Isaiah 33

1Look, you people make war and steal things from people, and those people never stole anything from you. You turn against people, and those people never turned against you. So when you stop stealing, other people will begin stealing from you. When you stop turning against people, other people will start turning against you. ˻Then the people will say,˼ 2“Lord, be kind to us. We have waited for your help. Lord, give us strength every morning. Save us when we are in trouble. 3Your powerful voice scares people, and they run away from you. Your greatness causes the nations to run away.” 4You people stole things in war. Those things will be taken from you. Many, many people will come and take your wealth. It will be like the times when locusts come and eat all your crops. 5The Lord is very great. He lives in a very high place. The Lord fills Zion with fairness and goodness. 6Jerusalem, you are rich—you are rich with wisdom and knowledge of God. You are rich with salvation. You respect the Lord and that makes you rich. So you can know that you will continue. 7But listen! The messengers are crying outside. The messengers that bring peace are crying very hard. 8The roads are destroyed. No one is walking in the streets. People have broken the agreements they made. People refuse to believe the proof from witnesses. No one respects other people. 9The land is sick and dying. Lebanon is dying and Sharon Valley is dry and empty. Bashan and Carmel once grew beautiful plants—but now those plants have stopped growing. 10The Lord says, “Now, I will stand and show my greatness. Now, I will become important to the people. 11You people have done useless things. Those things are like hay and straw. They are worth nothing! Your spirit will be like a fire and burn you. 12People will be burned until their bones become lime. The people will burn quickly like thorns and dry bushes. 13“You people in faraway lands, hear about the things I have done. You people that are near me, learn about my power.” 14The sinners in Zion are afraid. The people that do wrong things shake with fear. They say, “Can any of us live through this fire that destroys? Who can live near this fire that burns forever?” 15Good, honest people that refuse to hurt others for money—˻they will live through that fire˼. Those people refuse to take bribes. They refuse to listen to plans to murder other people. They refuse to look at plans for doing bad things. 16Those people will live safely in high places. They will be protected in high rock fortresses. Those people will always have food and water. 17Your eyes will see the King ˻(God)˼ in his beauty. You will see the great land. 18- 19You will think about the troubles you had in the past. You will think, “Where are those people from other countries? Those people spoke languages we could not understand. Where are those officials and tax collectors from other lands? Where are the spies that counted our defense towers? ˻They are all gone!˼” 20Look at Zion, the city of our religious holidays. Look at Jerusalem—that beautiful place of rest. Jerusalem is like a tent that will never be moved. The pegs that hold her in place will never be pulled up. Her ropes will never be broken. 21- 23Why? Because the Powerful Lord is there. That land is a place with streams and wide rivers. But there will be no enemy boats or powerful ships on those rivers. You men that work on those boats can quit your work with the ropes. You can’t make the mast strong enough. You will not be able to open your sails. ˻Why?˼ Because the Lord is our judge. The Lord makes our laws. The Lord is our king. He saves us. So the Lord will give us much wealth. Even crippled people will win great wealth in war. 24No person living there will say, “I am sick.” The people living there are people whose sins are forgiven.

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