Isaiah 45

1 The Lord has anointed Cyrus, and the Lord will say, ‘I will hold his right hand. Then he will beat the countries where he goes. He will take their weapons for war from kings. He will open doors in front of Cyrus, and nobody will close the gates.’ And the Lord will say this to him:

2 ‘I will go in front of you and I will make the mountains flat. I will break down bronze gates and I will cut through iron bars.

3 Also, I will give to you the valuable things that people hide in dark places. I will give to you the valuable things that they store secretly. Then you will know that I am the Lord. I am the God of Israel who will cause you to come. He will call you by your name.

4 I will cause you to come. I have called you by your name because of my servant Jacob and because of Israel. I have chosen you, Israel. And I will give a good name to you, even if you will not recognize me.

5 I am the Lord and there is no other Lord. There is no other God. I will make you strong, even if you will not recognize me.

6 Then, from east to west, people will know that there is no other God.

7 I made the light and I created the dark. I cause people to do well and I create trouble. I am the Lord. I do all those things.’

8 I will ask the skies to send down good things. They will come down like rain. I will send my power to save to the earth. And I will prepare the earth to receive it. That power will become great, like a plant that is growing. And good things will grow with it. I, who am the Lord, will cause that to happen.

9 Bad things will happen to people who quarrel with their Maker. They are like bits of pot that are lying among other bits of pot on the ground. The clay does not say to the person who makes the pots, ‘What are you making?’ And the things that you make do not say, ‘He has no hands.’

10 Bad things will happen to people who say to their fathers, ‘What have you been father to?’ And bad things will happen to people who say to their mothers, ‘What kind of baby have you had?’

11 The Lord says this about things that will happen in the future. The Lord is the Holy God of Israel and he is its Maker. He says this:

‘You should not ask me questions about my children.

I made everything. So you should not tell me what to do with anything.

12 It is I who made the earth. Then I created the people on it. It was I who, with my own hands, hung up the skies like a curtain. I put all the stars in their places.

13 My good help will make Cyrus into a great leader. I will make all his paths straight. He will build again my city (Jerusalem) and he will make my exiles free. He will not do that to get money or gifts,’ says the Lord of Many Armies.

14 This is what the Lord is saying. ‘This is what will come to you. And this is what will become yours.

· everything that the people in Egypt make

· everything that the people in Cush sell

· the tall people from Seba.

They will walk behind you. Metal chains will tie them up when they come to you. They will go down on their knees in front of you. They will ask you for help. They will say, “Surely God is with you. And there is no other God.” ’

15 It is true. You are a God who hides himself! You are the God who makes Israel safe!

16 Everybody who makes idols will be ashamed. And nobody will praise them. Together, they will have no praise.

17 The Lord will make Israel safe. Israel will be safe for all time. You will never be ashamed. And you will always have praise. That will always be true.

18 That is because the Lord says it. He is the Lord who created the skies. He is God. He made the earth and he caused it to have its shape. He built it. He did not create it as an empty place. He made it for people to live in. He says, ‘I am the Lord. And there is nobody else who is Lord.

19 I have not spoken secretly. I have not spoken from somewhere that is a dark country. I did not say to the descendants of Jacob, “Look for me, but do not find me.” I am the Lord. I speak what is true. I say what is right.

20 Bring yourselves together! And come and put yourselves into a group. You are people who are running away from other countries. Some people carry idols that they made from wood. Those people do not know anything. They are people who pray to false gods. But those gods cannot make them safe.

21 Speak! Tell us what will happen! Also, decide this together. Who said a long time ago what would happen? Who said it in past years? It was I, the Lord! There is no other God. I am a righteous God who saves my people. There is no other God.

22 Turn to me and I will make you safe. Do that, everybody on the earth. Do that because I am God. I am God and there is no other God.

23 I, myself, have promised something to you. Because I am honest I have said it. I will not change anything that I have said. Everybody will go down on their knees in front of me. And everybody will promise to obey me.

24 People will say this about me. “Only with the Lord are things that are righteous and strong.” Everybody who was angry with God will come to God. And they will be ashamed.

25 With the Lord, all the descendants of Israel will be righteous. And they will be very, very happy.’