Israel’s suffering is about to end
Live the words: No fear1
You want some justice,
And you want to do what’s right.
So, you’re looking for the LORD.
But look at the rock from which you were cut.
With Sarah, mother of your birth.
Abraham was just one man I chose.
But look at the nation he became.
3The LORD will comfort Jerusalem,
A city that lies in ruins.
He’ll grow Eden in her wasteland,
God’s Garden in the desert.
Relief and joy will come to Jerusalem,
With songs of gratitude and thanks.
God still packs a punch4
You’re my people. Listen to me.
You’re my nation. Pay attention.
I have something you need to know.
Justice is about to light up the nations.
It’s already on the road.
I’ll show you I still pack a punch.
Your coastal homeland depends on that.
6Take a look at the sky.
Take a look at the ground.
Sky will vanish like a puff of smoke.
Earth will rip like a robe to a rag.
All life will die like bugs on their backs.
But the victory I win
Will make a difference forever.
My power to save never ends.
7If you know right from wrong,
If you live by my teachings,
Listen to what I say.
When others insult you,
Don’t let it get to you.
When others mistreat you,
Don’t let it beat you.
8Those people will disappear
Like cloth with a moth,
Like a ball of wool with a worm.
But I’ll be here to save forever,
For all generations to come.
Wake up, God9
Wake up, LORD. We need your muscle.
Do what you did long ago.
Didn’t you destroy Rahab the dragon,
Killing that monster of the sea?
Did you pave a trail for the people you saved?
11Let the people you save
Come to Jerusalem
Joyfully singing their thanks.
Let sadness and sorrow leave this place.
God has your back12
I’m the one who reassures you.
So why do these people scare you?
They’re here for a while then dead and gone,
Like dried up grass in the field.
Your LORD and creator.
I raised the sky above you.
I dropped the earth beneath you.
Yet you live in a state of constant fear
Because of how badly they treat you.
14You’re kneeling to them now,
But you’ll be free of them soon.
They’re not going to kill you.
And you’re not going to starve.
15I’m the LORD your God.
I’m the one who stirs the sea
And sets the waves in motion.
LORD of Everyone, that’s my name.
16I’ll give you words when you need them.
I’ll hold you tight and keep you safe.
I put the sky above and the earth below
And I say to those in Jerusalem
“I chose you. You’re my people.”
God leads the leaderless17
Wake up, Jerusalem.
Wake up, my people.
You suffered the punishment of God
Staggering loss and wrenching pain.
There’s no one in charge.
No one to take your hand.
Not a single soul among you.
19You’re double-dipped in trouble,
Decimated and ruined.
Defeated and starved.
Who will comfort you with kindness?
20Your people are passing out.
Their bodies litter the streets.
They’re trapped in their troubles
Like a deer in a net.
They feel the full impact,
The punishing blow of God.
21Now listen, wounded people,
Staggering through your pain.
22Listen to the LORD your God,
Champion and hero of his people:
From now on you’re in my hands.
The tormented life you’ve lived
As punishment from God
Is finished now and always.
You’ll never suffer it again.
23God will pass the cup of punishment
To people who treated you like dirt.
They said, “Drop to the ground when we pass by.”
You were dirt on their path through the day.
Jewish people teach that Abraham was the father of their nation (Genesis 12:1-2). His grandson, Jacob, produced a dozen sons whose extended families grew into what became the 12 Tribes of Israel. The confederation of tribes later united as Israel under their first king, Saul. But a few kings later, they split into the two nations Isaiah addressed: Israel in the north and Judah in the south.
Some Jews may have believed that since they lost the war with Babylon and got deported that God wasn’t strong enough to defeat Babylon’s gods.
Rahab was a dragon monster in ancient myths about the chaos of creation. It compared to Leviathan, another similar monster referred to in the Bible (Job 41:1; Psalm 74:4). Bible writers portray God as stronger than the strongest, meanest monsters people could imagine. It’s evil vs. good, with God and goodness always winning.
It’s not clear who the oppressors are. It could have been Babylonians, who conquered Judah, leveled Jerusalem, and deported the survivors to Babylon in what is now Iraq. Or it might have been Israel’s neighbors after the Jews started returning home as refugees from deportation and exile. God’s comfort works either way.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.