1Those who are right with God die.
And no one really cares about it.
Men who are faithful to the Lord are swept away by trouble.
And no one understands why that happens
to those who do what is right.
2Those who lead honest lives
will enjoy peace and rest when they die.
3The Lord says, "Come here,
you children of women who practice evil magic!
You are children of prostitutes and those who commit adultery.
4Who are you making fun of?
Who are you laughing at?
Who are you sticking your tongue out at?
You are people who refuse to obey me.
You are just a bunch of liars!
5You burn with sinful longing among the oak trees.
You worship your gods by having sex under every green tree.
You sacrifice your children in the valleys.
You also do it under the cliffs.
6You have chosen some of the smooth stones in the valleys to be your gods.
You have joined yourselves to them.
You have even poured out drink offerings to them.
You have given grain offerings to them.
So why should I take pity on you?
7You have made your bed to have sex on a very high hill.
You went up there to offer your sacrifices.
8You have set up statues to remind you of your gods.
You have put them behind your doors and doorposts.
You deserted me. You invited other lovers into your bed.
You climbed into it and welcomed them.
You made a deal with them.
And you looked at their naked bodies.
9You went to the god Molech with olive oil.
You took a lot of perfume along with you.
You sent your messengers to places far away.
You even sent them down to the place of the dead.
10All of your efforts wore you out.
But you would not say, 'It's hopeless.'
You received new strength.
So you did not give up.
11"Who are you so afraid of
that you have not been true to me?
You have not remembered me.
You do not even care about me.
I have not punished you for a long time.
That is why you are not afraid of me.
12You have not done what is right or good.
I will let everyone know about it.
And that will not be of any benefit to you.
13Go ahead and cry out for help to all of the statues of your gods.
See if they can save you!
The wind will carry them off.
Just a puff of air will blow them away.
But anyone who comes to me for safety
will receive the land.
He will possess my holy mountain of Zion."
The Lord Comforts Those Who Aren't Proud
14A messenger says, "Build up the road! Build it up! Get it ready!
Remove anything that would keep my people from coming back."
15The One who is highly honored lives forever.
His name is holy. He says,
"I live in a high and holy place.
But I also live with anyone who turns away from his sins.
I live with anyone who is not proud.
I give new life to him.
I give it to anyone who turns away from his sins.
16I will not find fault with my people forever.
I will not always be angry with them.
If I were, I would cause their spirits to grow weak.
The very breath of life would go out of the people I created.
17I was very angry with them.
They always longed for more and more of everything.
So I punished them for that sin.
I turned my face away from them because I was angry.
But they kept on wanting their own way.
18I have seen what they have done.
But I will heal them.
I will guide them.
And I will comfort them just as I did before.
19Then the people of Israel who are sorry for their sins will praise me.
I will give perfect peace to those who are far away and those who are near.
And I will heal them," says the Lord.
20But those who are evil are like the rolling sea.
It never rests.
Its waves toss up mud and sand.
21"There is no peace for those who are evil," says my God.
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