43 The Lord created Jacob and formed Israel. Now, this is what the Lord says:
Do not be afraid, because I have reclaimed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you go through the sea, I am with you. When you go through rivers, they will not sweep you away. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, and the flames will not harm you. 3 I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Egypt is the ransom I exchanged for you. Sudan and Seba are the price I paid for you. 4 Since you are precious to me, you are honored and I love you. I will exchange others for you. Nations will be the price I pay for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, because I am with you. I will bring your descendants from the east and gather you from the west. 6 I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not keep them.” Bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the ends of the earth. 7 Bring everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. 8 Bring the people who are blind but still have eyes, the people who are deaf but still have ears. 9 All nations have gathered together, and people have assembled. Who among them could have revealed this? Who among them could have foretold this to us? They should bring their witnesses to prove that they were right. Let the people hear them. Then they will say that it is true.
10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord. “I have chosen you as my servant so that you can know and believe in me and understand that I am the one who did this. No god was formed before me, and there will be none after me. 11 I alone am the Lord, and there is no savior except me. 12 I have revealed it to you, I have saved you, and I have announced it to you. There was no foreign god among you. You are my witnesses that I am God,” declares the Lord. 13 “From the first day I was the one who did this. No one can rescue people from my power. When I do something, who can undo it?” 14 This is what the Lord, your Defender, the Holy One of Israel, says:
For your sake I will send an army to Babylon. I will bring back all the Babylonian refugees in the ships that they take pride in. 15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.
Despite the People of Israel’s Past Sin, the Lord Will Forgive Them
16 The Lord makes a path through the sea and a road through the strong currents. 17 He leads chariots and horses, an army and reinforcements. (They lie down together and do not get up again. They are extinguished and snuffed out like a wick.)
This is what the Lord says:
18 Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago. 19 I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land. 20 Wild animals, jackals, and ostriches will honor me. I will provide water in the desert. I will make rivers on the dry land for my chosen people to drink. 21 I have formed these people for myself. They will praise me.
22 Jacob, you have not prayed to me. Israel, you have grown tired of me. 23 You did not bring me sheep for your burnt offerings or honor me with your sacrifices. I did not burden you by requiring grain offerings or trouble you by requiring incense offerings. 24 You did not buy me any sugar cane with your money or satisfy me with the best part of your sacrifices. Rather, you burdened me with your sins and troubled me with your wrongdoings.
25 I alone am the one who is going to wipe away your rebellious actions for my own sake. I will not remember your sins anymore. 26 Remind me of what happened. Let us argue our case together. State your case so that you can prove you are right. 27 Your first ancestor sinned, and your priests rebelled against me. 28 That is why I will corrupt the leaders of the holy place. I will claim Jacob for destruction. I will set up Israel for ridicule.
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