Israel Does Not Follow God
1Those who are right with God may die,
but no one pays attention.
Good people are taken away,
but no one understands.
Those who do right are being taken away from evil
2and are given peace.
Those who live as God wants
find rest in death.
3“Come here, you magicians!
Come here, you children of prostitutes and those who take part in adultery!
4Of whom are you making fun?
Whom are you insulting?
At whom do you stick out your tongue?
You turn against God,
and you are liars.
5You have sexual relations under every green tree
to worship your gods.
You kill children in the ravines
and sacrifice them in the rocky places.
6You take the smooth rocks from the ravines
as your portion.
You pour drink offerings on them to worship them,
and you give grain offerings to them.
Do you think this makes me want to show you mercy?
7You make your bed on every hill and mountain,
and there you offer sacrifices.
8You have hidden your idols
behind your doors and doorposts.
You have left me, and you have uncovered yourself.
You have pulled back the covers and climbed into bed.
You have made an agreement with those whose beds you love,
and you have looked at their nakedness.
9You use your oils and perfumes
to look nice for Molech.
You have sent your messengers to faraway lands;
you even tried to send them to the place of the dead.
10You were tired from doing these things,
but you never gave up.
You found new strength,
so you did not quit.
11“Whom were you so afraid of
that you lied to me?
You have not remembered me
or even thought about me.
I have been quiet for a long time.
Is that why you are not afraid of me?
12I will tell about your ‘goodness’ and what you do,
and those things will do you no good.
13When you cry out for help,
let the gods you have gathered help you.
The wind will blow them all away;
just a puff of wind will take them away.
But the person who depends on me will receive the land
and own my holy mountain.”
The Lord Will Save His People
14Someone will say, “Build a road! Build a road! Prepare the way!
Make the way clear for my people.”
15And this is the reason: God lives forever and is holy.
He is high and lifted up.
He says, “I live in a high and holy place,
but I also live with people who are sad and humble.
I give new life to those who are humble
and to those whose hearts are broken.
16I will not accuse forever,
nor will I always be angry,
because then human life would grow weak.
Human beings, whom I created, would die.
17I was angry because they were dishonest in order to make money.
I punished them and turned away from them in anger,
but they continued to do evil.
18I have seen what they have done, but I will heal them.
I will guide them and comfort them and those who felt sad for them.
They will all praise me.
19I will give peace, real peace, to those far and near,
and I will heal them,” says the Lord.
20But evil people are like the angry sea,
which cannot rest,
whose waves toss up waste and mud.
21“There is no peace for evil people,” says my God.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.