God's Faithful People Suffer
1God's faithful people
are dragged off and killed,
and no one even cares.
Evil sweeps them away,
2but in death they find peace
for obeying God.#57.1,2 Evil … God: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
The Lord Condemns Idolatry
3You people are unfaithful!
You go to fortunetellers,
and you worship idols.
Now pay close attention!
4Who are you making fun of?
Who are you sneering at?
Look how your sins
have made fools of you.
5All you think about is sex
under those green trees
where idols are worshiped.
You sacrifice your children
on altars built in valleys
under rocky slopes.
6You have chosen to worship
idols made of stone;#57.6 You have … stone: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
you have given them offerings
of wine and grain.
Should I be pleased?
7You have spread out your beds
on the tops of high mountains,
where you sacrifice to idols.
8Even in your homes
you have placed pagan symbols
all around your huge beds.
Yes, you have rejected me,
sold yourselves to your lovers,
and gone to bed with them.#57.8 them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 8.
9You smear on olive oil
and all kinds of perfume
to worship the god Molech.#57.9 the god Molech: Or “the king.” In Hebrew “Molech” and “king” sound alike.
You even seek advice
from spirits of the dead.
10Though you tired yourself out
by running after idols,
you refused to stop.
Your desires were so strong
that they kept you going.
11Did you forget about me
and become unfaithful
because you were more afraid
of someone else?
Have I been silent so long#57.11 so long: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
that you no longer fear me?
12You think you're so good,
but I'll point out the truth.
13Ask your idols to save you
when you are in trouble.
Be careful though—
it takes only a faint breath
to blow them over.
But if you come to me
for protection,
this land and my holy mountain
will always belong to you.
The Lord Helps the Helpless
14The Lord says,
“Clear the road!
Get it ready for my people.”
15 # 3 Macc 2.23 Macc 2.15 Our holy God lives forever
in the highest heavens,
and this is what he says:
Though I live high above
in the holy place,
I am here to help those
who are humble
and depend only on me.
16My people, I won't stay angry
and keep on accusing you.
After all, I am your Creator.
I don't want you to give up
in complete despair.
17Your greed made me furious.
That's why I punished you
and refused to be found,
while you kept returning
to your old sinful ways.
18I know what you are like!
But I will heal you, lead you,
and give you comfort,
until those who are mourning
19 # Eph 2.17 start singing my praises.#57.18,19 until … praises: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
No matter where you are,
I, the Lord, will heal you#57.19 heal you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
and give you peace.
20The wicked are a restless sea
tossing up mud.
21 # Is 48.22 But I, the Lord, have promised
that none who are evil
will live in peace.
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