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Isaiah 44 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 "But for now, dear servant Jacob, listen - yes, you, Israel, my personal choice. 1 "But now listen, O Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.
2 God who made you has something to say to you; the God who formed you in the womb wants to help you. Don't be afraid, dear servant Jacob, Jeshurun, the one I chose. 2 This is what the LORD says-- he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water on the thirsty ground and send streams coursing through the parched earth. I will pour my Spirit into your descendants and my blessing on your children. 3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They shall sprout like grass on the prairie, like willows alongside creeks. 4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5 This one will say, 'I am God's,' and another will go by the name Jacob; That one will write on his hand 'God's property' - and be proud to be called Israel." 5 One will say, 'I belong to the LORD'; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, 'The LORD's,' and will take the name Israel.
6 God, King of Israel, your Redeemer, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says: "I'm first, I'm last, and everything in between. I'm the only God there is. 6 "This is what the LORD says-- Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.
7 Who compares with me? Speak up. See if you measure up. From the beginning, who else has always announced what's coming? So what is coming next? Anybody want to venture a try? 7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come-- yes, let him foretell what will come.
8 Don't be afraid, and don't worry: Haven't I always kept you informed, told you what was going on? You're my eyewitnesses: Have you ever come across a God, a real God, other than me? There's no Rock like me that I know of." Lover of Emptiness 8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."
9 All those who make no-god idols don't amount to a thing, and what they work so hard at making is nothing. Their little puppet-gods see nothing and know nothing - they're total embarrassments! 9 All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame.
10 Who would bother making gods that can't do anything, that can't "god"? 10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit him nothing?
11 Watch all the no-god worshipers hide their faces in shame. Watch the no-god makers slink off humiliated when their idols fail them. Get them out here in the open. Make them face God-reality. 11 He and his kind will be put to shame; craftsmen are nothing but men. Let them all come together and take their stand; they will be brought down to terror and infamy.
12 The blacksmith makes his no-god, works it over in his forge, hammering it on his anvil - such hard work! He works away, fatigued with hunger and thirst. 12 The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it in the coals; he shapes an idol with hammers, he forges it with the might of his arm. He gets hungry and loses his strength; he drinks no water and grows faint.
13 The woodworker draws up plans for his no-god, traces it on a block of wood. He shapes it with chisels and planes into human shape - a beautiful woman, a handsome man, ready to be placed in a chapel. 13 The carpenter measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses. He shapes it in the form of man, of man in all his glory, that it may dwell in a shrine.
14 He first cuts down a cedar, or maybe picks out a pine or oak, and lets it grow strong in the forest, nourished by the rain. 14 He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
15 Then it can serve a double purpose: Part he uses as firewood for keeping warm and baking bread; from the other part he makes a god that he worships - carves it into a god shape and prays before it. 15 It is man's fuel for burning; some of it he takes and warms himself, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. But he also fashions a god and worships it; he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16 With half he makes a fire to warm himself and barbecue his supper. He eats his fill and sits back satisfied with his stomach full and his feet warmed by the fire: "Ah, this is the life." 16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, "Ah! I am warm; I see the fire."
17 And he still has half left for a god, made to his personal design - a handy, convenient no-god to worship whenever so inclined. Whenever the need strikes him he prays to it, "Save me. You're my god." 17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, "Save me; you are my god."
18 Pretty stupid, wouldn't you say? Don't they have eyes in their heads? Are their brains working at all? 18 They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 Doesn't it occur to them to say, "Half of this tree I used for firewood: I baked bread, roasted meat, and enjoyed a good meal. And now I've used the rest to make an abominable no-god. Here I am praying to a stick of wood!" 19 No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, "Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?"
20 This lover of emptiness, of nothing, is so out of touch with reality, so far gone, that he can't even look at what he's doing, can't even look at the no-god stick of wood in his hand and say, "This is crazy." 20 He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"
21 "Remember these things, O Jacob. Take it seriously, Israel, that you're my servant. I made you, shaped you: You're my servant. O Israel, I'll never forget you. 21 "Remember these things, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I have made you, you are my servant; O Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I've wiped the slate of all your wrongdoings. There's nothing left of your sins. Come back to me, come back. I've redeemed you." 22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."
23 High heavens, sing! God has done it. Deep earth, shout! And you mountains, sing! A forest choir of oaks and pines and cedars! God has redeemed Jacob. God's glory is on display in Israel. 23 Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, O earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the LORD has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.
24 God, your Redeemer, who shaped your life in your mother's womb, says: "I am God. I made all that is. With no help from you I spread out the skies and laid out the earth." 24 "This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,
25 He makes the magicians look ridiculous and turns fortunetellers into jokes. He makes the experts look trivial and their latest knowledge look silly. 25 who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense,
26 But he backs the word of his servant and confirms the counsel of his messengers. He says to Jerusalem, "Be inhabited," and to the cities of Judah, "Be rebuilt," and to the ruins, "I raise you up." 26 who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, 'It shall be inhabited,' of the towns of Judah, 'They shall be built,' and of their ruins, 'I will restore them,'
27 He says to Ocean, "Dry up. I'm drying up your rivers." 27 who says to the watery deep, 'Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,'
28 He says to Cyrus, "My shepherd - everything I want, you'll do it." He says to Jerusalem, "Be built," and to the Temple, "Be established." 28 who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, "Let it be rebuilt," and of the temple, "Let its foundations be laid." '