Jeremiah 1-2 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Jeremiah 1

Demolish, and Then Start Over

1-4 The Message of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah of the family of priests who lived in Anathoth in the country of Benjamin. God’s Message began to come to him during the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amon reigned over Judah. It continued to come to him during the time Jehoiakim son of Josiah reigned over Judah. And it continued to come to him clear down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah over Judah, the year that Jerusalem was taken into exile. This is what God said:

“Before I shaped you in the womb,
    I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
    I had holy plans for you:
A prophet to the nations—
    that’s what I had in mind for you.”

To hear this from God. I can’t imagine being the first. We read it and take heart in it. But. Man.

But I said, “Hold it, Master God! Look at me.
    I don’t know anything. I’m only a boy!”

So refreshing the lack of pride and honesty about his true place.

7-8 God told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a boy.’
    I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there.
I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it.
    Don’t be afraid of a soul.
I’ll be right there, looking after you.”
    God’s Decree.

😊

9-10 God reached out, touched my mouth, and said,
    “Look! I’ve just put my words in your mouth—hand-delivered!
See what I’ve done? I’ve given you a job to do
    among nations and governments—a red-letter day!
Your job is to pull up and tear down,
    take apart and demolish,
And then start over,
    building and planting.”

Whoa.

Stand Up and Say Your Piece

11-12 God’s Message came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
    I said, “A walking stick—that’s all.”
And God said, “Good eyes! I’m sticking with you.
    I’ll make every word I give you come true.”

13-15 God’s Message came again: “So what do you see now?”
    I said, “I see a boiling pot, tipped down toward us.”
Then God told me, “Disaster will pour out of the north
    on everyone living in this land.
Watch for this: I’m calling all the kings out of the north.”
    God’s Decree.

15-16 “They’ll come and set up headquarters
    facing Jerusalem’s gates,
Facing all the city walls,
    facing all the villages of Judah.
I’ll pronounce my judgment on the people of Judah
    for walking out on me—what a terrible thing to do!—
And courting other gods with their offerings,
    worshiping as gods sticks they’d carved, stones they’d painted.

Well

17 “But you—up on your feet and get dressed for work!
    Stand up and say your piece. Say exactly what I tell you to say.
Don’t pull your punches
    or I’ll pull you out of the lineup.

18-19 “Stand at attention while I prepare you for your work.
    I’m making you as impregnable as a castle,
Immovable as a steel post,
    solid as a concrete block wall.
You’re a one-man defense system
    against this culture,
Against Judah’s kings and princes,
    against the priests and local leaders.
They’ll fight you, but they won’t
    even scratch you.
I’ll back you up every inch of the way.”
    God’s Decree.

😊😍

Jeremiah 2

Israel Was God’s Holy Choice

1-3 God’s Message came to me. It went like this:

“Get out in the streets and call to Jerusalem,
    ‘God’s Message!
I remember your youthful loyalty,
    our love as newlyweds.
You stayed with me through the wilderness years,
    stuck with me through all the hard places.
Israel was God’s holy choice,
    the pick of the crop.
Anyone who laid a hand on her
    would soon wish he hadn’t!’”
        God’s Decree.

4-6 Hear God’s Message, House of Jacob!
    Yes, you—House of Israel!
God’s Message: “What did your ancestors find fault with in me
    that they drifted so far from me,
Took up with Sir Windbag
    and turned into windbags themselves?
It never occurred to them to say, ‘Where’s God,
    the God who got us out of Egypt,
Who took care of us through thick and thin, those rough-and-tumble
    wilderness years of parched deserts and death valleys,
A land that no one who enters comes out of,
    a cruel, inhospitable land?’

7-8 “I brought you to a garden land
    where you could eat lush fruit.
But you barged in and polluted my land,
    trashed and defiled my dear land.
The priests never thought to ask, ‘Where’s God?’
    The religion experts knew nothing of me.
The rulers defied me.
    The prophets preached god Baal
And chased empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes.

9-11 “Because of all this, I’m bringing charges against you”
        —God’s Decree—
    “charging you and your children and your grandchildren.
Look around. Have you ever seen anything quite like this?
    Sail to the western islands and look.
Travel to the Kedar wilderness and look.
    Look closely. Has this ever happened before,
That a nation has traded in its gods
    for gods that aren’t even close to gods?
But my people have traded my Glory
    for empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes.

