Israel Does Not Follow God
1All the good people are gone,
and no one even noticed.
The loyal followers were gathered up,
but no one knows why.
The reason they were gathered up
is that trouble is coming.
2But peace will come too,
and those who trust him will get to rest in their own beds.
3“Come here, you children of witches.
Your father committed adultery,
and your mother was unfaithful.
4You are children out of control, full of lies.
You make fun of me.
You make faces
and stick out your tongue at me.#57:4 make faces … at me This probably refers to the god Bel, which is usually shown making a face and sticking out his tongue.
5All you want is to worship false gods
under every green tree.
You kill children by every stream
and sacrifice them in the rocky places.
6You love to worship the smooth rocks in the rivers.
You pour wine on them to worship them.
You give sacrifices to them, but those rocks are all you get.
Do you think this makes me happy?
7You make your bed on every hill
and high mountain.#57:7 every hill and high mountain The people worshiped false gods in these places. The people thought these false gods would give them good crops and more children.
You go up to those places
and offer sacrifices.
8You hide the things that help you remember me
behind the doors and doorframes.#57:8 doorframes The Israelites were supposed to put special things on their doorframes to help them remember God. See Deut. 6:9.
You were with me,
but you got up to go to them.
You spread out your bed
and gave yourself to them.#57:8 gave yourself to them Or “and made agreements with them.”
You love their beds
and enjoy looking at their naked bodies.#57:8 naked bodies This is a wordplay. The Hebrew word also means “memorial,” as in Isa. 56:5.
9You use your oils and perfumes
to look nice for Molech.
You sent your messengers to faraway lands,
and this will bring you down to the place of death.#57:9 this will … death Or “You even send them down to Sheol.”
10All of them made you tired,
but you never gave up.
You found new strength,
because you enjoyed them.
11You did not remember me.
You did not even notice me!
So who were you worrying about?
Who were you afraid of?
Why did you lie?
Look, I have been quiet for a long time.
Is that why you didn’t honor me?
12I could tell about your ‘good works’ and all the ‘religious’ things you do,
but that will not help you.
13When you need help,
you cry to those false gods that you have gathered around you.
Let them help you!
But I tell you, the wind will blow them all away.
A puff of wind will blow them all away.
But the one who depends on me
will get the land I promised
and enjoy my holy mountain.#57:13 holy mountain Mount Zion, one of the mountains Jerusalem was built on.”
The Lord Will Save His People
14Clear the road! Clear the road!
Make the way clear for my people!
15God is high and lifted up.
He lives forever.
His name is holy.
He says, “I live in a high and holy place,
but I also live with people who are humble and sorry for their sins.
I will give new life to those who are humble in spirit.
I will give new life to those who are sorry for their sins.
16I will not accuse my people forever.
I will not always be angry.
If I continued to show my anger,
then the human spirit, the life I gave them, would die before me.
17Israel’s evil greed made me angry,
so I punished them.
I turned away from them
because I was angry.
But they continued to do wrong.
They did whatever they wanted.
18I have seen their way of life, but I will heal them.
I will guide and comfort them and those who mourn for them.
19I will teach them a new word: peace.
I will give peace to those who are near and to those who are far away.
I will heal them.”
The Lord himself said this.
20But evil people are like the angry ocean.
They cannot be quiet and peaceful.
They are angry, and like the ocean,
they stir up mud.
21My God says,
“There is no peace for evil people.”