Isaiah 65

1The Lord says, “I helped people that had not come to me for advice. The people that found me were not looking for me. I spoke to a nation that does not wear my name. I said, 'Here I am! Here I am!’ 2“I stood ready to accept people that turned against me. I was waiting for those people to come to me. But they continued living a way that is not good. They did anything their hearts wanted to do. 3Those people are in front of me always making me angry. Those people offer sacrifices and burn incense in their special gardens. 4Those people sit among the graves. They wait to get messages from dead people. They even live among dead bodies. They eat pig meat. Their forks and knives are dirty with rotten meat. 5“But those people tell other people, 'Don’t come near me! Don’t touch me until I make you clean.’ Those people are like smoke in my eyes. And their fire burns all the time.” 6“Look, here is a bill that must be paid. ˻This bill shows you are guilty for your sins.˼ I will not be quiet until I pay this bill, and I will pay the bill by punishing you. 7“Your sins and your fathers’ sins are all the same.” The Lord said this, “Your fathers did these sins when they burned incense in the mountains. They shamed me on those hills. And I punished them first. I gave them the punishment they should have.” 8The Lord says, “When there is new wine in the grapes, people squeeze out the wine. But they don’t completely destroy the grapes. They do this because the grapes can still be used. I will do the same thing to my servants. I will not completely destroy them. 9I will keep some of the people of Jacob ˻(Israel)˼. Some of the people of Judah will get my mountain. My servants will live there. I will choose the people that will live there. 10Then Sharon Valley will be a field for sheep. The Valley of Achor will be a place for cattle to rest. All these things will be for my people—the people that look for me. 11“But you people left the Lord, so you will be punished. You people forgot about my holy mountain. You began to worship Luck. You depend on the false god Fate. 12˻But I decide your future.˼ And I decided that you will be killed with a sword. You will all be killed. Why? Because I called to you, and you refused to answer me! I spoke to you, and you would not listen. You did the things that I say are evil. You decided to do the things that I don’t like.” 13So the Lord my Master said these things. “My servants will eat, but you evil people will be hungry. My servants will drink, but you evil people will be thirsty. My servants will be happy, but you evil people will be shamed. 14My servants will be happy with joy, but you evil people will cry with sadness. Your spirits will be broken, and you will be very sad. 15Your names will be like bad words to my servants.” The Lord my Master will kill you. And he will call his servants by a new name. 16People now ask blessings from the earth. ˻But in the future,˼ they will ask blessings from the faithful God. People now trust in the power of the earth when they make a promise. ˻But in the future,˼ they will trust in the faithful God. Why? Because the troubles in the past will all be forgotten. My people will never again remember those troubles. 17“I will make a new heaven and a new earth. People will not remember the past. They won’t remember any of those things. 18My people will be happy. They will rejoice forever and ever. Why? Because of what I will make. I will make a Jerusalem that is full of joy, and I will make them a happy people. 19“Then I will be happy with Jerusalem. I will be happy with my people. There will never again be crying and sadness in that city. 20There will never be a child from that city, that is born and lives only a few days. No person from that city will die after only a short life. Every child will live a long life, and every older person will live for a long, long time. A person that lives 100 years will be called young. And people will think a person was cursed if he does not live to be 100 years old. 21“In that city, if a person builds a house, that person will live there. If a person plants a garden of grapes, that person will eat the grapes from that garden. 22Never again will one person build a house and another person live there. Never again will one person plant a garden and another person eat the fruit from it. My people will live as long as the trees. My chosen people will enjoy the things they make. 23Women will never again suffer childbirth ˻only to have the baby die˼. Women will never again be afraid of what might happen during childbirth. All my people and their children will be blessed by the Lord. 24I will know what they need before they ask. And I will help them— even before they finish asking. 25Wolves and little lambs will eat together. Lions will eat with cattle. A snake on the ground will not scare or hurt any person on my holy mountain.” The Lord said all those things.

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