Isaiah 26

A song to praise God

1 At that time, people will sing this song in Judah:

We have a strong city, where we are safe.

The Lord has made it safe,

like strong walls that protect us all round.

26:1The word for ‘safe’ is the Hebrew word that we translate ‘Jesus’.

2 Open the gates of the city,

so that the righteous nation can come in.

They are the people who continue to be faithful.

3 Lord, you keep those people safe

who continue to trust in you.

You give them peace in their minds,

because they believe in you.

4 Trust in the Lord now and for ever!

The Lord God will always be our strong Rock.

5 He brings down low the proud people who live in high places.

He destroys their cities.

He knocks down their cities

so that they fall to the ground and become dust.

6 The poor people and the helpless people

will walk all over it.

Trust in the Lord

7 Righteous people walk on a path that is flat. You make their path straight, Lord.

8 Yes, Lord, as we follow the path of your justice, we wait for you to help us. We really want people to know that you are great. We want them to praise your name.

9 During the night, I think about you a lot. When morning arrives, I want to be near to you in my spirit. When you come to judge people on the earth, then people will understand your justice.

10 If you are kind to wicked people, they will never learn to do what is right. They continue to do wrong things, even in a land where people are honest. They do not see that you are great, Lord.

11 Lord, you are ready to punish them, but they do not realize that. Make them see that you love your own people. Then they will become ashamed. In your anger, punish them with fire, as your enemies deserve.

12 Lord, you will give us peace. Everything that we have done, you have done on our behalf.

13 Lord, our God, other lords have ruled over us. But you are the only one that we worship.

14 Those other lords are dead. They will not live again. Their spirits will not rise up again. You punished them and you destroyed them. Nobody remembers them any more.

15 Lord, you have made our nation larger. You have made our nation larger and you have shown how great you are. You have made all the borders of our land grow bigger.

A sad prayer

16 Lord, when your people had trouble, they came to you for help. When you punished them, they turned to you and they prayed.

17 Because of your punishment, Lord, we had much pain. We were like a woman who is giving birth and she cries out with pain. 18 Yes, it seemed like we were pregnant and ready to give birth. But we could only give birth to wind! We could not do anything to make the land safe. We have no descendants who will bring new life to the world.

19 But Lord, your people who have died will live again. Their bodies will rise up from their graves. You people who live in the ground, wake up! Shout because you are happy. You bring new life to the earth, like dew that comes in the morning. Dead people will come up from the earth and they will live again.

20 My people, go into your homes. Shut the doors and hide yourselves for a short time. Wait there until the Lord is not angry any more. 21 Look! Now the Lord is coming from the place where he lives. He is coming to punish the people who live on the earth for their sins. The earth will clearly show the blood that murderers poured out on it. Murderers will no longer be able to hide the people that they have killed.