"Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, and I am pleased with him. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will reveal justice to the nations.
He will be gentle -- he will not shout or raise his voice in public.
He will not crush those who are weak or quench the smallest hope. He will bring full justice to all who have been wronged.
He will not stop until truth and righteousness prevail throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction."
God, the LORD, created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath and life to everyone in all the world. And it is he who says,
"I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will guard and support you, for I have given you to my people as the personal confirmation of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide all nations to me.
You will open the eyes of the blind and free the captives from prison. You will release those who sit in dark dungeons.
"I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else. I will not share my praise with carved idols.
Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens."
Sing a new song to the LORD! Sing his praises from the ends of the earth! Sing, all you who sail the seas, all you who live in distant coastlands.
Join in the chorus, you desert towns; let the villages of Kedar rejoice! Let the people of Sela sing for joy; shout praises from the mountaintops!
Let the coastlands glorify the LORD; let them sing his praise.
The LORD will march forth like a mighty man; he will come out like a warrior, full of fury. He will shout his thundering battle cry, and he will crush all his enemies.
He will say, "I have long been silent; yes, I have restrained myself. But now I will give full vent to my fury; I will gasp and pant like a woman giving birth.
I will level the mountains and hills and bring a blight on all their greenery. I will turn the rivers into dry land and will dry up all the pools.
I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will make the darkness bright before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.
But those who trust in idols, calling them their gods -- they will be turned away in shame.
"Oh, how deaf and blind you are toward me! Why won't you listen? Why do you refuse to see?
Who in all the world is as blind as my own people, my servant? Who is as deaf as my messengers? Who is as blind as my chosen people, the servant of the LORD?
You see and understand what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear, but you don't really listen."
The LORD has magnified his law and made it truly glorious. Through it he had planned to show the world that he is righteous.
But what a sight his people are, for they have been robbed, enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped. They are fair game for all and have no one to protect them.
Will not even one of you apply these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you?
Who allowed Israel to be robbed and hurt? Was it not the LORD? It was the LORD whom we sinned against, for the people would not go where he sent them, nor would they obey his law.
That is why he poured out such fury on them and destroyed them in battle. They were set on fire and burned, but they still refused to understand.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)