
Your people are gathering to come home!
Your sons will come from far away;
Your daughters will be carried like children.
5You will see this and be filled with joy;
You will tremble with excitement.
The wealth of the nations will be brought to you;
From across the sea their riches will come.
6Great caravans of camels will come, from Midian and Ephah.
They will come from Sheba, bringing gold and incense.
People will tell the good news of what the LORD has done!
7All the sheep of Kedar and Nebaioth
Will be brought to you as sacrifices
And offered on the altar to please the LORD.
The LORD will make his Temple more glorious than ever.
8What are these ships that skim along like clouds,
Like doves returning home?
9They are ships coming from distant lands,
Bringing God's people home.
They bring with them silver and gold
To honour the name of the LORD,
The holy God of Israel,
Who has made all nations honour his people.
10The LORD says to Jerusalem,
“Foreigners will rebuild your walls,
And their kings will serve you.
In my anger I punished you,
But now I will show you my favour and mercy.
Day and night your gates will be open,
So that the kings of the nations
May bring you their wealth.
12But nations that do not serve you
Will be completely destroyed.
13“The wood of the pine, the juniper, and the cypress,
The finest wood from the forests of Lebanon,
Will be brought to rebuild you, Jerusalem,
To make my Temple beautiful,
To make my city glorious.
The descendants of those who oppressed you will come
And bow low to show their respect.
All who once despised you will worship at your feet.
They will call you ‘The City of the LORD’,
‘Zion, the City of Israel's Holy God’.
15“You will no longer be forsaken and hated,
A city deserted and desolate.
I will make you great and beautiful,
A place of joy for ever and ever.
16Nations and kings will care for you
As a mother nurses her child.
You will know that I, the LORD, have saved you,
That the mighty God of Israel sets you free.
17“I will bring you gold instead of bronze,
Silver and bronze instead of iron and wood,
And iron instead of stone.
Your rulers will no longer oppress you;
I will make them rule with justice and peace.
18The sounds of violence will be heard no more;
Destruction will not shatter your country again.
I will protect and defend you like a wall;
You will praise me because I have saved you.
“No longer will the sun be your light by day
Or the moon be your light by night;
I, the LORD, will be your eternal light;
The light of my glory will shine on you.
20Your days of grief will come to an end.
I, the LORD, will be your eternal light,
More lasting than the sun and moon.
21Your people will all do what is right,
And will possess the land for ever.
I planted them, I made them,
To reveal my greatness to all.
22Even your smallest and humblest family
Will become as great as a powerful nation.
When the right time comes,
I will make this happen quickly.
I am the LORD!”
The Sovereign LORD has filled me with his Spirit.
He has chosen me and sent me
To bring good news to the poor,
To heal the broken-hearted,
To announce release to captives
And freedom to those in prison.
He has sent me to proclaim
That the time has come
When the LORD will save his people
And defeat their enemies.
He has sent me to comfort all who mourn,
3To give to those who mourn in Zion
Joy and gladness instead of grief,
A song of praise instead of sorrow.
They will be like trees
That the LORD himself has planted.
They will all do what is right,
And God will be praised for what he has done.
4They will rebuild cities that have long been in ruins.
5My people, foreigners will serve you.
They will take care of your flocks
And farm your land and tend your vineyards.
6And you will be known as the priests of the LORD,
The servants of our God.
You will enjoy the wealth of the nations
And be proud that it is yours.
7Your shame and disgrace are ended.
You will live in your own land,
And your wealth will be doubled;
Your joy will last for ever.
8The LORD says,
“I love justice and I hate oppression and crime.
I will faithfully reward my people
And make an eternal covenant with them.
9They will be famous among the nations;
Everyone who sees them will know
That they are a people whom I have blessed.”
Jerusalem rejoices because of what the LORD has done.
She is like a bride dressed for her wedding.
God has clothed her with salvation and victory.
11As surely as seeds sprout and grow,
The Sovereign LORD will save his people,
And all the nations will praise him.