12-13 “Stand in shock, heavens, at what you see!
    Throw up your hands in disbelief—this can’t be!”
        God’s Decree.
“My people have committed a compound sin:
    they’ve walked out on me, the fountain
Of fresh flowing waters, and then dug cisterns—
    cisterns that leak, cisterns that are no better than sieves.

14-17 “Isn’t Israel a valued servant,
    born into a family with place and position?
So how did she end up a piece of meat
    fought over by snarling and roaring lions?
There’s nothing left of her but a few old bones,
    her towns trashed and deserted.
Egyptians from the cities of Memphis and Tahpanhes
    have broken your skulls.
And why do you think all this has happened?
    Isn’t it because you walked out on your God
    just as he was beginning to lead you in the right way?

Meat fought over by … lions. God is once again not playin with the people.

18-19 “And now, what do you think you’ll get by going off to Egypt?
    Maybe a cool drink of Nile River water?
Or what do you think you’ll get by going off to Assyria?
    Maybe a long drink of Euphrates River water?
Your evil ways will get you a sound thrashing, that’s what you’ll get.
    You’ll pay dearly for your disloyal ways.
Take a long, hard look at what you’ve done and its bitter results.
    Was it worth it to have walked out on your God?”
        God’s Decree, Master God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

Addicted to Alien Gods

20-22 “A long time ago you broke out of the harness.
    You shook off all restraints.
You said, ‘I will not serve!’
    and off you went,
Visiting every sex-and-religion shrine on the way,
    like a common whore.
You were a select vine when I planted you
    from completely reliable stock.
And look how you’ve turned out—
    a tangle of rancid growth, a poor excuse for a vine.
Scrub, using the strongest soaps.
    Scour your skin raw.
The sin-grease won’t come out. I can’t stand to even look at you!”
    God’s Decree, the Master’s Decree.

23-24 “How dare you tell me, ‘I’m not stained by sin.
    I’ve never chased after the Baal sex gods’!
Well, look at the tracks you’ve left behind in the valley.
    How do you account for what is written in the desert dust—
Tracks of a camel in heat, running this way and that,
    tracks of a wild donkey in rut,
Sniffing the wind for the slightest scent of sex.
    Who could possibly corral her!
On the hunt for sex, sex, and more sex—
    insatiable, indiscriminate, promiscuous.

25 “Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry?
    Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?
But you say, ‘I can’t help it.
    I’m addicted to alien gods. I can’t quit.’

26-28 “Just as a thief is chagrined, but only when caught,
    so the people of Israel are chagrined,
Caught along with their kings and princes,
    their priests and prophets.
They walk up to a tree and say, ‘My father!’
    They pick up a stone and say, ‘My mother! You bore me!’
All I ever see of them is their backsides.
    They never look me in the face.
But when things go badly, they don’t hesitate to come running,
    calling out, ‘Get a move on! Save us!’
Why not go to your handcrafted gods you’re so fond of?
    Rouse them. Let them save you from your bad times.
You’ve got more gods, Judah,
    than you know what to do with.

Trying Out Another Sin-Project

29-30 “What do you have against me,
    running off to assert your ‘independence’?”
        God’s Decree.
“I’ve wasted my time trying to train your children.
    They’ve paid no attention to me, ignored my discipline.
And you’ve gotten rid of your God-messengers,
    treating them like dirt and sweeping them away.

31-32 “What a generation you turned out to be!
    Didn’t I tell you? Didn’t I warn you?
Have I let you down, Israel?
    Am I nothing but a dead-end street?
Why do my people say, ‘Good riddance!
    From now on we’re on our own’?
Young women don’t forget their jewelry, do they?
    Brides don’t show up without their veils, do they?
But my people forget me.
    Day after day after day they never give me a thought.

33-35 “What an impressive start you made
    to get the most out of life.
You founded schools of sin,
    taught graduate courses in evil!
And now you’re sending out graduates, resplendent in cap and gown—
    except the gowns are stained with the blood of your victims!
All that blood convicts you.
    You cut and hurt a lot of people to get where you are.
And yet you have the nerve to say, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.
    God doesn’t mind. He hasn’t punished me, has he?’
Don’t look now, but judgment’s on the way,
    aimed at you who say, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.’

