Isaiah 43

1Jacob, the Lord made you! Israel, the Lord made you! And now the Lord says, “Don’t be afraid! I saved you. I named you. You are mine. 2When you have troubles, I am with you. When you cross rivers, you will not be hurt. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not hurt you. 3Why? Because I, the Lord, am your God. I, the Holy One of Israel, am your Savior. I gave Egypt to pay for you. I gave Ethiopia and Seba to make you mine. 4You are very important to me, so I will honor you. I love you, and I will give all people and nations so you can live.” 5“So don’t be afraid! I am with you. I will gather your children and bring them to you. I will gather them from the east and from the west. 6I will tell the north: Give my people to me! I will tell the south: Don’t keep my people in prison! Bring my sons and daughters to me from the faraway places! 7Bring to me all the people that are mine—the people that have my name. I made those people for myself. I made those people, and they are mine.” 8˻God says,˼”Bring out the people that have eyes but are blind. Bring out the people that have ears but are deaf. 9All people and all nations should also be gathered together. Maybe ˻one of their false gods˼ wants to tell about what happened in the beginning. They should bring their witnesses. The witnesses should speak the truth. This will show they are right.” 10The Lord says, “You people are my witnesses. You are the servant that I chose. I chose you so you would help people to believe me. I chose you so you would understand that 'I Am He’—˻I am the true God˼. There was no God before me, and there will be no God after me. 11I myself am the Lord. And there is no other Savior—˻I am the only One˼. 12I am the One who spoke to you. I saved you. I told you those things. It was not some stranger that was with you. You are my witnesses, and I am God.” (The Lord himself said these things.) 13“I have always been God. When I do something, no person can change what I have done. And no person can save people from my power.” 14The Lord, the Holy One of Israel, saves you. And the Lord says, “I will send armies to Babylon for you. Many people will be captured. Those people, the Chaldeans, will be taken away in their own boats. (The Chaldeans are very proud of those boats.) 15I am the Lord your Holy One. I made Israel. I am your king.” 16The Lord will make roads through the sea. Even through rough waters he will make a path for his people. And the Lord says, 17“The people that fight against me with their chariots, horses, and armies will be defeated. They will never rise again. They will be destroyed. They will be stopped like the flame of a candle is stopped. 18So don’t remember the things that happened in the beginning. Don’t think about the things that happened a long time ago. 19Why? Because I will do new things! Now you will grow like a new plant. Surely you know this is true. I really will make a road in the desert. I really will make rivers in the dry land. 20Even the wild animals will be thankful to me. The large animals and birds will honor me. They will honor me when I put water in the desert. They will honor me when I make rivers in the dry land. I will do this to give water to my people—the people I chose. 21These are the people I made. And these people will sing songs to praise me. 22“Jacob, you did not pray to me. Why? Because you, Israel, have become tired of me. 23You have not brought your sheep as sacrifices to me. You have not honored me. You have not given sacrifices to me. I did not force you to give sacrifices to me. I did not force you to burn incense until you became tired. 24So you did not use your money to buy things to honor me. But you did force me to be like your slave. You sinned until the bad things you did made me very tired. 25“I, I am the One who wipes away all your sins. I do this to please myself. I will not remember your sins. 26But you should remember me. We should meet together and decide what is right. You should tell the things ˻you have done˼ and show you are right. 27Your first father sinned. And your lawyers have done things against me. 28I will make your holy rulers not holy. I will cause Jacob to be completely mine. Bad things will happen to Israel.”

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