I have made him strong. He is my chosen one; I am pleased with him. I have given him my Spirit, and he will bring justice to the nations. 2 He won’t shout or yell or call out in the streets. 3 He won’t break off a bent reed or put out a dying flame, but he will make sure that justice is done. 4 He won’t quit or give up until he brings justice everywhere on earth, and people in foreign nations long for his teaching.
5 I am the Lord God. I created the heavens like an open tent above. I made the earth and everything that grows on it. I am the source of life for all who live on this earth, so listen to what I say. 6 I chose you to bring justice, and I am here at your side. I selected and sent you[a] to bring light and my promise of hope to the nations. 7 You will give sight to the blind; you will set prisoners free from dark dungeons.
8 My name is the Lord! I won’t let idols or humans share my glory and praise. 9 Everything has happened just as I said it would; now I will announce what will happen next.
Sing Praises to the Lord
10 Tell the whole world to sing a new song to the Lord! Tell those who sail the ocean and those who live far away to join in the praise. 11 Tell the tribes of the desert and everyone in the mountains[b] to celebrate and sing. 12 Let them announce his praises everywhere. 13 The Lord is marching out like an angry soldier, shouting with all his might while attacking his enemies.
The Lord Will Help His People
14 For a long time, I, the Lord, have held my temper; now I will scream and groan like a woman giving birth. 15 I will destroy the mountains and what grows on them; I will dry up rivers and ponds.
16 I will lead the blind on roads they have never known; I will guide them on paths they have never traveled. Their road is dark and rough, but I will give light to keep them from stumbling. This is my solemn promise.
17 Everyone who worships idols as though they were gods will be terribly ashamed.
God’s People Won’t Obey
18 You people are deaf and blind, but the Lord commands you to listen and to see. 19 No one is as blind or deaf as his messenger, his chosen servant, 20 who sees and hears so much, but pays no attention.
21 The Lord always does right, and so he wanted his Law to be greatly praised.[c] 22 But his people were trapped and imprisoned in holes with no one to rescue them. All they owned had been taken, and no one was willing to give it back. 23 Why won’t his people ever learn to listen?
24 Israel sinned and refused to obey the Lord or follow his instructions. So the Lord let them be robbed of everything they owned. 25 He was furious with them and punished their nation with the fires of war. Still they paid no attention. They didn’t even care when they were surrounded and scorched by flames.
The Lord Has Rescued His People
43 Descendants of Jacob, I, the Lord, created you and formed your nation. Israel, don’t be afraid. I have rescued you. I have called you by name; now you belong to me. 2 When you cross deep rivers, I will be with you, and you won’t drown. When you walk through fire, you won’t be burned or scorched by the flames.
3 I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, the God who saves you. I gave up Egypt, Ethiopia,[d] and the region of Seba[e] in exchange for you. 4 To me, you are very dear, and I love you. That’s why I gave up nations and people to rescue you.
5 Don’t be afraid! I am with you. From both east and west I will bring you together. 6 I will say to the north and to the south, “Free my sons and daughters! Let them return from distant lands. 7 They are my people— I created each of them to bring honor to me.”
The Lord Alone Is God
The Lord said:
8 Bring my people together. They have eyes and ears, but they can’t see or hear. 9 Tell everyone of every nation to gather around. None of them can honestly say, “We told you so!” If someone heard them say this, then tell us about it now.
10 My people, you are my witnesses and my chosen servant. I want you to know me, to trust me, and understand that I alone am God. I have always been God; there can be no others.
11 I alone am the Lord; only I can rescue you. 12 I promised to save you, and I kept my promise. You are my witnesses that no other god did this. I, the Lord, have spoken. 13 I am God now and forever. No one can snatch you from me or stand in my way.
The Lord Will Prepare the Way
14 I, the Lord, will rescue you! I am Israel’s holy God, and this is my promise: For your sake, I will send an army against Babylon to drag its people away, crying as they go.[f]
15 I am the Lord, your holy God, Israel’s Creator and King. 16 I am the one who cut a path through the mighty ocean. 17 I sent an army to chase you with chariots and horses; now they lie dead, unable to move. They are like an oil lamp with the flame snuffed out.
