God Is Always with His People
1Now this is what the Lord says.
He created you, people of Jacob.
He formed you, people of Israel.
He says, “Don’t be afraid, because I have saved you.
I have called you by name, and you are mine.
2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
When you cross rivers, you will not drown.
When you walk through fire, you will not be burned.
The flames will not hurt you.
3This is 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 Cush and Seba to make you mine.
4You are precious to me.
I give you honor, and I love you.
So I will give other people in your place.
I will give other nations to save your life.
5So don’t be afraid. I am with you.
I will gather your children from the east.
I will gather you 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 from far away.
Bring my daughters from faraway places.
7Bring to me all the people who are mine.
I made them for my glory.
I formed them; I made them.”
Judah Is God’s Witness
8Bring out the people who have eyes but don’t see.
Bring out those who have ears but don’t hear.
9All the nations should gather together.
All the people should come together.
Which of their gods said that this would happen?
Which of their gods can tell what happened in the beginning?
They should bring their witnesses to prove they were right.
Then others will say, “It is true.”
10The Lord says, “You are my witnesses.
You are the servant I chose.
I chose you so you would know and believe me.
I chose you so you would understand that I am the true God.
There was no God before me,
and there will be no God after me.
11I myself am the Lord.
I am the only Savior.
12I myself have spoken to you, saved you and told you these things.
It was not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses, and I am God,”
says the Lord.
13“I have always been God.
No one can save people from my power.
When I do something, no one can change it.”
14This is what the Lord says.
He is the Holy One of Israel who saves you.
He says, “I will send armies to Babylon for you.
All the Babylonians will be captured.
They will be taken away in their ships they are proud of.
15I am the Lord, your Holy One.
I made Israel. I am your king.”
God Will Save His People Again
16This is what the Lord says.
He is the one who made a road through the sea.
Even through rough waters he made a path for his people.
17He is the one who defeated the chariots and horses.
He defeated the mighty armies.
They fell together, and they will never rise again.
They were destroyed as a flame is put out.
18The Lord says, “Forget what happened before.
Do not think about the past.
19Look at the new thing I am going to do.
It is already happening. Don’t you see it?
I will make a road in the desert.
I will make rivers in the dry land.
20Even the wild animals will be thankful to me.
The wild dogs and owls 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 ones I chose.
21These are the people I made.
And they will sing songs to praise me.
22“People of Jacob, you have not called to me.
People of Israel, you have become tired of me.
23You have not brought your sacrifices of sheep to me.
You have not honored me by bringing 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 buy incense for me.
You did not freely bring fat from your sacrifices to me.
Instead you have weighed me down with your many sins.
You have made me tired of your many wrongs.
25“I, I am the One who forgives all your sins.
I do this to please myself.
I will not remember your sins.
26But you should remind me.
Let’s meet and decide what is right.
Tell what you have done and show you are right.
27Your first father sinned.
And your leaders have turned against me.
28So I will make your holy rulers not holy.
And I will bring destruction on the people of Jacob.
And I will let Israel be insulted.”