Isaiah 57

Israel's Futile Idolatry

1 The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; 1devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;
2 2he enters into peace; they rest 3in their beds who walk in their uprightness.
3 But you, draw near, sons of the sorceress, 4offspring of the adulterer and the loose woman.
4 Whom are you mocking? Against whom 5do you open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of 6transgression, 7the offspring of deceit,
5 you who burn with lust among 8the oaks,a under every green tree, 9who slaughter your children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?
6 Among the smooth stones of 10the valley is your portion; they, they, are your lot; to them you have poured out a drink offering, you have brought a grain offering. Shall I relent for these things?
7 11On a high and lofty mountain you have set your bed, and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
8 Behind the door and the doorpost you have set up your memorial; for, deserting me, 12you have uncovered your bed, you have gone up to it, 13you have made it wide; and you have made a covenant for yourself with them, you have loved their bed, you have looked on nakedness.b
9 You journeyed to the king with oil and multiplied your perfumes; 14you sent your envoys far off, and sent down even to Sheol.
10 You were wearied with the length of your way, 15but you did not say, "It is hopeless"; you found new life for your strength, and so you were not faint.c
11 16Whom did you dread and fear, 17so that you lied, and did not remember me, did not lay it to heart? 18Have I not held my peace, even for a long time, and you do not fear me?
12 I will declare your righteousness and your deeds, but they will not profit you.
13 19When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you! The wind will carry them off, a breath will take them away. 20But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land and shall inherit 21my holy mountain.

Comfort for the Contrite

14 And it shall be said, 22"Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people's way."
15 For thus says 23the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is 24Holy: 25"I dwell in the high and holy place, and also 26with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, 27to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 28For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before me, and the breath of life that I made.
17 Because of the iniquity of his 29unjust gain I was angry, I struck him; I hid my face and was angry, but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.
18 I have seen his ways, 30but I will heal him; I will lead him 31and restore comfort to him and his mourners,
19 32creating 33the fruit of the lips. 34Peace, peace, 35to the far and to the near," says the LORD, 36"and I will heal him.
20 37But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
21 38There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."