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Isaiah 57

Isaiah 57

Israel's Futile Idolatry

[1] The righteous man perishes,
and no one lays it to heart;
devout men are taken away,
while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;
[2] he enters into peace;
they rest in their beds
who walk in their uprightness.
[3] But you, draw near,
sons of the sorceress,
offspring of the adulterer and the loose woman.
[4] Whom are you mocking?
Against whom do you open your mouth wide
and stick out your tongue?
Are you not children of transgression,
the offspring of deceit,
[5] you who burn with lust among the oaks,
under every green tree,
who slaughter your children in the valleys,
under the clefts of the rocks?
[6] Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion;
they, they, are your lot;
to them you have poured out a drink offering,
you have brought a grain offering.
Shall I relent for these things?
[7] On a high and lofty mountain
you have set your bed,
and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
[8] Behind the door and the doorpost
you have set up your memorial;
for, deserting me, you have uncovered your bed,
you have gone up to it,
you have made it wide;
and you have made a covenant for yourself with them,
you have loved their bed,
you have looked on nakedness.
[9] You journeyed to the king with oil
and multiplied your perfumes;
you sent your envoys far off,
and sent down even to Sheol.
[10] You were wearied with the length of your way,
but you did not say, “It is hopeless”;
you found new life for your strength,
and so you were not faint.


[11] Whom did you dread and fear,
so that you lied,
and did not remember me,
did not lay it to heart?
Have I not held my peace, even for a long time,
and you do not fear me?
[12] I will declare your righteousness and your deeds,
but they will not profit you.
[13] When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you!
The wind will carry them all off,
a breath will take them away.
But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land
and shall inherit my holy mountain.


Comfort for the Contrite

[14] And it shall be said,
“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
remove every obstruction from my people's way.”
[15] For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
[16] For I will not contend forever,
nor will I always be angry;
for the spirit would grow faint before me,
and the breath of life that I made.
[17] Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry,
I struck him; I hid my face and was angry,
but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.
[18] I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners,
[19] creating the fruit of the lips.
Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the LORD,
“and I will heal him.
[20] But the wicked are like the tossing sea;
for it cannot be quiet,
and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
[21] There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” (ESV)