Time and again I warned you about what was going to happen in the future. Then suddenly I took action, and all my predictions came true.
"I know how stubborn and obstinate you are. Your necks are as unbending as iron. You are as hardheaded as bronze.
That is why I told you ahead of time what I was going to do. That way, you could never say, 'My idols did it. My wooden image and metal god commanded it to happen!'
You have heard my predictions and seen them fulfilled, but you refuse to admit it. Now I will tell you new things I have not mentioned before, secrets you have not yet heard.
They are brand new, not things from the past. So you cannot say, 'We knew that all the time!'
"Yes, I will tell you of things that are entirely new, for I know so well what traitors you are. You have been rebels from your earliest childhood, rotten through and through.
Yet for my own sake and for the honor of my name, I will hold back my anger and not wipe you out.
I have refined you but not in the way silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.
I will rescue you for my sake -- yes, for my own sake! That way, the pagan nations will not be able to claim that their gods have conquered me. I will not let them have my glory!
"Listen to me, O family of Jacob, Israel my chosen one! I alone am God, the First and the Last.
It was my hand that laid the foundations of the earth. The palm of my right hand spread out the heavens above. I spoke, and they came into being.
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)