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Evil Leaders Rebuked57:1 The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil,
2 He enters into peace; They rest in their beds, Each one who walked in his upright way.
3 “But come here, you sons of a sorceress, Offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute.
4 “Against whom do you jest? Against whom do you open wide your mouth And stick out your tongue? Are you not children of rebellion, Offspring of deceit,
5 Who inflame yourselves among the oaks, Under every luxuriant tree, Who slaughter the children in the ravines, Under the clefts of the crags?
6 “Among the smooth stones of the ravine Is your portion, they are your lot; Even to them you have poured out a drink offering, You have made a grain offering. Shall I relent concerning these things?
7 “Upon a high and lofty mountain You have made your bed. You also went up there to offer sacrifice.
8 “Behind the door and the doorpost You have set up your sign; Indeed, far removed from Me, you have uncovered yourself, And have gone up and made your bed wide. And you have made an agreement for yourself with them, You have loved their bed, You have looked on their manhood.
9 “You have journeyed to the king with oil And increased your perfumes; You have sent your envoys a great distance And made them go down to Sheol.
10 “You were tired out by the length of your road, Yet you did not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewed strength, Therefore you did not faint.
11 “Of whom were you worried and fearful When you lied, and did not remember Me Nor give Me a thought? Was I not silent even for a long time So you do not fear Me?
12 “I will declare your righteousness and your deeds, But they will not profit you.
13 “When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry all of them up, And a breath will take them away. But he who takes refuge in Me will inherit the land And will possess My holy mountain.”
14 And it will be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people.”
15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 “For I will not contend forever, Nor will I always be angry; For the spirit would grow faint before Me, And the breath of those whom I have made.
17 “Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry and struck him; I hid My face and was angry, And he went on turning away, in the way of his heart.
18 “I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners,
19 Creating the praise of the lips. Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near,” Says the LORD, “and I will heal him.”
20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud.
21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
Observances of Fasts58:1 “Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 “Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’ Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, And drive hard all your workers.
4 “Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.
5 “Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?
6 “Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?
7 “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
10 And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday.
11 “And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
12 “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.
Keeping the Sabbath13 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot From doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, And honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure And speaking your own word,
14 Then you will take delight in the LORD, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Separation from God59:1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear.
2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken falsehood, Your tongue mutters wickedness.
4 No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion and speak lies; They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.
5 They hatch adders’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a snake breaks forth.
6 Their webs will not become clothing, Nor will they cover themselves with their works; Their works are works of iniquity, And an act of violence is in their hands.
7 Their feet run to evil, And they hasten to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, Devastation and destruction are in their highways.
8 They do not know the way of peace, And there is no justice in their tracks; They have made their paths crooked, Whoever treads on them does not know peace.
A Confession of Wickedness9 Therefore justice is far from us, And righteousness does not overtake us; We hope for light, but behold, darkness, For brightness, but we walk in gloom.
10 We grope along the wall like blind men, We grope like those who have no eyes; We stumble at midday as in the twilight, Among those who are vigorous we are like dead men.
11 All of us growl like bears, And moan sadly like doves; We hope for justice, but there is none, For salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You, And our sins testify against us; For our transgressions are with us, And we know our iniquities:
13 Transgressing and denying the LORD, And turning away from our God, Speaking oppression and revolt, Conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words.
14 Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands far away; For truth has stumbled in the street, And uprightness cannot enter.
15 Yes, truth is lacking; And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey. Now the LORD saw, And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.
16 And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede; Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him.
17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.
18 According to their deeds, so He will repay, Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; To the coastlands He will make recompense.
19 So they will fear the name of the LORD from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream Which the wind of the LORD drives.
20 “A Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the LORD.
21 “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from now and forever.”
A Glorified Zion60:1 “Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2 “For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you.
3 “Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
4 “Lift up your eyes round about and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, And your daughters will be carried in the arms.
5 “Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will thrill and rejoice; Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you.
6 “A multitude of camels will cover you, The young camels of Midian and Ephah; All those from Sheba will come; They will bring gold and frankincense, And will bear good news of the praises of the LORD.
7 “All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you, The rams of Nebaioth will minister to you; They will go up with acceptance on My altar, And I shall glorify My glorious house.
8 “Who are these who fly like a cloud And like the doves to their lattices?
9 “Surely the coastlands will wait for Me; And the ships of Tarshish will come first, To bring your sons from afar, Their silver and their gold with them, For the name of the LORD your God, And for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you.
10 “Foreigners will build up your walls, And their kings will minister to you; For in My wrath I struck you, And in My favor I have had compassion on you.
11 “Your gates will be open continually; They will not be closed day or night, So that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, With their kings led in procession.
12 “For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, And the nations will be utterly ruined.
13 “The glory of Lebanon will come to you, The juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, To beautify the place of My sanctuary; And I shall make the place of My feet glorious.
14 “The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, And all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; And they will call you the city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15 “Whereas you have been forsaken and hated With no one passing through, I will make you an everlasting pride, A joy from generation to generation.
16 “You will also suck the milk of nations And suck the breast of kings; Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
17 “Instead of bronze I will bring gold, And instead of iron I will bring silver, And instead of wood, bronze, And instead of stones, iron. And I will make peace your administrators And righteousness your overseers.
18 “Violence will not be heard again in your land, Nor devastation or destruction within your borders; But you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise.
19 “No longer will you have the sun for light by day, Nor for brightness will the moon give you light; But you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, And your God for your glory.
20 “Your sun will no longer set, Nor will your moon wane; For you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, And the days of your mourning will be over.
21 “Then all your people will be righteous; They will possess the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified.
22 “The smallest one will become a clan, And the least one a mighty nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time.”
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