Isaiah 51

1“Some of you people try hard to live good lives. You go to the Lord for help. Listen to me. You should look at Abraham your father. He is the rock you were cut from. 2Abraham is your father, and you should look at him. You should look at Sarah—the woman that gave birth to you. Abraham was alone when I called him. Then I blessed him, and he began a great family. Many, many people came from him.” 3˻In the same way,˼ the Lord will bless Zion. The Lord will feel sorry for her and her people, and he will do a great thing for her. The Lord will change the desert. The desert will become a garden like the garden of Eden. That land was empty, but it will become like the Lord’s Garden. People there will be very, very happy. People there will show their joy. They will sing songs about thanks and victory. 4“My people, listen to me! My decisions will be like lights showing people how to live. 5I will soon show I am fair. I will soon save you. I will use my power and judge all nations. All the faraway places are waiting for me. They wait for my power to help them. 6Look up to the heavens! Look around you at the earth below! The skies will disappear like clouds of smoke. The earth will become like worthless old clothes. The people on earth will die, but my Salvation will continue forever. My goodness will never end. 7You people that understand goodness should listen to me. You people that follow my teachings should hear the things I say. Don’t be afraid of evil people. Don’t be afraid of the bad things that they say to you. 8Why? Because they will be like old clothes. Moths will eat them. They will be like wool. Worms will eat them. But my goodness will continue forever. My salvation will continue forever and ever.” 9Arm ˻(power)˼ of the Lord, wake up! Wake up! Be strong! Use your strength like you did a long time ago, like you have from ancient times. You are the power that defeated Rahab. You defeated the Dragon. 10You caused the sea to become dry! You dried the waters of the great deep! You made the deepest parts of the sea into a road. Your people crossed over that road and were saved. 11The Lord will save his people. They will return to Zion with joy. They will be very, very happy. Their happiness will be like a crown on their heads forever. They will be singing with joy. All sadness will be gone far away. 12The Lord says, “I am the One who comforts you. So why should you be afraid of people? They are only people that live and die. They are only humans— they die the same as grass.” 13The Lord made you. With his power he made the earth! And with his power he spread the skies over the earth! But you forget him and his power. So you are always afraid of angry men that hurt you. Those men planned to destroy you. But where are they now? ˻They are all gone˼! 14People in prison will soon be made free. Those people will not die and rot in prison. Those people will have enough food. 15“I, the Lord, am your God. I stir up the sea and make the waves.” (The Lord All-Powerful is his name.) 16˻“My servant,˼ I will give you the words I want you to say. And I will cover you with my hands and protect you. I will use you to make the new heaven and earth. I will use you to tell Israel, 'You are my people.’” 17Wake up! Wake up! Jerusalem, get up! The Lord was very angry at you. So you were punished. ˻This punishment was like˼ a cup of poison you had to drink. And you drank it. 18Jerusalem had many people, but none of those people became leaders for her. None of the children she raised became guides to lead her. 19Troubles came to Jerusalem in groups of two; stealing and rationing food, great hunger and fighting. No person helped you when you were suffering. No person show mercy to you. 20Your people became weak. They fell on the ground and lay there. Those people were lying on every street corner. They were like animals caught in a net. They were punished from the Lord’s anger until they could not accept any more punishment. When God said he would give them more punishment, they became very weak. 21Listen to me, poor Jerusalem. You are ˻weak like˼ a drunk person, but you are not drunk from wine. ˻You are weak from that “cup of poison.”˼ 22Your God and Master, the Lord, will fight for his people. He says to you, “Look, I am taking this 'cup of poison’ ˻(punishment)˼ away from you. I am taking my anger away from you. You will not be punished by my anger anymore. 23I will now use my anger to punish the people that hurt you. Those people tried to kill you. They told you, 'Bow down before us, and we will walk on you!’ They forced you to bow down before them. And then they walked on your back like dirt. You were like a road for them to walk on.”

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