36-37 “You think it’s just a small thing, don’t you,
    to try out another sin-project when the first one fails?
But Egypt will leave you in the lurch
    the same way that Assyria did.
You’re going to walk away from there
    wringing your hands.
I, God, have blacklisted those you trusted.
    You’ll get not a lick of help from them.”

Whew. Yo! Sheesh. Man! Whoa. All the words. They were trippin and He wasn’t havin it!

Isaiah 65-66 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 65

The People Who Bothered to Reach Out to God

1-7 “I’ve made myself available
    to those who haven’t bothered to ask.
I’m here, ready to be found
    by those who haven’t bothered to look.
I kept saying ‘I’m here, I’m right here’
    to a nation that ignored me.
I reached out day after day
    to a people who turned their backs on me,
People who make wrong turns,
    who insist on doing things their own way.
They get on my nerves,
    are rude to my face day after day,
Make up their own kitchen religion,
    a potluck religious stew.
They spend the night in tombs
    to get messages from the dead,
Eat forbidden foods
    and drink a witch’s brew of potions and charms.
They say, ‘Keep your distance.
    Don’t touch me. I’m holier than thou.’
These people gag me.
    I can’t stand their stench.
Look at this! Their sins are all written out—
    I have the list before me.
I’m not putting up with this any longer.
    I’ll pay them the wages
They have coming for their sins.
    And for the sins of their parents lumped in,
    a bonus.” God says so.
“Because they’ve practiced their blasphemous worship,
    mocking me at their hillside shrines,
I’ll let loose the consequences
    and pay them in full for their actions.”

This is comical. They get on my nerves. They gag me. Man. But. Facts.

8-10 God’s Message:

“But just as one bad apple doesn’t ruin the whole bushel,
    there are still plenty of good apples left.
So I’ll preserve those in Israel who obey me.
    I won’t destroy the whole nation.
I’ll bring out my true children from Jacob
    and the heirs of my mountains from Judah.
My chosen will inherit the land,
    my servants will move in.
The lush valley of Sharon in the west
    will be a pasture for flocks,
And in the east, the valley of Achor,
    a place for herds to graze.
These will be for the people
    who bothered to reach out to me, who wanted me in their lives,
    who actually bothered to look for me.

😊😍

11-12 “But you who abandon me, your God,
    who forget the holy mountains,
Who hold dinners for Lady Luck
    and throw cocktail parties for Sir Fate,
Well, you asked for it. Fate it will be:
    your destiny, Death.
For when I invited you, you ignored me;
    when I spoke to you, you brushed me off.
You did the very things I exposed as evil;
    you chose what I hate.”

🤷🏾‍♀️

13-16 Therefore, this is the Message from the Master, God:

“My servants will eat,
    and you’ll go hungry;
My servants will drink,
    and you’ll go thirsty;
My servants will rejoice,
    and you’ll hang your heads.
My servants will laugh from full hearts,
    and you’ll cry out heartbroken,
    yes, wail from crushed spirits.
Your legacy to my chosen
    will be your name reduced to a cussword.
I, God, will put you to death
    and give a new name to my servants.
Then whoever prays a blessing in the land
    will use my faithful name for the blessing,
And whoever takes an oath in the land
    will use my faithful name for the oath,
Because the earlier troubles are gone and forgotten,
    banished far from my sight.

Con. Se. Quen. Ces.

