50 Eternal One:Where is the document of My divorce from your mother, Israel? And to whom did I turn you over when I could no longer pay? No, it was you who amassed debt—a debt of constant wrongdoing— And that’s why your mother was sent away. 2 Why is it that when I came to visit, no one was there to greet Me; and when I called out for you, no one answered? Do you think My reach insufficient, My power too limited to rescue you? I need only to speak the words and entire oceans will evaporate; rivers will become deserts, leaving fish to stink and die for lack of water. 3 I can dress the heavens with blackness and trade its velvet skies for the scratchy clothes of mourning.
4 The Lord, the Eternal, equipped me for this job— with skilled speech, a smooth tongue for instruction. I can find the words that comfort and soothe the downtrodden, tired, and despairing. And I know when to use them. Each morning, it is God who wakes me and tells me what I should do, what I should say. 5 The Lord, the Eternal, has helped me to listen, and I do as He says. I have not been rebellious or run away from God’s work. 6 But it’s been hard. I offered My back to those who whipped me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not turn away from humiliation and spitting.
The prophet speaks, but his words are those of the Servant of God. The Servant is in tune with God, the Master Teacher. He teaches as he has been taught, and—for the first time it seems—He understands that suffering is an integral part of the work God has for him. The reality for God’s Servant and any who follow him is this: to be close with God means to be at odds with people.
7 Because the Lord, the Eternal, helps me I will not be disgraced; so, I set my face like a rock, confident that I will not be ashamed. 8 My hero who sets things right is near. Who would dare to challenge me? Let’s stand and debate this head-to-head! Who would dare to accuse me? Let him come near. 9 See here, the Lord, the Eternal, helps me—who could possibly win against me? All my accusers will wear out like a ratty old moth-eaten shirt.
10 So, you who are listening, do you acknowledge the Eternal One as God? And do you take seriously what the servant of God has to say? If you are enveloped in darkness, with no light to see, take confidence in the name of the Eternal One; rely on your God. 11 Ah, but if you’ve tried to go it alone, the light by which you go is your own consuming fire, And the torches you light will be your undoing.
Eternal One: By My hand you will go down in torment.
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