Isaiah 57

1The good people are all gone, and no one even noticed. The good people have gathered together. But they don’t understand why. They don’t know that trouble is coming, and that they have been gathered together for protection˼. 2But peace will come, and the people will rest in their own beds. They will live the way God wants them to. 3“Come here you children of witches. Your father is guilty of sexual sins, and your mother sells her body for sex. Come here! 4You are evil and lying children. You make fun of me. You make faces at me. You stick your tongues out at me. 5All you want is to worship false gods under every green tree. You kill children by every stream, and sacrifice them in the rocky places. 6You love to worship the smooth rocks in the rivers. You pour wine on them to worship them. You give sacrifices to them, but those rocks are all you get. Do you think this makes me happy? ˻No! It does not make me happy.˼ 7You make your bed on every hill and high mountain. You go up to those places and offer sacrifices. 8Then you get in those beds and sin against me by loving those gods. You love those gods, You enjoy looking at their naked bodies. You were with me, but you left me to be with them. You hide the things that help you remember me. You hide those things behind the doors and doorposts. And then you go and make agreements with those false gods. 9You use your oils and perfumes to look nice for Molech. You sent your messengers to faraway lands. And this will bring you down to Sheol, ˻the place of death˼. 10“You have worked hard to do these things, but you never became tired. You found new strength, because you enjoyed these things. 11You did not remember me. You did not even notice me! So, who were you worrying about? Who were you afraid of? Why did you lie? Look, I have been quiet for a long time— and you did not honor me. 12I could tell about your 'good works’ and all the 'religious’ things you do; but those things are useless! 13When you need help, you cry to those false gods that you have gathered around you. Let them help you! But I tell you, the wind will blow them all away. A puff of wind will blow them all away. But the person that depends on me will get the land ˻I promised˼. That person will have my holy mountain. 14Clear the road! Clear the road! Make the way clear for my people! 15God is high and lifted up. God lives forever. God’s name is holy. God says: I live in a high and holy place, but also with people that are sad and humble. I will give new life to the people that are humble in spirit. I will give new life to the people that are sad in their hearts. 16I will not continue fighting forever. I will not always be angry. If I continued to be angry, then man’s spirit —the life I gave them— would die in front of me. 17These people did evil things, and it made me angry. So, I punished Israel. I turned away from him because I was angry. And Israel left me. He went wherever he wanted. 18I saw where Israel went. So, I will heal ˻(forgive)˼ him. I will comfort him and say words to make him feel better. Then he and his people will not feel sad. 19I will teach them a new word: 'Peace.’ I will give peace to the people near me and to the people that are far away. I will heal ˻(forgive)˼ those people!” The Lord himself said these things. 20But evil people are like the angry ocean. They can’t be quiet and peaceful. They are angry, and like the ocean, they stir up mud. My God says, 21“There is no peace for evil people.”

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