Isaiah 45

1 The Lord says this to Cyrus, the king that he has chosen to serve him:

‘I hold your right hand.

I give you power over other nations,

to take away the weapons of their kings.

I will open the gates of cities in front of you,

and they will stay open.

2 I will go in front of you,

and I will make the mountains flat.

I will break bronze gates into pieces,

and I will cut through iron bars.

45:2See Psalm 107:16.

3 I will take valuable things that people have stored in secret places,

and I will give them to you.

Then you will know that I am the Lord, Israel's God.

I am the one who calls you by your name.

4 I have called you on behalf of my people,

to help my servant, Jacob's descendants.

They are Israel's people, that I have chosen for myself.

You do not know me as your God,

but I have given to you an important name.

5 I am the Lord and there is nobody else like me.

There is no other God, except me.

You do not know me as your God,

but I will make you strong to fight battles.

6 Then all over the world, from east to west,

people will know that there is no other God.

Yes, I am the Lord

and there is nobody else like me.

7 I make light and I also make darkness.

I make peace as well as trouble.

I am the Lord.

I do all these things.

8 Let justice pour down from the sky like rain!

Let the earth be ready to receive it!

Then salvation and righteousness will grow together,

like strong plants.

I am the Lord,

and I will cause it to happen.’

9 It will be very bad for people who quarrel with their Maker. They are like pieces of a pot that are lying on the ground among all the other pieces. The clay does not say to the potter, ‘What do you think you are you making?’ The pot does not say to the potter, ‘Your work is useless!’

10 It will be very bad for people who say to their fathers, ‘What kind of child have you become a father to?’ And it will be bad for people who say to their mothers, ‘What kind of baby are you giving birth to?’

11 The Lord is Israel's Holy God. He is the one who created Israel. He says this about the things that will happen:

‘You should not ask me questions about my children.

You should not tell me what to do

with the people that I have made

12 It is I who made the earth.

I created the people who live on it.

I hung up the sky like a curtain.

I did that with my own hands!

I put all the stars in their places.

13 Now I have woken up Cyrus

to do for me things that are right.

I will make all his paths easy to travel on.

He will build again my city,

and he will make my people free to return home.

Nobody will have to pay him any money

or give him a bribe to do that.’

That is what the Lord Almighty says.

14 This is what the Lord says to his people:

‘I promise you that you will rule Egypt and Ethiopia,

and also those tall people from Seba.

They will bring to you the things that they buy and sell.

Those valuable things will belong to you.

They will walk behind you in chains,

as your slaves.

They will bend down low in front of you,

and they will even pray to you.

They will agree, “Surely God is with you.

There is nobody else like him. There is no other God.” ’

15 Yes, you are a God who hides yourself!

You are Israel's God, our Saviour!

16 People who make idols will all become ashamed.

People will insult them as they leave together.

17 The Lord will make Israel safe.

Israel will be safe and free for ever.

You will never be ashamed again.

People will never insult you again.

18 The Lord created the heavens. He is the true God. He created the earth and he put it in its place. He built it to be strong. He did not create it as an empty place. He made it for people to live there. He says,

‘I am the Lord.

There is nobody else who is like me.

19 I have not spoken secretly,

as I hid in a dark place.

I did not say to Jacob's descendants,

“Look for me, but you will not find me.”

I am the Lord. I speak what is right.

My message is true.

20 So come, you people of the nations,

you who have escaped from war.

Bring yourselves in front of me together!

People who carry wooden idols are fools!

They pray to gods who cannot rescue them.

21 Now decide together what you will say in court!

Tell me what you think!

Who said a long time ago what would happen?

Who spoke about it long before it happened?

It was I, the Lord!

There is nobody else like me.

There is no other God, except me.

I am a righteous God and I save my people.

There is no other God.

22 So turn to me and I will make you safe.

I say that to everybody all over the world.

Turn to me, because I am God.

There is nobody else like me.

23 This is my promise that I say is true.

I have spoken it honestly and I will not change it.

I promise this:

Everybody will go down on their knees in front of me.

Everybody will promise to serve me.

24 They will all say this about me:

“The Lord alone is true and strong.” ’

Everybody who has been angry with God will come to him.

They will be ashamed that they were angry.

25 The Lord will bring justice

for all the descendants of Israel.

They will say that the Lord is great!