Isaiah 43:14-28 (New International Reader's Version)

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The LORD Forgives Israel but Also Punishes Them

14 The LORD sets his people free. He is the Holy One of Israel. He says, "People of Israel, I will send an army to Babylon to save you. I will cause all of the Babylonians to run away. They will try to escape in the ships they were so proud of. 15 I am your LORD and King. I am your Holy One. I created you." 16 Long ago the LORD opened a way for his people to go through the Red Sea. He made a path through the mighty waters. 17 He caused Egypt to send out its chariots and horses. He sent its entire army to its death. Its soldiers lay down there. They never got up again. They were destroyed. They were blown out like a dimly burning flame. But the LORD says, 18 "Forget the things that happened in the past. Do not keep on thinking about them. 19 I am about to do something new. It is beginning to happen even now. Don't you see it coming? I am going to make a way for you to go through the desert. I will make streams of water in the dry and empty land. 20 Even wild dogs and owls honor me. That is because I provide water in the desert for my people to drink. I cause streams to flow in the dry and empty land for my chosen ones. 21 I do it for the people I made for myself. I want them to sing praise to me. 22 "Family of Jacob, you have not prayed to me as you should. People of Israel, you have not even begun to get tired while doing it. 23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings. You have not honored me with your sacrifices. I have not loaded you down by requiring grain offerings. I have not made you tired by requiring you to burn incense. 24 But you have not bought any sweet-smelling cane for me. You have not given me the fattest parts of your animal sacrifices. Instead, you have loaded me down with your sins. You have made me tired with the wrong things you have done. 25 "I am the one who wipes out your lawless acts. I do it because of who I am. I will not remember your sins anymore. 26 But let us go to court together. Remind me of what you have done. State your case. Prove to me that you are not guilty. 27 Your father Jacob sinned. Your priests and prophets refused to obey me. 28 So I will put the high officials of your temple to shame. I will let Jacob's family be totally destroyed. And I will let people make fun of Israel.
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