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Isaiah 59 (Good News Translation)

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1 Don't think that the Lord is too weak to save you or too deaf to hear your call for help! 2 It 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. 3 You are guilty of lying, violence, and murder. 4 You go to court, but you do not have justice on your side. You depend on lies to win your case. You carry out your plans to hurt others. 5 The 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, 1 8 and no one is safe when you are around. Everything you do is unjust. You follow a crooked path, and no one who walks that path will ever be safe. 9 The 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, 10 and 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. 11 We 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. 13 We 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. 14 Justice is driven away, and right cannot come near. Truth stumbles in the public square, and honesty finds no place there. 15 There 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. 2 17 He will wear justice like a coat of armor 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. 3 18 He will punish his enemies according to what they have done, even those who live in distant lands. 19 From east to west everyone will fear him and his great power. He will come like a rushing river, like a strong wind. 20 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. 4 21 And I make a covenant with you: I have given you my power and my teachings to be yours forever, and from now on you are to obey me and teach your children and your descendants to obey me for all time to come."
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