Isaiah 45

1These are the things the Lord says about Cyrus, his chosen king: “I will hold Cyrus’s right hand. I will help him take power away from kings. City gates will not stop Cyrus. I will open the city gates, and Cyrus will go in.” 2“˻Cyrus, your armies will march,˼ and I will go in front of you. I will make the mountains flat. I will break the city gates of bronze. I will cut the iron bars on the gates. 3I will give you the wealth that is saved in darkness. I will give you those hidden riches. I will do this so that you will know that I am the Lord. I am the God of Israel, and I am calling you by name! 4I do these things for my servant, Jacob. I do these things for my chosen people, Israel. ˻Cyrus,˼ I am calling you by name. You don’t know me, but I am calling you by name. 5I am the Lord! I am the only God. There is no other God. I put your clothes on you, but still you don’t know me. 6I do these things so all people will know that I am the only God. From the east to the west people will know that I am the Lord, and there is no other God. 7I made the light, and I made darkness. I make peace, and I make troubles. I am the Lord— and I do all these things. 8“May the clouds in the skies above drop goodness on the earth like rain! May the earth open and let salvation grow! And may goodness grow with it! I, the Lord, made him. 9“Look at these people! They are arguing with the One who made them. Look at them argue with me! They are like pieces of clay from a broken pot. A man uses soft, wet clay to make a pot. And the clay does not ask, 'Man, what are you doing?’ Things that are made don’t have the power to question the one who makes them. ˻People are like this clay.˼ 10A father gives life to his children. And the children can’t ask, 'Why are you giving me life?’ The children can’t question their mother and ask, 'Why are you giving birth to me?’” 11The Lord God is the Holy One of Israel. He made Israel. And the Lord says, “My sons, you asked me to show you a sign. You told me to show you the things I have done. 12˻So, look˼! I made the earth. And I made all the people living on it. I used my own hands and made the skies. And I command all the armies in the sky. 13I gave Cyrus his power so he would do good things. And I will make his work easy. Cyrus will build my city again. And he will make my people free. Cyrus will not sell my people to me. I will not have to pay him to do these things. The people will be freed, and the cost to me will be nothing.” The Lord, All-Powerful, said these things. 14The Lord says, “Egypt and Ethiopia are rich, but Israel, you will get those riches. The tall people from Seba will be yours. They will walk behind you with chains around their necks. They will bow down before you. And they will pray to you.” ˻Israel˼, God is with you. And there is no other God. 15God, you are the God people can’t see. You are the Savior of Israel. 16Many people make false gods. But those people will be disappointed. All of those people will go away ashamed. 17But Israel will be saved by the Lord. That salvation will continue forever. Never, never again will Israel be shamed. 18The Lord is God. He made the skies and the earth. The Lord put the earth in its place. The Lord did not want the earth to be empty when he made it. He created it to be lived on! “I am the Lord. There is no other God. 19I did not speak in secret. I have spoken freely. I did not hide my words in a dark place of the world. I did not tell the people of Jacob to look for me in empty places. I am the Lord, and I speak the truth. I say things that are true.” 20“You people have escaped from other nations. So gather together and come before me. (These people carry statues of false gods. These people pray to those useless gods. But the people don’t know what they are doing. 21Tell these people to come to me. Let them present their case and discuss these things.) “Who told you about the things that happened a long time ago? Who has continued to tell you these things since long, long ago? I, the Lord, am the One who said these things. I am the only God. Is there another God like me? Is there another good God? Is there another God who saves his people? No! There is no other God! 22All you people in faraway places should ˻stop following those false gods˼. You should follow me and be saved. I am God. There is no other God. I am the only God. 23“I make this promise by my own power. And when I make a promise, that promise is true. The thing I promise will happen! And I promise that every person will bow before me ˻(God)˼. And every person will promise ˻to follow me˼. 24People will say, 'Goodness and power come only from the Lord.’” Some people are angry at the Lord. But the Lord’s witnesses will come ˻and tell about the things the Lord has done˼. So those angry people will be ashamed. 25The Lord will help the people of Israel do good, and the people will be very proud of their God.

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