Isaiah 31; Isaiah 32; Isaiah 33; Isaiah 34; Isaiah 35

1 How terrible it will be for those people who go down to Egypt for help. They think horses will save them. They think their many chariots and strong horsemen will save them. But they don't trust God, the Holy One of Israel, or ask the Lord for help. 2 But he is wise and can bring them disaster. He does not change his warnings. He will rise up and fight against the evil people and against those who try to help evil people. 3 The Egyptians are only people and are not God. Their horses are only animals and are not spirit. The Lord will stretch out his arm, and the one who helps will stumble, and the people who wanted help will fall. All of them will be destroyed together. 4 The Lord says this to me: "When a lion or a lion's cub kills an animal to eat, it stands over the dead animal and roars. A band of shepherds may be assembled against it, but the lion will not be afraid of their yelling or upset by their noise. to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill. 5 The Lord All-Powerful will defend Jerusalem like birds flying over their nests. He will defend and save it; he will 'pass over' and save Jerusalem." 6 You children of Israel, come back to the God you fought against. 7 The time is coming when each of you will stop worshiping idols of gold and silver, which you sinned by making. 8 "Assyria will be defeated by a sword, but not the sword of a person; Assyria will be destroyed, but not by a person's sword. Assyria will run away from the sword of God, but its young men will be caught and made slaves. 9 They will panic, and their protection will be destroyed. Their commanders will be terrified when they see God's battle flag," says the Lord, whose fire is in Jerusalem and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.
1 A king will rule in a way that brings justice, and leaders will make fair decisions. 2 Then each ruler will be like a shelter from the wind, like a safe place in a storm, like streams of water in a dry land, like a cool shadow from a large rock in a hot land. 3 People will look to the king for help, and they will truly listen to what he says. 4 People who are now worried will be able to understand. Those who cannot speak clearly now will then be able to speak clearly and quickly. 5 Fools will not be called great, and people will not respect the wicked. 6 A fool says foolish things, and in his mind he plans evil. A fool does things that are wicked, and he says wrong things about the Lord. A fool does not feed the hungry or let thirsty people drink water. 7 The wicked person uses evil like a tool. He plans ways to take everything from the poor. He destroys the poor with lies, even when the poor person is in the right. 8 But a good leader plans to do good, and those good things make him a good leader. 9 You women who are calm now, stand up and listen to me. You women who feel safe now, hear what I say. 10 You women feel safe now, but after one year you will be afraid. There will be no grape harvest and no summer fruit to gather. 11 Women, you are calm now, but you should shake with fear. Women, you feel safe now, but you should tremble. Take off your nice clothes and put rough cloth around your waist to show your sadness. 12 Beat your breasts in grief, because the fields that were pleasant are now empty. Cry, because the vines that once had fruit now have no more grapes. 13 Cry for the land of my people, in which only thorns and weeds now grow. Cry for the city that once was happy and for all the houses that once were filled with joy. 14 The palace will be empty; people will leave the noisy city. Strong cities and towers will be empty. Wild donkeys will love to live there, and sheep will go there to eat. 15 This will continue until God pours his Spirit from above upon us. Then the desert will be like a fertile field and the fertile field like a forest. 16 Justice will be found even in the desert, and fairness will be found in the fertile fields. 17 That fairness will bring peace, and it will bring calm and safety forever. 18 My people will live in peaceful places and in safe homes and in calm places of rest. 19 Hail will destroy the forest, and the city will be completely destroyed. 20 But you will be happy as you plant seeds near every stream and as you let your cattle and donkeys wander freely.
