Isaiah 54; Isaiah 55; Isaiah 56; Isaiah 57; Isaiah 58

1 The Lord says, "Sing, Jerusalem. You are like a woman who never gave birth to children. Start singing and shout for joy. You never felt the pain of giving birth, but you will have more children than the woman who has a husband. 2 Make your tent bigger; stretch it out and make it wider. Do not hold back. Make the ropes longer and its stakes stronger, 3 because you will spread out to the right and to the left. Your children will take over other nations, and they will again live in cities that once were destroyed. 4 "Don't be afraid, because you will not be ashamed. Don't be embarrassed, because you will not be disgraced. You will forget the shame you felt earlier; you will not remember the shame you felt when you lost your husband. 5 The God who made you is like your husband. His name is the Lord All-Powerful. The Holy One of Israel is the one who saves you. He is called the God of all the earth. 6 You were like a woman whose husband left her, and you were very sad. You were like a wife who married young and then her husband left her. But the Lord called you to be his," says your God. 7 God says, "I left you for a short time, but with great kindness I will bring you back again. 8 I became very angry and hid from you for a time, but I will show you mercy with kindness forever," says the Lord who saves you. 9 The Lord says, "This day is like the time of Noah to me. I promised then that I would never flood the world again. In the same way, I promise I will not be angry with you or punish you again. 10 The mountains may disappear, and the hills may come to an end, but my love will never disappear; my promise of peace will not come to an end," says the Lord who shows mercy to you. 11 "You poor city. Storms have hurt you, and you have not been comforted. But I will rebuild you with turquoise stones, and I will build your foundations with sapphires. 12 I will use rubies to build your walls and shining jewels for the gates and precious jewels for all your outer walls. 13 All your children will be taught by the Lord, and they will have much peace. 14 I will build you using fairness. You will be safe from those who would hurt you, so you will have nothing to fear. Nothing will come to make you afraid. 15 I will not send anyone to attack you, and you will defeat those who do attack you. 16 "See, I made the blacksmith. He fans the fire to make it hotter, and he makes the kind of tool he wants. In the same way I have made the destroyer to destroy. 17 So no weapon that is used against you will defeat you. You will show that those who speak against you are wrong. These are the good things my servants receive. Their victory comes from me," says the Lord.
1 The Lord says, "All you who are thirsty, come and drink. Those of you who do not have money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend your money on something that is not real food? Why work for something that doesn't really satisfy you? Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies. 3 Come to me and listen; listen to me so you may live. I will make an agreement with you that will last forever. I will give you the blessings I promised to David. 4 I made David a witness of my power for all nations, a ruler and commander of many nations. 5 You will call for nations that you don't yet know. And these nations that do not know you will run to you because of the Lord your God, because of the Holy One of Israel who honors you." 6 So you should look for the Lord before it is too late; you should call to him while he is near. 7 The wicked should stop doing wrong, and they should stop their evil thoughts. They should return to the Lord so he may have mercy on them. They should come to our God, because he will freely forgive them. 8 The Lord says, "My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like my ways. 9 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. 10 Rain and snow fall from the sky and don't return without watering the ground. They cause the plants to sprout and grow, making seeds for the farmer and bread for the people. 11 The same thing is true of the words I speak. They will not return to me empty. They make the things happen that I want to happen, and they succeed in doing what I send them to do. 12 "So you will go out with joy and be led out in peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees in the fields will clap their hands. 13 Large cypress trees will grow where thornbushes were. Myrtle trees will grow where weeds were. These things will be a reminder of the Lord's promise, and this reminder will never be destroyed."
1 This is what the Lord says: "Give justice to all people, and do what is right, because my salvation will come to you soon. Soon everyone will know that I do what is right. 2 The person who obeys the law about the Sabbath will be blessed, and the person who does no evil will be blessed." 3 Foreigners who have joined the Lord should not say, "The Lord will not accept me with his people." The eunuch should not say, "Because I cannot have children, the Lord will not accept me." 4 This is what the Lord says: "The eunuchs should obey the law about the Sabbath and do what I want and keep my agreement. 5 If they do, I will make their names remembered within my Temple and its walls. It will be better for them than children. I will give them a name that will last forever, that will never be forgotten. 6 Foreigners will join the Lord to worship him and love him, to serve him, to obey the law about the Sabbath, and to keep my agreement. 7 I will bring these people to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. The offerings and sacrifices they place on my altar will please me, because my Temple will be called a house for prayer for people from all nations." 8 The Lord God says -- he who gathers the Israelites that were forced to leave their country: "I will bring together other people to join those who are already gathered." 9 All you animals of the field, all you animals of the forest, come to eat. 10 The leaders who are to guard the people are blind; they don't know what they are doing. All of them are like quiet dogs that don't know how to bark. They lie down and dream and love to sleep. 11 They are like hungry dogs that are never satisfied. They are like shepherds who don't know what they are doing. They all have gone their own way; all they want to do is satisfy themselves. 12 They say, "Come, let's drink some wine; let's drink all the beer we want. And tomorrow we will do this again, or, maybe we will have an even better time."
