The Evil That People Do
1Surely the Lord’s power is enough to save you.
He can hear you when you ask him for help.
2It is your evil that has separated
you from your God.
Your sins cause him to turn away from you,
so he does not hear you.
3With your hands you have killed others,
and with your fingers you have done wrong.
With your lips you have lied,
and with your tongue you say evil things.
4People take each other to court unfairly,
and no one tells the truth in arguing his case.
They accuse each other falsely and tell lies.
They cause trouble and create more evil.
5They hatch evil like eggs from poisonous snakes.
If you eat one of those eggs, you will die,
and if you break one open, a poisonous snake comes out.
People tell lies as they would spin a spider’s web.
6The webs they make cannot be used for clothes;
you can’t cover yourself with those webs.
The things they do are evil,
and they use their hands to hurt others.
7They eagerly run to do evil,
and they are always ready to kill innocent people.
They think evil thoughts.
Everywhere they go they cause ruin and destruction.
8They don’t know how to live in peace,
and there is no fairness in their lives.
They are dishonest.
Anyone who lives as they live will never have peace.
Israel’s Sin Brings Trouble
9Fairness has gone far away;
goodness is nowhere to be found.
We wait for the light, but there is only darkness now.
We hope for a bright light, but all we have is darkness.
10We are like the blind feeling our way along a wall.
We feel our way as if we had no eyes.
In the brightness of day we trip as if it were night.
We are like dead men among the strong.
11All of us growl like the bears.
We call out sadly like the doves.
We look for justice, but there isn’t any.
We want to be saved, but salvation is far away.
12We have done many wrong things against our God;
our sins show we are wrong.
We know we have turned against God;
we know the evil things we have done:
13sinning and rejecting the Lord,
turning away from our God,
planning to hurt others and to disobey God,
planning and speaking lies.
14So we have driven away justice,
and we have kept away from what is right.
Truth is not spoken in the streets;
what is honest is not allowed to enter the city.
15Truth cannot be found anywhere,
and people who refuse to do evil are attacked.
The Lord looked and could not find any justice,
and he was displeased.
16He could not find anyone to help the people,
and he was surprised that there was no one to help.
So he used his own power to save the people;
his own goodness gave him strength.
17He covered himself with goodness like armor.
He put the helmet of salvation on his head.
He put on his clothes for punishing
and wrapped himself in the coat of his strong love.
18The Lord will pay back his enemies for what they have done.
He will show his anger to those who were against him;
he will punish the people in faraway places as they deserve.
19Then people from the west will fear the Lord,
and people from the east will fear his glory.
The Lord will come quickly like a fast-flowing river,
driven by the breath of the Lord.
20“Then a Savior will come to Jerusalem
and to the people of Jacob who have turned from sin,”
says the Lord.
21The Lord says, “This is my agreement with these people: My Spirit and my words that I give you will never leave you or your children or your grandchildren, now and forever.”