Forget the Past
The Lord said:
18 Forget what happened long ago! Don’t think about the past. 19 I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in deserts, streams[g] in thirsty lands. 20 Every wild animal honors me, even jackals[h] and owls. I provide water in deserts— streams in thirsty lands for my chosen people. 21 I made them my own nation, so they would praise me.
22 I, the Lord, said to Israel: You have become weary, but not from worshiping me. 23 You have not honored me by sacrificing sheep or other animals. And I have not burdened you with demands for sacrifices or sweet-smelling incense.
24 You have not brought delicious spices for me or given me the best part of your sacrificed animals. Instead, you burden me down with your terrible sins. 25 But I wipe away your sins because of who I am. And so, I will forget the wrongs you have done.
26 Meet me in court! State your case and prove that you are right. 27 Your earliest ancestor[i] and all of your leaders[j] rebelled against me. 28 That’s why I don’t allow your priests to serve me; I let Israel be destroyed and your people disgraced.
The Lord’s Promise to Israel
44 People of Israel, I have chosen you as my servant. 2 I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born. Israel, don’t be terrified! You are my chosen servant, my very favorite.[k]
3 I will bless the thirsty land by sending streams of water; I will bless your descendants by giving them my Spirit. 4 They will spring up like grass[l] or like willow trees near flowing streams. 5 They will worship me and become my people. They will write my name on the back of their hands.[m]
6 I am the Lord All-Powerful, the first and the last, the one and only God. Israel, I have rescued you! I am your King. 7 Can anyone compare with me? If so, let them speak up and tell me now. Let them say what has happened since I made my nation long ago, and let them tell what is going to happen.[n] 8 Don’t tremble with fear! Didn’t I tell you long ago? Didn’t you hear me? I alone am God— no one else is a mighty rock.[o]
Idols Can’t Do a Thing
The Lord said:
9 Those people who make idols are nothing themselves, and the idols they treasure are just as worthless. Worshipers of idols are blind, stupid, and foolish. 10 Why make an idol or an image that can’t do a thing? 11 Everyone who makes idols and all who worship them are mere humans, who will end up sadly disappointed. Let them face me in court and be terrified.
Idols and Firewood
12 A metalworker shapes an idol by using a hammer[p] and heat from the fire. In his powerful hand he holds a hammer, as he pounds the metal into the proper shape. But he gets hungry and thirsty and loses his strength.
13 Some woodcarver measures a piece of wood, then draws an outline. The idol is carefully carved with each detail exact. At last it looks like a person and is placed in a temple. 14 Either cedar, cypress, oak, or any tree from the forest may be chosen. Or even a pine tree planted by the woodcarver and watered by the rain.
15 Some of the wood is used to make a fire for heating or for cooking. One piece is made into an idol, then the woodcarver bows down and worships it. 16 He enjoys the warm fire and the meat that was roasted over the burning coals. 17 Afterwards, he bows down to worship the wooden idol. “Protect me!” he says. “You are my god.”
18 Those who worship idols are stupid and blind! 19 They don’t have enough sense to say to themselves, “I made a fire with half of the wood and cooked my bread and meat on it. Then I made something worthless with the other half. Why worship a block of wood?”
20 How can anyone be stupid enough to trust something that can be burned to ashes?[q] No one can save themselves like that. Don’t they realize that the idols they hold in their hands are not really gods?
The Lord Won’t Forget His People
21 People of Israel, you are my servant, so remember all of this. Israel, I created you, and you are my servant. I won’t forget you.[r] 22 Turn back to me! I have rescued you and swept away your sins as though they were clouds.
Sing Praises to the Lord
23 Tell the heavens and the earth to start singing! Tell the mountains and every tree in the forest to join in the song! The Lord has rescued his people; now they will worship him.
The Lord Created Everything
24 Israel, I am your Lord. I am your source of life, and I have rescued you. I created everything from the sky above to the earth below.
25 I make liars of false prophets and fools of fortunetellers. I take human wisdom and turn it into nonsense. 26 I will make the message of my prophets come true. They are saying, “Jerusalem will be filled with people, and the Lord will rebuild the towns of Judah.”
27 I am the one who commands the sea and its streams to run dry. 28 I am also the one who says, “Cyrus will lead my people and obey my orders. Jerusalem and the temple will be rebuilt.”
42.6I selected. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
42.11desert. . . mountains: The Hebrew text includes the place names of Kedar in the desert and Sela in the mountains.
42.21greatly praised: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 21.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.