New Life Version
Good Will Come to Israel
44 “But now listen, O Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen. 2 This is what the Lord Who made you, Who put you together before you were born, Who will help you, says, ‘Do not be afraid, O Jacob My servant, and you Jeshurun whom I have chosen. 3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land and rivers on the dry ground. I will pour out My Spirit on your children, and will bring good to your children’s children. 4 They will grow like grass in the fields, and like poplar trees by the rivers.’ 5 This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s.’ And that one will call on the name of Jacob. Another will write on his hand, ‘I belong to the Lord,’ and will name Israel’s name with honor.”
Only One God
6 The Lord, the King of Israel and the One Who saves and frees from sin, the Lord of All, says, “I am the first and I am the last. There is no God besides Me. 7 Who is like Me? Let him make it known. Yes, let him tell Me what happened from the time I made people long ago. And let him tell the things that are coming and what is going to happen. 8 Do not fear. Do not be afraid. Have I not made it known to you from long ago? And you have heard Me. Is there a God besides Me? No, there is no other Rock. I know of none.”
Following False Gods Is Sinful
9 All who make objects to worship are for nothing. The things they think are worth much are worth nothing. Those who speak for them do not see or know, so they will be put to shame. 10 Who has made a false god or an object of worship that is of no worth? 11 See, all his friends will be put to shame, for the workmen themselves are only men. Let them all gather, let them stand up, let them shake with fear, and let them together be put to shame.
12 The one who works with iron makes a sharp tool for cutting, working over a fire. He makes it by beating it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry and has no strength. He drinks no water and becomes tired. 13 One works with wood, he marks it, and draws on it with a red marker. He makes it smooth and makes it like a man, like the beauty of a man, so that it may sit in a house. 14 He cuts down cedar trees, and takes a cypress or an oak, and lets it grow strong among the trees. He plants a fir tree, and the rain makes it grow. 15 Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself. He makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it. He makes an object of worship and bows down in front of it. 16 He burns half of it in the fire. Over this half he eats meat as he makes it ready, and is filled. He also warms himself and says, “O, I am warm. I see the fire.” 17 But he makes the rest of it into a god, his object of worship. He bows down in front of it and worships. He prays to it and says, “Bring me out of my trouble, for you are my god.”
18 They do not know, and they do not understand. For the Lord has covered their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot understand. 19 And no one remembers about it, or knows or understands enough to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire, and have baked bread over the fire. I have cooked the meat over a fire and have eaten it. Should I make the rest of it into an object the Lord hates? Should I bow down in front of a block of wood?” 20 He eats ashes! A false idea in his heart has led him the wrong way. And he cannot save himself or say, “Is not what I have here in my right hand a lie?”
The Lord Does Not Forget Israel
21 “Remember these things, O Jacob and Israel, for you are My servant. I have made you, you are My servant. O Israel, I will not forget you. 22 I have taken away your wrong-doing like a dark cloud, and your sins like a fog. Return to Me, for I have bought you and set you free.” 23 Call out for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done it! Call out for joy, you deep places of the earth. Break out into singing, you mountains and every tree. For the Lord has bought Jacob and set him free and has shown His shining-greatness in Israel!
People Will Live in Jerusalem Again
24 The Lord, Who makes you, bought you and saves you, and the One Who put you together before you were born, says, “I am the Lord, Who made all things. I alone spread out the heavens, and I alone spread out the earth. 25 I allow trouble to come on the special things done by men who lie and speak in pride. I make fools out of those who tell the future using their secret ways. I turn back wise men, and make their learning foolish. 26 I make the word of My servant sure, and act upon the words of the men who speak for Me. It is I Who says of Jerusalem, ‘She will have people living in her,’ and of the cities of Judah, ‘They will be built.’ And I will build her up again. 27 It is I Who says to the deep sea, ‘Dry up!’ And I will dry up your rivers. 28 It is I Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he will do all that I want him to do,’ even saying of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ and of the house of God, ‘Your first stones will be laid again.’”