Isaiah 41:1-20

God judges the nations

1 ‘You islands, be quiet as you listen to me.

The nations need to come and stand in front of me.

So they must be brave and speak to me.

We must meet together to decide who is right.

2 Tell me, who has woken up that king in the east?

Who has chosen that king to serve him?

He has given that king power over many nations,

so that the kings of those nations must obey him.

He uses that king's weapons to destroy other nations.

He blows them away like dust or straw.

3 That king chases quickly after them,

and nothing hurts him.

His feet do not seem to touch the ground!

4 Tell me, who has caused these things to happen?

Who has decided what should happen,

from the beginning, century after century?

It is I, the Lord!

I was there at the beginning,

and I will always be there, through to the end.

5 The people on the islands see what I am doing,

and they are afraid.

People all over the world shake with fear.

They join together and they come near.

6 They help each other,

and they say to one another, “Be strong!” ’

7 The man who makes things with wood speaks to the man who works with gold and the man who works with iron. They help each other to work well. They say, ‘We have done a good job.’ Then they use nails to fix the idol that they have made, so that it does not fall over!

8 ‘But you, Israel, are my servant.

Yes, I have chosen you, descendants of Jacob.

You are descendants of my friend, Abraham.

9 I led you back from the ends of the earth.

I called you to come from places far away.

I have said to you, “You are my servant.

I have chosen you. I have not thrown you away.

10 I am with you,

so do not be afraid.

I am your God,

so do not be upset.

I will make you strong

and I will help you.

My powerful right hand will keep you safe.”

11 Listen to this! Everyone who has been angry with you

will now become completely ashamed.

Those who have attacked you will disappear and die.

12 Even if you look for your enemies,

you will not find them.

They will all disappear!

13 Yes, I am the Lord, your God.

I will hold on to your right hand.

I say to you, “Do not be afraid. I will help you.”

14 Do not be afraid, you Israelites, descendants of Jacob.

You may seem unimportant, like a worm,

but I myself will help you.’

That is what the Lord says.

He is your Redeemer, the Holy God of Israel.

15 ‘Look at this! I will cause you to destroy your enemies,

like a heavy weight that threshes grain.

41:15‘thresh’ means to hit hard, to remove seeds from wheat or other crops.

You will have new sharp metal points that are like teeth.

You will thresh the mountains

and you will break them into pieces.

You will make the hills become like straw.

16 You will throw them into the air,

and the wind will blow them away in all directions!

You will be happy with what the Lord has done for you.

You will boast that the Holy God of Israel is your God.

17 Poor and helpless people look for water to drink,

but there is none.

They are so thirsty that their tongues are dry.

But I, the Lord, will answer their prayers.

I, the God of Israel, will not leave them alone.

18 I will make rivers run over the dry hills.

I will make springs of water in the valleys.

I will make pools of water in the desert.

The dry land will become a place of streams.

19 Many trees will grow in the wilderness.

Cedar, acacia, myrtle and olive trees will grow there.

In the dry valleys

there will be pine, fir and cypress trees.

41:19These kinds of trees do not usually grow together in the same place.

20 I will do this so that people see it happen.

They will watch carefully and they will understand.

They will know that the Lord's power

has caused it to happen.

They will know that the Holy God of Israel

has created it.’