Alienation from God
1Look! The Lord does not lack the power to save,
nor are his ears too dull to hear,
2but your misdeeds have separated you from your God.
Your sins have hidden his face from you
so that you aren’t heard.
3Your hands are stained with blood,
and your fingers with guilt.
Your lips speak lies;
your tongues mutter malice.
4No one sues honestly;
no one pleads truthfully.
By trusting in emptiness and speaking deceit,
they conceive harm and give birth to malice.
5They hatch adders’ eggs,
and weave spiderwebs.
Whoever eats their eggs will die.
Moreover, the crushed egg hatches a viper.
6Their webs can’t serve as clothing;
they can’t cover themselves with their deeds.
Their deeds are deeds of malice,
and the work of violence is in their hands.
7Their feet run to evil;
they rush to shed innocent blood.
Their thoughts are thoughts of malice;
desolation and destruction litter their highways.
8They don’t know the way of peace;
there’s no justice in their paths.
They make their roads crooked;
no one who walks in them knows peace.
Injustice obscures vision
9Because of all this, justice is far from us,
and righteousness beyond our reach.
We expect light, and there is darkness;
we await a gleam of light, but walk about in gloom.
10We grope along the wall like the blind;
like those without eyes we grope.
We stumble at noonday as if it were twilight,
and among the strong as if we were dying.
11All of us growl like bears,
and like doves we moan.
We expect justice, but there is none;
we await salvation, but it is far from us.
12Our rebellions are numerous in your presence;
our sins testify against us.
Our rebellions are with us;
we’re aware of our guilt:
13defying and denying the Lord,
turning away from our God,
planning oppression and revolt,
muttering lying words conceived in our minds.
14Justice is pushed aside;
righteousness stands far off,
because truth has stumbled in the public square,
and honesty can’t enter.
15Truth is missing;
anyone turning from evil is plundered.
God will intervene
The Lord looked and was upset at the absence of justice.
16Seeing that there was no one,
and astonished that no one would intervene,
God’s arm brought victory,
upheld by righteousness,
17putting on righteousness as armor
and a helmet of salvation on his head,
putting on garments of vengeance,
and wrapping himself in a cloak of zeal.
18God will repay according to their actions:
wrath to his foes, retribution to enemies,
retribution to the coastlands,
19so those in the west will fear the Lord’s name,
and those in the east will fear God’s glory.
It will come like a rushing river
that the Lord’s wind drives on.
20A redeemer will come to Zion
and to those in Jacob who stop rebelling,
says the Lord.
21As for me, this is my covenant with them, says the Lord.
My spirit, which is upon you,
and my words, which I have placed in your mouth
won’t depart from your mouth,
nor from the mouths of your descendants,
nor from the mouths of your descendants’ children,
says the Lord,
forever and always.