This is what the LORD says to Cyrus, his anointed one, whose right hand he will empower. Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear. Their fortress gates will be opened, never again to shut against him.
This is what the LORD says: "I will go before you, Cyrus, and level the mountains. a I will smash down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness -- secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.
"And why have I called you for this work? It is for the sake of Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one. I called you by name when you did not know me.
I am the LORD; there is no other God. I have prepared you, even though you do not know me,
so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the LORD, and there is no other.
I am the one who creates the light and makes the darkness. I am the one who sends good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things.
Open up, O heavens, and pour out your righteousness. Let the earth open wide so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together. I, the LORD, created them.
"Destruction is certain for those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot ever argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, 'Stop, you are doing it wrong!' Does the pot exclaim, 'How clumsy can you be!'
How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father and mother, 'Why was I born? Why did you make me this way?'"
This is what the LORD, the Creator and Holy One of Israel, says: "Do you question what I do? Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?
I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens. All the millions of stars are at my command.
I will raise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose, and I will guide all his actions. He will restore my city and free my captive people -- and not for a reward! I, the LORD Almighty, have spoken!"
This is what the LORD says: "The Egyptians, Ethiopians, b and Sabeans will be subject to you. They will come to you with all their merchandise, and it will all be yours. They will follow you as prisoners in chains. They will fall to their knees in front of you and say, 'God is with you, and he is the only God.'"
Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior, you work in strange and mysterious ways.
All who make idols will be humiliated and disgraced.
But the LORD will save the people of Israel with eternal salvation. They will never again be humiliated and disgraced throughout everlasting ages.
For the LORD is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos."I am the LORD," he says, "and there is no other.
I publicly proclaim bold promises. I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner so no one can understand what I mean. And I did not tell the people of Israel c to ask me for something I did not plan to give. I, the LORD, speak only what is true and right.
"Gather together and come, you fugitives from surrounding nations. What fools they are who carry around their wooden idols and pray to gods that cannot save!
Consult together, argue your case, and state your proofs that idol worship pays. Who made these things known long ago? What idol ever told you they would happen? Was it not I, the LORD? For there is no other God but me -- a just God and a Savior -- no, not one!
Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other.
I have sworn by my own name, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will confess allegiance to my name."
The people will declare, "The LORD is the source of all my righteousness and strength." And all who were angry with him will come to him and be ashamed.
In the LORD all the generations of Israel will be justified, and in him they will boast.
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)