Isaiah 59
Social injustice is condemned
1The LORD hasn't lost
his powerful strength;
he can still hear
and answer prayers.
2Your sins are the roadblock
between you and your God.
That's why he doesn't answer
your prayers
or let you see his face.
3Your talk is filled with lies
and plans for violence;
every finger on your hands
is covered with blood.
4You falsely accuse others
and tell lies in court;
sin and trouble are the names
of your children.
5You eat the deadly eggs
of poisonous snakes,
and more snakes crawl out
from the eggs left to hatch.
You weave spider's webs,
6but you can't make clothes
with those webs
or hide behind them.
You're sinful and brutal.
7You hurry off to do wrong#Ro 3.15-17.
or murder innocent victims.
All you think about is sin;
you leave ruin and destruction
wherever you go.
8You don't know how
to live in peace
or to be fair with others.
The roads you make are crooked;
your followers cannot find peace.
The people confess their sins
9No one has come to defend us
or to bring about justice.
We hoped for a day of sunshine,
but all we found
was a dark, gloomy night.
10We feel our way along,
as if we were blind;
we stumble at midday,
as if it were night.
We can see no better
than someone dead.#59.10 We can…dead: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
11We growl like bears
and mourn like doves.
We hope for justice and victory,
but they escape us.
12How often have we sinned
and turned against you,
the LORD God?
Our sins condemn us!
We have done wrong.
13We have rebelled and refused
to follow you.
Our hearts were deceitful,
and so we lied;
we planned to abuse others
and turn our backs on you.
14Injustice is everywhere;
justice seems far away.
Truth is chased out of court;
honesty is shoved aside.
15Everyone tells lies;
those who turn from crime
end up ruined.
The LORD will rescue his people
When the LORD noticed
that justice had disappeared,
he became very displeased.
16It disgusted him even more#Is 63.5.
to learn that no one
would do a thing about it.
So with his own powerful arm,
he won victories for truth.
17Justice was the LORD's armour;#Eph 6.14,17; 1 Th 5.8.
saving power was his helmet;
anger and revenge
were his clothes.
18Now the LORD will get furious
and do to his enemies,
both near and far,
what they did to his people.
19He will attack like a flood
in a mighty storm.
Nations in the west and the east
will then honour and praise
his wonderful name.
20The LORD has promised to rescue#Ro 11.26.
the city of Zion
and Jacob's descendants
who turn from sin.
21The LORD says: “My people,
I promise to give you my Spirit
and my message.
These will be my gifts to you
and your families for ever.
I, the LORD, have spoken.”