1 Those who are right with God may die, but no one pays attention. Good people are taken away, but no one understands. Those who do right are being taken away from evil 2 and are given peace. find rest in death. 3 "Come here, you magicians! Come here, you sons of prostitutes and those who take part in adultery! 4 Of whom are you making fun? Whom are you insulting? At whom do you stick out your tongue? You turn against God, and you are liars. 5 You have sexual relations under every green tree to worship your gods. You kill children in the ravines and sacrifice them in the rocky places. 6 You take the smooth rocks from the ravines as your portion. You pour drink offerings on them to worship them, and you give grain offerings to them. Do you think this makes me want to show you mercy? 7 You make your bed on every hill and mountain, and there you offer sacrifices. 8 You have hidden your idols behind your doors and doorposts. You have left me, and you have uncovered yourself. You have pulled back the covers and climbed into bed. You have made an agreement with those whose beds you love, and you have looked at their nakedness. 9 You use your oils and perfumes to look nice for Molech. You have sent your messengers to faraway lands; you even tried to send them to the place of the dead. 10 You were tired from doing these things, but you never gave up. You found new strength, so you did not quit. 11 "Whom were you so afraid of that you lied to me? You have not remembered me or even thought about me. I have been quiet for a long time. Is that why you are not afraid of me? 12 I will tell about your 'goodness' and what you do, and those things will do you no good. 13 When you cry out for help, let the gods you have gathered help you. The wind will blow them all away; just a puff of wind will take them away. But the person who depends on me will receive the land and own my holy mountain." 14 Someone will say, "Build a road! Build a road! Prepare the way! Make the way clear for my people." 15 And this is the reason: God lives forever and is holy. He is high and lifted up. He says, "I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are sad and humble. I give new life to those who are humble and to those whose hearts are broken. 16 I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, because then human life would grow weak. Human beings, whom I created, would die. 17 I was angry because they were dishonest in order to make money. I punished them and turned away from them in anger, but they continued to do evil. 18 I have seen what they have done, but I will heal them. I will guide them and comfort them and those who felt sad for them. They will all praise me. 19 I will give peace, real peace, to those far and near, and I will heal them," says the Lord. 20 But evil people are like the angry sea, which cannot rest, whose waves toss up waste and mud. 21 "There is no peace for evil people," says my God.
1 The Lord says, "Shout out loud. Don't hold back. Shout out loud like a trumpet. Tell my people what they have done against their God; tell the family of Jacob about their sins. 2 They still come every day looking for me and want to learn my ways. They act just like a nation that does what is right, that obeys the commands of its God. They ask me to judge them fairly. They want God to be near them. 3 They say, 'To honor you we had special days when we gave up eating, but you didn't see. We humbled ourselves to honor you, but you didn't notice.'" But the Lord says, "You do what pleases yourselves on these special days, and you are unfair to your workers. 4 On these special days when you do not eat, you argue and fight and hit each other with your fists. You cannot do these things as you do now and believe your prayers are heard in heaven. 5 This kind of special day is not what I want. This is not the way I want people to be sorry for what they have done. I don't want people just to bow their heads like a plant and wear rough cloth and lie in ashes to show their sadness. This is what you do on your special days when you do not eat, but do you think this is what the Lord wants? 6 "I will tell you the kind of special day I want: Free the people you have put in prison unfairly and undo their chains. Free those to whom you are unfair and stop their hard labor. 7 Share your food with the hungry and bring poor, homeless people into your own homes. When you see someone who has no clothes, give him yours, and don't refuse to help your own relatives. 8 Then your light will shine like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your God will walk before you, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. 9 Then you will call out, and the Lord will answer. You will cry out, and he will say, 'Here I am.' "If you stop making trouble for others, if you stop using cruel words and pointing your finger at others, 10 if you feed those who are hungry and take care of the needs of those who are troubled, then your light will shine in the darkness, and you will be bright like sunshine at noon. 11 The Lord will always lead you. He will satisfy your needs in dry lands and give strength to your bones. You will be like a garden that has much water, like a spring that never runs dry. 12 Your people will rebuild the old cities that are now in ruins; you will rebuild their foundations. You will be known for repairing the broken places and for rebuilding the roads and houses. 13 "You must obey God's law about the Sabbath and not do what pleases yourselves on that holy day. and honor it as the Lord's holy day. You should honor it by not doing whatever you please nor saying whatever you please on that day. 14 Then you will find joy in the Lord, and I will carry you to the high places above the earth. I will let you eat the crops of the land your ancestor Jacob had." The Lord has said these things.