Isaiah 64; Isaiah 65; Isaiah 66

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Isaiah 64

1 Tear open the skies and come down to earth so that the mountains will tremble before you.
2 Like a fire that burns twigs, like a fire that makes water boil, let your enemies know who you are. Then all nations will shake with fear when they see you.
3 You have done amazing things we did not expect. You came down, and the mountains trembled before you.
4 From long ago no one has ever heard of a God like you. No one has ever seen a God besides you, who helps the people who trust you.
5 You help those who enjoy doing good, who remember how you want them to live. But you were angry because we sinned. For a long time we disobeyed, so how can we be saved?
6 All of us are dirty with sin. All the right things we have done are like filthy pieces of cloth. All of us are like dead leaves, and our sins, like the wind, have carried us away.
7 No one worships you or even asks you to help us. That is because you have turned away from us and have let our sins destroy us.
8 But Lord, you are our father. We are like clay, and you are the potter; your hands made us all.
9 Lord, don't continue to be angry with us; don't remember our sins forever. Please, look at us, because we are your people.
10 Your holy cities are empty like the desert. Jerusalem is like a desert; it is destroyed.
11 Our ancestors worshiped you in our holy and wonderful Temple, but now it has been burned with fire, and all our precious things have been destroyed.
12 When you see these things, will you hold yourself back from helping us, Lord? Will you be silent and punish us beyond what we can stand?
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 65

1 The Lord says, "I made myself known to people who were notlooking for me. I was found by those who were not asking me for help. I said, 'Here I am. Here I am,' to a nation that was not praying to me.
2 All day long I stood ready to accept people who turned against me, but the way they continue to live is not good; they do anything they want to do.
3 Right in front of me they continue to do things that make me angry. They offer sacrifices to their gods in their gardens, and they burn incense on altars of brick.
4 They sit among the graves and spend their nights waiting to get messages from the dead. They eat the meat of pigs, and their pots are full of soup made from meat that is wrong to eat.
5 But they tell others, 'Stay away, and don't come near me. I am too holy for you.' These people are like smoke in my nose. Like a fire that burns all the time, they continue to make me angry.
6 "Look, it is written here before me. I will not be quiet; instead, I will repay you in full. I will punish you for what you have done.
7 I will punish you for your sins and your ancestors' sins," says the Lord. "They burned incense to gods on the mountains and shamed me on those hills. So I will punish them as they should be punished for what they did."
8 This is what the Lord says: "When there is juice left in the grapes, people do not destroy them, because they know there is good left in them. So I will do the same thing to my servants -- I will not completely destroy them.
9 I will leave some of the children of Jacob, and some of the people of Judah will receive my mountain. I will choose the people who will live there; my servants will live there.
10 Then the Plain of Sharon will be a field for flocks, and the Valley of Achor will be a place for herds to rest. They will be for the people who want to follow me.
11 "But as for you who left the Lord, who forgot about my holy mountain, who worship the god Luck, who hold religious feasts for the god Fate,
12 I decide your fate, and I will punish you with my sword. You will all be killed, because I called you, but you refused to answer. I spoke to you, but you wouldn't listen. You did the things I said were evil and chose to do things that displease me."
13 So this is what the Lord God says: "My servants will eat, but you evil people will be hungry. My servants will drink, but you evil people will be thirsty. My servants will be happy, but you evil people will be shamed.
14 My servants will shout for joy because of the goodness of their hearts, but you evil people will cry, because you will be sad. You will cry loudly, because your spirits will be broken.
15 Your names will be like curses to my servants, and the Lord God will put you to death. But he will call his servants by another name.
16 People in the land who ask for blessings will ask for them from the faithful God. And people in the land who make a promise will promise in the name of the faithful God, because the troubles of the past will be forgotten. I will make those troubles go away.
17 "Look, I will make new heavens and a new earth, and people will not remember the past or think about those things.
18 My people will be happy forever because of the things I will make. I will make a Jerusalem that is full of joy, and I will make her people a delight.
19 Then I will rejoice over Jerusalem and be delighted with my people. There will never again be heard in that city the sounds of crying and sadness.
20 There will never be a baby from that city who lives only a few days. And there will never be an older person who doesn't have a long life. A person who lives a hundred years will be called young, and a person who dies before he is a hundred will be thought of as a sinner.
21 In that city those who build houses will live there. Those who plant vineyards will get to eat their grapes.
22 No more will one person build a house and someone else live there. One person will not plant a garden and someone else eat its fruit. My people will live a long time, as trees live long. My chosen people will live there and enjoy the things they make.
23 They will never again work for nothing. They will never again give birth to children who die young. All my people will be blessed by the Lord; they and their children will be blessed.
24 I will provide for their needs before they ask, and I will help them while they are still asking for help.
25 Wolves and lambs will eat together in peace. Lions will eat hay like oxen, and a snake on the ground will not hurt anyone. They will not hurt or destroy each other on all my holy mountain," says the Lord.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 66

