Encourage God's People
1Our God has said:
“Encourage my people!
Give them comfort.
2Speak kindly to Jerusalem
and announce:
Your slavery is past;
your punishment is over.
I, the Lord, made you pay
double for your sins.”
3 # Si 48.10Ba 5.7Mt 3.3Mk 1.3Jn 1.23 #Lk 3.4-6 Someone is shouting:
“Clear a path in the desert!
Make a straight road
for the Lord our God.
4Fill in the valleys;
flatten every hill
and mountain.
Level the rough
and rugged ground.
5Then the glory of the Lord
will appear for all to see.
The Lord has promised this!”
6 # Jas 1.10111 P 1.2425 Someone told me to shout,
and I asked,
“What should I shout?”
We humans are merely grass,
and we last no longer
than wild flowers.
7At the Lord's command,
flowers and grass disappear,
and so do we.
8Flowers and grass fade away,
but what our God has said
will never change.
Your God Is Here!
9There is good news
for the city of Zion.
Shout it as loud as you can#40.9 There … can: Or “City of Jerusalem, you have good news. Shout it as loud as you can.”
from the highest mountain.
Don't be afraid to shout
to the towns of Judah:
“Your God is here!”
10 # Is 62.11Rev 22.12 Look! The powerful Lord God
is coming to rule
with his mighty arm.
He brings with him
what he has taken in war,
and he rewards his people.
11 # Ez 34.15Jn 10.11 The Lord cares for his nation,
just as shepherds care
for their flocks.
He carries the lambs
in his arms,
while gently leading
the mother sheep.
Who Compares with God?
12Did any of you measure
the ocean by yourself
or stretch out the sky
with your own hands?
Did you put the soil
of the earth in a bucket
or weigh the hills and mountains
on balance scales?
13 # Ro 11.341 Co 2.16 Has anyone told the Lord#40.13 the Lord: Or “the Lord's Spirit.”
what he must do
or given him advice?
14Did the Lord ask anyone
to teach him wisdom
and justice?
Who gave him knowledge
and understanding?
15 # Ws 11.22Si 10.1617 To the Lord, all nations
are merely a drop in a bucket
or dust on balance scales;
all of the islands
are but a handful of sand.
16The cattle on the mountains
of Lebanon
would not be enough to offer
as a sacrifice to God,
and the trees would not
be enough for the fire.
17God thinks of the nations
as far less than nothing.
18 # Ac 17.29 Who compares with God?
Is anything like him?
19Is an idol at all like God?
It is made of bronze
with a thin layer of gold,
and decorated with silver.
20 # Ws 13.11-19Let Jer 1.8-40 Or special wood may be chosen#40.20 Or … chosen: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. Two kinds of idols seem to be described: bronze idols covered with gold (verse 19) and wooden idols (verse 20).
because it doesn't rot—
then skilled hands
take care to make an idol
that won't fall on its face.
God Rules the Whole Earth
21Don't you know?
Haven't you heard?
Hasn't it been clear
since the time of creation?#40.21 Hasn't … creation: Or “Isn't it clear that God created the world?”
22God is the one who rules
the whole earth,
and we that live here
are merely insects.
He spread out the heavens
like a curtain or an open tent.
23God brings down rulers
and turns them into nothing.
24They are like flowers
freshly sprung up
and starting to grow.
But when God blows on them,
they wilt and are carried off
like straw in a storm.
25The holy God asks,
“Who compares with me?
Is anyone my equal?”
26 # Ba 3.3435 Look at the evening sky!
Who created the stars?
Who gave them each a name?
Who leads them like an army?
The Lord is so powerful
that none of the stars
are ever missing.
The Lord Gives Strength
27You people of Israel say,
“God pays no attention to us!
He doesn't care if we
are treated unjustly.”
But how can you say that?
28Don't you know?
Haven't you heard?
The Lord is the eternal God,
Creator of the earth.
He never gets weary or tired;
his wisdom cannot be measured.
29The Lord gives strength
to those who are weary.
30Even young people get tired,
then stumble and fall.
31But those who trust the Lord
will find new strength.
They will be strong like eagles
soaring upward on wings;
they will walk and run
without getting tired.
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