The Lord’s Message of Freedom
1The Lord God has put his Spirit in me,
because the Lord has appointed me to tell the good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort those whose hearts are broken,
to tell the captives they are free,
and to tell the prisoners they are released.
2He has sent me to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness
and the time when our God will punish evil people.
He has sent me to comfort all those who are sad
3and to help the sorrowing people of Jerusalem.
I will give them a crown to replace their ashes,
and the oil of gladness to replace their sorrow,
and clothes of praise to replace their spirit of sadness.
Then they will be called Trees of Goodness,
trees planted by the Lord to show his greatness.
4They will rebuild the old ruins
and restore the places destroyed long ago.
They will repair the ruined cities
that were destroyed for so long.
5My people, foreigners will come to tend your sheep.
People from other countries will tend your fields and vineyards.
6You will be called priests of the Lord;
you will be named the servants of our God.
You will have riches from all the nations on earth,
and you will take pride in them.
7Instead of being ashamed, my people will receive twice as much wealth.
Instead of being disgraced, they will be happy because of what they receive.
They will receive a double share of the land,
so their happiness will continue forever.
8“I, the Lord, love justice.
I hate stealing and everything that is wrong.
I will be fair and give my people what they should have,
and I will make an agreement with them that will continue forever.
9Everyone in all nations will know the children of my people,
and their children will be known among the nations.
Anyone who sees them will know
that they are people the Lord has blessed.”
10The Lord makes me very happy;
all that I am rejoices in my God.
He has covered me with clothes of salvation
and wrapped me with a coat of goodness,
like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding,
like a bride dressed in jewels.
11The earth causes plants to grow,
and a garden causes the seeds planted in it to grow.
In the same way the Lord God will make goodness and praise
come from all the nations.