1 This is what the Lord says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. So do you think you can build a house for me? Do I need a place to rest?
2 My hand made all things. All things are here because I made them," says the Lord. "These are the people I am pleased with: those who are not proud or stubborn and who fear my word.
3 But those people who kill bulls as a sacrifice to me are like those who kill people. Those who kill sheep as a sacrifice are like those who break the necks of dogs. Those who give me grain offerings are like those who offer me the blood of pigs. Those who burn incense are like those who worship idols. These people choose their own ways, not mine, and they love the terrible things they do.
4 So I will choose their punishments, and I will punish them with what they fear most. This is because I called to them, but they did not listen. I spoke to them, but they did not hear me. They did things I said were evil; they chose to do things I did not like."
5 You people who obey the words of the Lord, listen to what he says: "Your brothers hated you and turned against you because you followed me. Your brothers said, 'Let the Lord be honored so we may see you rejoice,' but they will be punished.
6 Listen to the loud noise coming from the city; hear the noise from the Temple. It is the Lord punishing his enemies, giving them the punishment they should have.
7 "A woman does not give birth before she feels the pain; she does not give birth to a son before the pain starts.
8 No one has ever heard of that happening; no one has ever seen that happen. In the same way no one ever saw a country begin in one day; no one has ever heard of a new nation beginning in one moment. just as soon as she feels the birth pains.
9 In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born," says the Lord. "If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation," says your God.
10 "Jerusalem, rejoice. All you people who love Jerusalem, be happy. should now feel happy with her.
11 You will take comfort from her and be satisfied, as a child is nursed by its mother. You will receive her good things and enjoy her wealth."
12 This is what the Lord says: "I will give her peace that will flow to her like a river. The wealth of the nations will come to her like a river overflowing its banks. Like babies you will be nursed and held in my arms and bounced on my knees.
13 I will comfort you as a mother comforts her child. You will be comforted in Jerusalem."
14 When you see these things, you will be happy, and you will grow like the grass. The Lord's servants will see his power, but his enemies will see his anger.
15 Look, the Lord is coming with fire and his armies with clouds of dust. He will punish those people with his anger; he will punish them with flames of fire.
16 The Lord will judge the people with fire, and he will destroy many people with his sword; he will kill many people.
17 "These people make themselves holy and pure to go to worship their gods in their gardens. Following each other into their special gardens, they eat the meat of pigs and rats and other hateful things. But they will all be destroyed together," says the Lord.
18 "I know they have evil thoughts and do evil things, so I am coming to punish them. I will gather all nations and all people, and they will come together and see my glory.
19 "I will put a mark on some of the people, and I will send some of these saved people to the nations: to Tarshish, Libya, Lud (the land of archers), Tubal, Greece, and all the faraway lands. These people have never heard about what I have done nor seen my glory. So the saved people will tell the nations about my glory.
20 And they will bring all your fellow Israelites from all nations to my holy mountain in Jerusalem. Your fellow Israelites will come on horses, donkeys, and camels and in chariots and wagons. They will be like the grain offerings that the people bring in clean containers to the Temple," says the Lord.
21 "And I will choose even some of these people to be priests and Levites," says the Lord.
22 "I will make new heavens and the new earth, which will last forever," says the Lord. "In the same way, your names and your children will always be with me.
23 All people will come to worship me every Sabbath and every New Moon," says the Lord.
24 "They will go out and see the dead bodies of the people who sinned against me. The worms that eat them will never die, and the fires that burn them will never stop, and everyone will hate to see those bodies."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.