Isaiah 59

The Lord accuses his people

1 Listen! The Lord's hand is not too weak to save you.

His ear is not too deaf to hear you.

2 But the wrong things that you have done

have made you separate from your God.

Your sins have caused him to turn away from you,

so that he does not listen to your prayers.

3 Your hands are dirty with the blood of murder.

They are dirty with all the bad things that you do.

Your mouth tells lies,

and it says wicked things about other people.

4 When people accuse somebody in court,

the truth is not important.

They tell lies and they deceive the judge,

so that they will win.

They decide how they can cause trouble,

and then they do wicked things.

5 Their thoughts are like the eggs of a snake.

If anybody eats those eggs, they will die!

When an egg breaks open,

a dangerous snake is born!

They like to catch people,

like a spider that makes a web.

6 Their webs are useless to make clothes.

They cannot cover themselves with them.

The things that they do are useless like that.

They do only wicked things.

They use their strength only to hurt people.

7 They rush to do evil things.

They hurry to kill people who have not done anything wrong.

They think only about sin.

They only want to be cruel and to hurt people.

8 They do not know how to live in peace.

They cannot be honest and fair.

Their way of life is all wrong.

Nobody who lives like that will have peace.

The people agree

9 Because of that, God's justice is far away from us.

He has not come to save us.

We look for light to come to us,

but everything is dark.

We need some light in our lives,

but all we have is darkness.

10 Like blind people,

we touch the wall to find our way.

It seems that we have no eyes to see with.

Even at midday, we trip and we fall down,

as if it was dark.

We are like dead people

who live among strong people.

11 We all make a noise, like hungry bears.

We make sad noises, like doves.

We are waiting for God to bring justice to us,

but nothing is happening.

We look for his salvation,

but it is still far away.

12 Lord, you see all the bad things that we have done.

Our many sins show that we are wrong.

We know about the wrong things that we have done.

We agree that our sins are many.

13 We have turned against the Lord.

We have refused to obey him.

We have chosen to be cruel to other people,

and we have turned against the truth.

We think about the lies that we can tell,

and we use them to deceive people.

14 Judges do not decide in a fair way.

Nobody tries to do what is right.

There is no place for truth on the streets of our towns.

Honest people have to leave.

15 Nobody can speak the truth.

If anybody tries to stop doing evil things,

other people will attack him.

The Lord comes to save his people

The Lord saw how his people were living.

He saw that there was no justice.

It made him very sad.

16 He saw that there was nobody who would help,

and he was very upset.

So he used his own strength to help.

Because he had to do what was right,

he made his people safe.

17 He always does what is right,

like a soldier who always puts on his armour.

His power to save people

is like the helmet that he wears.

He is angry against people who do evil things,

and he works hard to punish them.

That is like the clothes that he wears.

18 He will punish his enemies

for the bad things that they have done.

He will be very angry with them.

He will punish all his enemies,

even those who live in lands far away.

19 Then people who live in the west

will respect the Lord's name.

And people who live in the east

will see how great he is.

The Lord will attack them like a fast river.

He will blow them away with a strong wind.

20 The Lord says,

‘A Redeemer will come to Zion.

He will come to save Jacob's people

who turn away from their sins.’

21 The Lord says, ‘This is the covenant that I make with those people. My Spirit is now with you, and he will not leave you. I have put my words into your mouth, and they will always be with you. They will continue to be in the mouths of your children, and your descendants for ever.’

That is what the Lord says.