The Lord Will Distinguish Between Sinners and the Godly
1 “I made myself available to those who did not ask for me;
I appeared to those who did not look for me.
I said, ‘Here I am! Here I am!’
to a nation that did not invoke my name.
2 I spread out my hands all day long
to my rebellious people,
who lived in a way that is morally unacceptable,
and who did what they desired.
3 These people continually and blatantly offend me
as they sacrifice in their sacred orchards
and burn incense on brick altars.
4 They sit among the tombs
and keep watch all night long.
They eat pork,
and broth from unclean sacrificial meat is in their pans.
5 They say, ‘Keep to yourself!
Don’t get near me, for I am holier than you!’
These people are like smoke in my nostrils,
like a fire that keeps burning all day long.
6 Look, I have decreed:
I will not keep silent, but will pay them back;
I will pay them back exactly what they deserve,
7 for your sins and your ancestors’ sins,” says the Lord.
“Because they burned incense on the mountains
and offended me on the hills,
I will punish them in full measure.”
8 This is what the Lord says:
“When juice is discovered in a cluster of grapes,
someone says, ‘Don’t destroy it, for it contains juice.’
So I will do for the sake of my servants –
I will not destroy everyone.
9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
and from Judah people to take possession of my mountains.
My chosen ones will take possession of the land;
my servants will live there.
10 Sharon will become a pasture for sheep,
and the Valley of Achor a place where cattle graze;
they will belong to my people, who seek me.
11 But as for you who abandon the Lord
and forget about worshipping at my holy mountain,
who prepare a feast for the god called ‘Fortune,’
and fill up wine jugs for the god called ‘Destiny’ –
12 I predestine you to die by the sword,
all of you will kneel down at the slaughtering block,
because I called to you, and you did not respond,
I spoke and you did not listen.
You did evil before me;
you chose to do what displeases me.”
13 So this is what the sovereign Lord says:
“Look, my servants will eat, but you will be hungry!
Look, my servants will drink, but you will be thirsty!
Look, my servants will rejoice, but you will be humiliated!
14 Look, my servants will shout for joy as happiness fills their hearts!
But you will cry out as sorrow fills your hearts;
you will wail because your spirits will be crushed.
15 Your names will live on in the curse formulas of my chosen ones.
The sovereign Lord will kill you,
but he will give his servants another name.
16 Whoever pronounces a blessing in the earth
will do so in the name of the faithful God;
whoever makes an oath in the earth
will do so in the name of the faithful God.
For past problems will be forgotten;
I will no longer think about them.
17 For look, I am ready to create
new heavens and a new earth!
The former ones will not be remembered;
no one will think about them any more.
18 But be happy and rejoice for evermore
over what I am about to create!
For look, I am ready to create Jerusalem to be a source of joy,
and her people to be a source of happiness.
19 Jerusalem will bring me joy,
and my people will bring me happiness.
The sound of weeping or cries of sorrow
will never be heard in her again.
20 Never again will one of her infants live just a few days
or an old man die before his time.
Indeed, no one will die before the age of a hundred,
anyone who fails to reach the age of a hundred will be considered cursed.
21 They will build houses and live in them;
they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 No longer will they build a house only to have another live in it,
or plant a vineyard only to have another eat its fruit,
for my people will live as long as trees,
and my chosen ones will enjoy to the fullest what they have produced.
23 They will not work in vain,
or give birth to children that will experience disaster.
For the Lord will bless their children
and their descendants.
24 Before they even call out, I will respond;
while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 A wolf and a lamb will graze together;
a lion, like an ox, will eat straw,
and a snake’s food will be dirt.
They will no longer injure or destroy
on my entire royal mountain,” says the Lord.