57 God’s faithful people are dragged off and killed, and no one even cares. Evil sweeps them away, 2 but in death they find peace for obeying God.[a]
The Lord Condemns Idolatry
3 You people are unfaithful! You go to fortunetellers, and you worship idols. Now pay close attention! 4 Who are you making fun of? Who are you sneering at? Look how your sins have made fools of you.
5 All you think about is sex under those green trees where idols are worshiped. You sacrifice your children on altars built in valleys under rocky slopes. 6 You have chosen to worship idols made of stone;[b] you have given them offerings of wine and grain. Should I be pleased?
7 You have spread out your beds on the tops of high mountains, where you sacrifice to idols. 8 Even in your homes you have placed pagan symbols all around your huge beds. Yes, you have rejected me, sold yourselves to your lovers, and gone to bed with them.[c]
9 You smear on olive oil and all kinds of perfume to worship the god Molech.[d] You even seek advice from spirits of the dead. 10 Though you tired yourself out by running after idols, you refused to stop. Your desires were so strong that they kept you going.
11 Did you forget about me and become unfaithful because you were more afraid of someone else? Have I been silent so long[e] that you no longer fear me? 12 You think you’re so good, but I’ll point out the truth. 13 Ask your idols to save you when you are in trouble. Be careful though— it takes only a faint breath to blow them over. But if you come to me for protection, this land and my holy mountain will always belong to you.
The Lord Helps the Helpless
14 The Lord says, “Clear the road! Get it ready for my people.”
15 Our holy God lives forever in the highest heavens, and this is what he says: Though I live high above in the holy place, I am here to help those who are humble and depend only on me.
16 My people, I won’t stay angry and keep on accusing you. After all, I am your Creator. I don’t want you to give up in complete despair. 17 Your greed made me furious. That’s why I punished you and refused to be found, while you kept returning to your old sinful ways.
18 I know what you are like! But I will heal you, lead you, and give you comfort, until those who are mourning 19 start singing my praises.[f] No matter where you are, I, the Lord, will heal you[g] and give you peace.
20 The wicked are a restless sea tossing up mud. 21 But I, the Lord, have promised that none who are evil will live in peace.
57.1,2Evil. . . God: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
57.6You have. . . stone: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
57.8them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 8.
57.9the god Molech: Or “the king.” In Hebrew “Molech” and “king” sound alike.
57.11so long: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
57.18,19until. . . praises: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
57.19heal you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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