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Israel’s Futile Idolatry

57 The righteous man perishes,
    and no man lays it to heart;
and merciful men are taken away
    while no one understands,
for the righteous man is taken away
    from the evil to come.
He shall enter into peace;
    they shall rest in their beds,
    each one walking in his uprightness.

But draw near to here, you sons of a sorceress,
    offspring of an adulterer and prostitute.
Whom do you mock?
    Against whom do you open wide your mouth
    and stick out your tongue?
Are you not children of transgression,
    offspring of falsehood,
inflaming yourselves with idols
    under every green tree,
slaying the children in the valleys
    under the clefts of the rocks?
Among the smooth stones of the stream is your portion;
    they are your lot.
Even to them you have poured out a drink offering;
    you have offered a grain offering.
    Should I relent concerning these things?
On a lofty and high mountain you have set your bed;
    even there you went up to offer sacrifice.
Behind the doors and the doorposts
    you have set up your memorial;
far removed from Me, you have uncovered yourself;
    you have enlarged your bed and made a covenant with them;
you have loved their bed,
    you have looked on their nakedness.
You went to the king with ointment,
    and increased your perfumes,
and sent your messengers far off,
    and made them go down to Sheol.
10 You were wearied by the length of your road;
    yet you did not say, “There is no hope.”
You have found renewed strength;
    therefore, you did not faint.

11 Of whom were you afraid or fearful
    when you lied
and you did not remember Me,
    nor give Me a thought?
Have I not held My peace for a long time
    so that you do not fear Me?
12 I will declare your righteousness, and your works,
    yet they shall not profit you.
13 When you cry out,
    let your collection of idols deliver you.
But the wind shall carry them all away,
    a breath shall take them away.
But he who puts his trust in Me
    shall possess the land
    and shall inherit My holy mountain.

Healing for the Contrite

14 And it shall be said,

“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
    take up every stumbling block out of the way of My people.”
15 For thus says the High and Lofty One
    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place
    and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
    and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
16 For I will not contend forever,
    nor will I always be angry;
for the spirit would grow faint before Me,
    and the souls whom I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry and struck him;
    I hid My face and was wrathful,
    and he went on turning away in the way of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways but will heal him;
    I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners,
19     by creating the fruit of the lips.
Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,
    says the Lord, and I will heal him.
20 But the wicked are like the troubled
    sea when it cannot rest,
    whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
21 There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.