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Sin Keeps One from God

59 See, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save, and His ear is not closed that it cannot hear. But your wrong-doings have kept you away from your God. Your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear. For your hands are sinful with blood, your fingers with wrong-doing, your lips have lied, and your tongue talks about sin. No one wants what is right and fair in court. And no one argues his cause with the truth. They trust in what is false, and speak lies. They plan to make trouble and do what is sinful. They bring young ones from the eggs of deadly snakes and make traps as a spider does. He who eats of their eggs dies, and a snake comes out of the egg that is crushed. Clothing cannot be made from the work of the spider, so they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of sin. They hurt others with their hands. And they are quick to sin and to kill people who are not guilty. Their thoughts are thoughts of sin. Wherever they go, they destroy and cause suffering. They know nothing about peace, and there is nothing fair in their paths. Their roads are not straight. Whoever walks on them does not know peace.

So what is right and fair is far from us. What is right and good does not come to us. We hope for light, but see darkness. We hope for bright light, but we walk in the dark. 10 We feel for the wall like blind men. We feel our way like those who have no eyes. We trip at noon as in the night. Among those who are strong, we are like dead men. 11 All of us make noise like bears, and cry inside ourselves like doves. We hope for what is right and fair, but it is not there. We hope to be saved, but it is far from us. 12 For we have done much wrong before You, and our sins speak against us. Our wrong-doing is with us, and we know our sins. 13 We have gone against the Lord and have acted as if we do not know Him. We have turned away from our God. We have made it hard for others. We have thought and spoken lying words from the heart. 14 What is right and fair is turned back. What is right and good stands far away. Truth has fallen in the street, and what is right cannot come in. 15 Yes, truth is not there. And he who turns away from sin comes under the anger of sinners.

Now the Lord saw this, and it did not please Him to see that what is right and fair was not being done. 16 He saw and wondered that there was no man to speak up for what is right. Then His own arm brought saving power, and what is right with Him gave Him strength. 17 Being right and good was His covering for His breast, saving power was His headcovering, clothing of anger was his covering, and His strong desires were like a coat. 18 He will pay them back for their works. He will send anger upon those who are against Him, and will punish those who hate Him. He will send punishment on the islands. 19 They will fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His shining-greatness from the rising of the sun. When the one who hates us comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a wall against him. 20 “The One Who saves from the punishment of sin will come to Zion, and He will come to those of Jacob who turn from their sinful ways,” says the Lord. 21 “And as for Me, this is My agreement with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit which is upon you, and My Words which I have put in your mouth, will not leave your mouth, or the mouth of your children, or the mouth of your children’s children,” say the Lord, “from now and forever.”

Sin, Confession and Redemption

59 Surely the arm(A) of the Lord is not too short(B) to save,
    nor his ear too dull to hear.(C)
But your iniquities have separated(D)
    you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
    so that he will not hear.(E)
For your hands are stained with blood,(F)
    your fingers with guilt.(G)
Your lips have spoken falsely,(H)
    and your tongue mutters wicked things.
No one calls for justice;(I)
    no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely(J) on empty arguments, they utter lies;(K)
    they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.(L)
They hatch the eggs of vipers(M)
    and spin a spider’s web.(N)
Whoever eats their eggs will die,
    and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
Their cobwebs are useless for clothing;
    they cannot cover themselves with what they make.(O)
Their deeds are evil deeds,
    and acts of violence(P) are in their hands.
Their feet rush into sin;
    they are swift to shed innocent blood.(Q)
They pursue evil schemes;(R)
    acts of violence mark their ways.(S)
The way of peace they do not know;(T)
    there is no justice in their paths.
They have turned them into crooked roads;(U)
    no one who walks along them will know peace.(V)

So justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not reach us.
We look for light, but all is darkness;(W)
    for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
10 Like the blind(X) we grope along the wall,
    feeling our way like people without eyes.
At midday we stumble(Y) as if it were twilight;
    among the strong, we are like the dead.(Z)
11 We all growl like bears;
    we moan mournfully like doves.(AA)
We look for justice, but find none;
    for deliverance, but it is far away.

12 For our offenses(AB) are many in your sight,
    and our sins testify(AC) against us.
Our offenses are ever with us,
    and we acknowledge our iniquities:(AD)
13 rebellion(AE) and treachery against the Lord,
    turning our backs(AF) on our God,
inciting revolt and oppression,(AG)
    uttering lies(AH) our hearts have conceived.
14 So justice(AI) is driven back,
    and righteousness(AJ) stands at a distance;
truth(AK) has stumbled in the streets,
    honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth(AL) is nowhere to be found,
    and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.

The Lord looked and was displeased
    that there was no justice.(AM)
16 He saw that there was no one,(AN)
    he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;(AO)
so his own arm achieved salvation(AP) for him,
    and his own righteousness(AQ) sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate,(AR)
    and the helmet(AS) of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments(AT) of vengeance(AU)
    and wrapped himself in zeal(AV) as in a cloak.
18 According to what they have done,
    so will he repay(AW)
wrath to his enemies
    and retribution to his foes;
    he will repay the islands(AX) their due.
19 From the west,(AY) people will fear the name of the Lord,
    and from the rising of the sun,(AZ) they will revere his glory.(BA)
For he will come like a pent-up flood
    that the breath(BB) of the Lord drives along.[a]

20 “The Redeemer(BC) will come to Zion,(BD)
    to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”(BE)
declares the Lord.

21 “As for me, this is my covenant(BF) with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit,(BG) who is on you, will not depart from you,(BH) and my words that I have put in your mouth(BI) will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.


  1. Isaiah 59:19 Or When enemies come in like a flood, / the Spirit of the Lord will put them to flight