1 How terrible it will be for you who destroy others but have not been destroyed yet. How terrible it will be for you, traitor, whom no one has turned against yet. When you stop destroying, others will destroy you. When you stop turning against others, they will turn against you. 2 Lord, be kind to us. We have waited for your help. Give us strength every morning. Save us when we are in trouble. — 3 Your powerful voice makes people run away in fear; your greatness causes the nations to run away. 4 Like locusts, your enemies will take away the things you stole in war. Like locusts rushing about, they will take your wealth. 5 The Lord is very great, and he lives in a high place. He fills Jerusalem with fairness and justice. 6 He will be your safety. He is full of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. Respect for the Lord is the greatest treasure. 7 See, brave men are crying out in the streets; those who tried to bring peace are crying loudly. 8 There is no one on the roads, no one walking in the paths. People have broken the agreements they made. They refuse to believe the proof from witnesses. No one respects other people. 9 The land is sick and dying; Lebanon is ashamed and dying. The Plain of Sharon is dry like the desert, and the trees of Bashan and Carmel are dying. 10 The Lord says, "Now, I will stand up and show my greatness. Now, I will become important to the people. 11 You people do useless things that are like hay and straw. A destructive wind will burn you like fire. 12 People will be burned until their bones become like lime; they will burn quickly like dry thornbushes." 13 You people in faraway lands, hear what I have done. You people who are near me, learn about my power. 14 The sinners in Jerusalem are afraid; those who are separated from God shake with fear. They say, "Can any of us live through this fire that destroys? Who can live near this fire that burns on and on?" 15 A person who does what is right and speaks what is right, who refuses to take money unfairly, who refuses to take money to hurt others, who does not listen to plans of murder, who refuses to think about evil -- 16 this is the kind of person who will be safe. He will be protected as he would be in a high, walled city. He will always have bread, and he will not run out of water. 17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty. You will see the land that stretches far away. 18 You will think about the terror of the past: "Where is that officer? Where is the one who collected the taxes? Where is the officer in charge of our defense towers?" 19 No longer will you see those proud people from other countries, whose strange language you couldn't understand. 20 Look at Jerusalem, the city of our festivals. Look at Jerusalem, that beautiful place of rest. It is like a tent that will never be moved; the pegs that hold her in place will never be pulled up, and her ropes will never be broken. 21 There the Lord will be our Mighty One. That land is a place with streams and wide rivers, but there will be no enemy boats on those rivers; no powerful ship will sail on them. 22 This is because the Lord is our judge. The Lord makes our laws. The Lord is our king. He will save us. 23 You sailors from other lands, hear: The ropes on your boats hang loose. The mast is not held firm. The sails are not spread open. Then your great wealth will be divided. There will be so much wealth that even the crippled people will carry off a share. 24 No one living in Jerusalem will say, "I am sick." The people who live there will have their sins forgiven.
1 All you nations, come near and listen. Pay attention, you peoples! The earth and all the people in it should listen, the world and everything in it. 2 The Lord is angry with all the nations; he is angry with their armies. He will destroy them and kill them all. 3 Their bodies will be thrown outside. The stink will rise from the bodies, and the blood will flow down the mountains. 4 The sun, moon, and stars will dissolve, and the sky will be rolled up like a scroll. The stars will fall like dead leaves from a vine or dried-up figs from a fig tree. 5 The Lord's sword in the sky is covered with blood. and destroy those people as an offering to the Lord. 6 The Lord's sword will be covered with blood; it will be covered with fat, with the blood from lambs and goats, with the fat from the kidneys of sheep. and much killing in Edom. 7 The oxen will be killed, and the cattle and the strong bulls. The land will be filled with their blood, and the dirt will be covered with their fat. 8 The Lord has chosen a time for punishment. He has chosen a year when people must pay for the wrongs they did to Jerusalem. 9 Edom's rivers will be like hot tar. Its dirt will be like burning sulfur. Its land will be like burning tar. 10 The fires will burn night and day; the smoke will rise from Edom forever. Year after year that land will be empty; no one will ever travel through that land again. 11 Birds and small animals will own that land, and owls and ravens will live there. God will make it an empty wasteland; it will have nothing left in it. 12 The important people will have no one left to rule them; the leaders will all be gone. 13 Thorns will take over the strong towers, and wild bushes will grow in the walled cities. It will be a home for wild dogs and a place for owls to live. 14 Desert animals will live with the hyenas, and wild goats will call to their friends. Night animals will live there and find a place of rest. 15 Owls will nest there and lay eggs. When they hatch open, the owls will gather their young under their wings. Hawks will gather with their own kind. 16 Look at the Lord's scroll and read what is written there: None of these will be missing; none will be without its mate. God has given the command, so his Spirit will gather them together. 17 God has divided the land among them, and he has given them each their portion. So they will own that land forever and will live there year after year.
1 The desert and dry land will become happy; the desert will be glad and will produce flowers. Like a flower, 2 it will have many blooms. It will show its happiness, as if it were shouting with joy. It will be beautiful like the forest of Lebanon, as beautiful as the hill of Carmel and the Plain of Sharon. Everyone will see the glory of the Lord and the splendor of our God. 3 Make the weak hands strong and the weak knees steady. 4 Say to people who are frightened, "Be strong. Don't be afraid. Look, your God will come, and he will punish your enemies. He will make them pay for the wrongs they did, but he will save you." 5 Then the blind people will see again, and the deaf will hear. 6 Crippled people will jump like deer, and those who can't talk now will shout with joy. Water will flow in the desert, and streams will flow in the dry land. 7 The burning desert will have pools of water, and the dry ground will have springs. Where wild dogs once lived, grass and water plants will grow. 8 A road will be there; this highway will be called "The Road to Being Holy." Evil people will not be allowed to walk on that road; only good people will walk on it. No fools will go on it. 9 No lions will be there, nor will dangerous animals be on that road. They will not be found there. That road will be for the people God saves; 10 the people the Lord has freed will return there. They will enter Jerusalem with joy, and their happiness will last forever. Their gladness and joy will fill them completely, and sorrow and sadness will go far away.