Isaiah 43

God redeems Israel

1 But now, this is what the Lord says. He is the Lord who created you, Jacob. And he is the God who caused you to have a certain shape, Israel. He says this. ‘Do not be afraid, because I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name. You are mine.

2 I will be with you, when you go through (dangerous) waters. And when you go through rivers they will not carry you away. When you walk through fire it will not burn you. And the fire will not make a fire out of you.

3 I will save you, because I, the Lord, am your God. I am the Holy God of Israel. I gave Egypt to ransom you. And I gave Ethiopia and Seba to get you.

4 I think that you are valuable and very good. Because of that, and because I love you, I will do this. I will take men for you and I will take people for your life.

5 Do not be afraid, because I am with you. I will bring your people from the east and I will fetch you from the west.

6 I will say to people in the north, “Give them back!” And I will say to people in the south, “Do not keep them where they are.” Bring my sons from far places and my daughters from the ends of the earth.

7 Bring everyone who is called by my name. I created them. I caused them to have a certain shape and yes, I made them for my glory.

8 Lead out those people with eyes who are blind. Lead out those people with ears who cannot hear.

9 Bring every country together. And bring together all the people. Perhaps some of them said that those things would happen. And perhaps some of them told us about what happened a long time ago. If they did, they should bring their witnesses. Their witnesses would prove that they were right. Then other people will hear it and they will say, “It is true.”

10 You are my witnesses,’ says the Lord. ‘You are my servant that I have chosen. I chose you so that you may know me. Also, I wanted you to believe that I am God. And I wanted you to understand that I am God. That is why I chose you. Before me, nobody made a god. And there will not be a God after me.

11 I, only I, am the Lord. And, without me, there is nobody to save you.

12 It was I, and not a foreign god among you, who showed that to you. And I saved you and I told it to you. You are my witnesses that I am God,’ says the Lord.

13 ‘Yes! From a long time ago, I am God. Nobody can save himself from my power. When I do something, nobody can change it.’

14 This is what the Lord says. The Lord is your redeemer and he is the Holy God of Israel. He says, ‘I will send an army to Babylon because of you, Israel. And I will make all the people from Babylon into prisoners. They will be in their ships. They think that they are very good.

15 I am the Lord who is your Holy God. I am Israel's Creator and I am your King.’

16-17 This is what the Lord says. He is the Lord who did these things:

· He made a road through the sea.

· He made a path through the great waters.

· He drew chariots and their horses and the army and its leaders out into the sea.

· He caused them to lie there so that they would never get up again. He put them out and he blew them out, like a light.

18 The Lord says, ‘Forget what happened a long time ago. Do not think about that.

19 Look! I will do something that is new! Now it appears quickly. Surely, you can see it. I am making a road in the sandy places. And I am making streams in the wild places.

20 The wild animals, jackals and owls, praise me. They do that because I give to them water in the sandy places and streams in the wild places. I have chosen my people. And I want them to be able to drink. That is why I do that.

21 They are the people that I made for myself. I did it so that they could praise me aloud.

22 But you did not pray to me, Jacob. And you have not worked for me, Israel.

23 It was not to me that you brought sheep. You did not burn them to offer them to me. What you put at one side did not praise me. I have not caused you to carry heavy grain so that you could offer it to me. I have not made you tired because I demanded incense from you.

24 You did not bring any sweet plants for me. You did not give to me large amounts of meat from the animals that you burned. Instead, you caused me to carry your sins like a heavy weight. And you have made me tired every time that you did not obey me.

25 I am the one who takes away your sins. I do it to keep my good name. I will not remember that you have not obeyed me.

26 Remember with me what happened a long time ago. We should talk about it together. You think that you have not sinned. Tell me why you think that.

27 Your first ancestor did not obey me. And the people who spoke to me on behalf of you sinned against me.

28 So I made your holy leaders ashamed. Then I destroyed everything in Jacob. Also, people laughed in a bad way at Israel.’