Warnings against Sin
1Listen! The lord’s arm is not too weak to save you,
nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.
2It’s your sins that have cut you off from God.
Because of your sins, he has turned away
and will not listen anymore.
3Your hands are the hands of murderers,
and your fingers are filthy with sin.
Your lips are full of lies,
and your mouth spews corruption.
4No one cares about being fair and honest.
The people’s lawsuits are based on lies.
They conceive evil deeds
and then give birth to sin.
5They hatch deadly snakes
and weave spiders’ webs.
Whoever eats their eggs will die;
whoever cracks them will hatch a viper.
6Their webs can’t be made into clothing,
and nothing they do is productive.
All their activity is filled with sin,
and violence is their trademark.
7Their feet run to do evil,
and they rush to commit murder.
They think only about sinning.
Misery and destruction always follow them.
8They don’t know where to find peace
or what it means to be just and good.
They have mapped out crooked roads,
and no one who follows them knows a moment’s peace.
9So there is no justice among us,
and we know nothing about right living.
We look for light but find only darkness.
We look for bright skies but walk in gloom.
10We grope like the blind along a wall,
feeling our way like people without eyes.
Even at brightest noontime,
we stumble as though it were dark.
Among the living,
we are like the dead.
11We growl like hungry bears;
we moan like mournful doves.
We look for justice, but it never comes.
We look for rescue, but it is far away from us.
12For our sins are piled up before God
and testify against us.
Yes, we know what sinners we are.
13We know we have rebelled and have denied the lord.
We have turned our backs on our God.
We know how unfair and oppressive we have been,
carefully planning our deceitful lies.
14Our courts oppose the righteous,
and justice is nowhere to be found.
Truth stumbles in the streets,
and honesty has been outlawed.
15Yes, truth is gone,
and anyone who renounces evil is attacked.
The lord looked and was displeased
to find there was no justice.
16He was amazed to see that no one intervened
to help the oppressed.
So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm,
and his justice sustained him.
17He put on righteousness as his body armor
and placed the helmet of salvation on his head.
He clothed himself with a robe of vengeance
and wrapped himself in a cloak of divine passion.
18He will repay his enemies for their evil deeds.
His fury will fall on his foes.
He will pay them back even to the ends of the earth.
19In the west, people will respect the name of the lord;
in the east, they will glorify him.
For he will come like a raging flood tide
driven by the breath of the lord.# Or When the enemy comes like a raging flood tide, / the Spirit of the Lord will drive him back.
20“The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem
to buy back those in Israel
who have turned from their sins,”# Hebrew The Redeemer will come to Zion / to buy back those in Jacob / who have turned from their sins. Greek version reads The one who rescues will come on behalf of Zion, / and he will turn Jacob away from ungodliness. Compare Rom 11:26.
says the lord.
21“And this is my covenant with them,” says the lord. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the lord, have spoken!