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Isaiah 42 (The Message)

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1 "Take a good look at my servant. I'm backing him to the hilt. He's the one I chose, and I couldn't be more pleased with him. I've bathed him with my Spirit, my life. He'll set everything right among the nations. 2 He won't call attention to what he does with loud speeches or gaudy parades. 3 He won't brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won't disregard the small and insignificant, but he'll steadily and firmly set things right. 4 He won't tire out and quit. He won't be stopped until he's finished his work - to set things right on earth. Far-flung ocean islands wait expectantly for his teaching." The God Who Makes Us Alive with His Own Life 5 God's Message, the God who created the cosmos, stretched out the skies, laid out the earth and all that grows from it, Who breathes life into earth's people, makes them alive with his own life: 6 "I am God. I have called you to live right and well. I have taken responsibility for you, kept you safe. I have set you among my people to bind them to me, and provided you as a lighthouse to the nations, 7 To make a start at bringing people into the open, into light: opening blind eyes, releasing prisoners from dungeons, emptying the dark prisons. 8 I am God. That's my name. I don't franchise my glory, don't endorse the no-god idols. 9 Take note: The earlier predictions of judgment have been fulfilled. I'm announcing the new salvation work. Before it bursts on the scene, I'm telling you all about it." 10 Sing to God a brand-new song, sing his praises all over the world! Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause, with all the far-flung islands joining in. 11 Let the desert and its camps raise a tune, calling the Kedar nomads to join in. Let the villagers in Sela round up a choir and perform from the tops of the mountains. 12 Make God's glory resound; echo his praises from coast to coast. 13 God steps out like he means business. You can see he's primed for action. He shouts, announcing his arrival; he takes charge and his enemies fall into line: 14 "I've been quiet long enough. I've held back, biting my tongue. But now I'm letting loose, letting go, like a woman who's having a baby - 15 Stripping the hills bare, withering the wildflowers, Drying up the rivers, turning lakes into mudflats. 16 But I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way, who can't see where they're going. I'll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I'll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don't fall into the ditch. These are the things I'll be doing for them - sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute." 17 But those who invested in the no-gods are bankrupt - dead broke. You've Seen a Lot, but Looked at Nothing 18 Pay attention! Are you deaf? Open your eyes! Are you blind? 19 You're my servant, and you're not looking! You're my messenger, and you're not listening! The very people I depended upon, servants of God, blind as a bat - willfully blind! 20 You've seen a lot, but looked at nothing. You've heard everything, but listened to nothing. 21 God intended, out of the goodness of his heart, to be lavish in his revelation. 22 But this is a people battered and cowed, shut up in attics and closets, Victims licking their wounds, feeling ignored, abandoned. 23 But is anyone out there listening? Is anyone paying attention to what's coming? 24 Who do you think turned Jacob over to the thugs, let loose the robbers on Israel? Wasn't it God himself, this God against whom we've sinned - not doing what he commanded, not listening to what he said? 25 Isn't it God's anger that's behind all this, God's punishing power? Their whole world collapsed but they still didn't get it; their life is in ruins but they don't take it to heart.
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