New Heavens and a New Earth

17-25 “Pay close attention now:
    I’m creating new heavens and a new earth.
All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain
    are things of the past, to be forgotten.
Look ahead with joy.
    Anticipate what I’m creating:
I’ll create Jerusalem as sheer joy,
    create my people as pure delight.
I’ll take joy in Jerusalem,
    take delight in my people:
No more sounds of weeping in the city,
    no cries of anguish;
No more babies dying in the cradle,
    or old people who don’t enjoy a full lifetime;
One-hundredth birthdays will be considered normal—
    anything less will seem like a cheat.
They’ll build houses
    and move in.
They’ll plant fields
    and eat what they grow.
No more building a house
    that some outsider takes over,
No more planting fields
    that some enemy confiscates,
For my people will be as long-lived as trees,
    my chosen ones will have satisfaction in their work.
They won’t work and have nothing come of it,
    they won’t have children snatched out from under them.
For they themselves are plantings blessed by God,
    with their children and grandchildren likewise God-blessed.
Before they call out, I’ll answer.
    Before they’ve finished speaking, I’ll have heard.
Wolf and lamb will graze the same meadow,
    lion and ox eat straw from the same trough,
    but snakes—they’ll get a diet of dirt!
Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill
    anywhere on my Holy Mountain,” says God.

What a way to end the second to last, penultimate chapter of Isaiah!

Isaiah 66

Living Worship to God

1-2 God’s Message:

“Heaven’s my throne,
    earth is my footstool.
What sort of house could you build for me?
    What holiday spot reserve for me?
I made all this! I own all this!”
    God’s Decree.
“But there is something I’m looking for:
    a person simple and plain,
    reverently responsive to what I say.

3-4 “Your acts of worship
    are acts of sin:
Your sacrificial slaughter of the ox
    is no different from murdering the neighbor;
Your offerings for worship,
    no different from dumping pig’s blood on the altar;
Your presentation of memorial gifts,
    no different from honoring a no-god idol.
You choose self-serving worship,
    you delight in self-centered worship—disgusting!
Well, I choose to expose your nonsense
    and let you realize your worst fears,
Because when I invited you, you ignored me;
    when I spoke to you, you brushed me off.
You did the very things I exposed as evil,
    you chose what I hate.”

But listen to what God has to say
    to you who reverently respond to his Word:
“Your own families hate you
    and turn you out because of me.
They taunt you, ‘Let us see God’s glory!
    If God’s so great, why aren’t you happy?’
But they’re the ones
    who are going to end up shamed.”

Rumbles of thunder from the city!
    A voice out of the Temple!
God’s voice,
    handing out judgment to his enemies:

7-9 “Before she went into labor,
    she had the baby.
Before the birth pangs hit,
    she delivered a son.
Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?
    Has anyone seen anything like this?
A country born in a day?
    A nation born in a flash?
But Zion was barely in labor
    when she had her babies!
Do I open the womb
    and not deliver the baby?
Do I, the One who delivers babies,
    shut the womb?

10-11 “Rejoice, Jerusalem,
    and all who love her, celebrate!
And all you who have shed tears over her,
    join in the happy singing.
You newborns can satisfy yourselves
    at her nurturing breasts.
Yes, delight yourselves and drink your fill
    at her ample bosom.”

12-13 God’s Message:

“I’ll pour robust well-being into her like a river,
    the glory of nations like a river in flood.
You’ll nurse at her breasts,
    nestle in her bosom,
    and be bounced on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
    so I’ll comfort you.
    You will be comforted in Jerusalem.”

14-16 You’ll see all this and burst with joy
    —you’ll feel ten feet tall—
As it becomes apparent that God is on your side
    and against his enemies.
For God arrives like wildfire
    and his chariots like a tornado,
A furious outburst of anger,
    a rebuke fierce and fiery.
For it’s by fire that God brings judgment,
    a death sentence on the human race.
Many, oh so many,
    are under God’s sentence of death:

17 “All who enter the sacred groves for initiation in those unholy rituals that climaxed in that foul and obscene meal of pigs and mice will eat together and then die together.” God’s Decree.

18-21 “I know everything they’ve ever done or thought. I’m going to come and then gather everyone—all nations, all languages. They’ll come and see my glory. I’ll set up a station at the center. I’ll send the survivors of judgment all over the world: Spain and Africa, Turkey and Greece, and the far-off islands that have never heard of me, who know nothing of what I’ve done nor who I am. I’ll send them out as missionaries to preach my glory among the nations. They’ll return with all your long-lost brothers and sisters from all over the world. They’ll bring them back and offer them in living worship to God. They’ll bring them on horses and wagons and carts, on mules and camels, straight to my holy mountain Jerusalem,” says God. “They’ll present them just as Israelites present their offerings in a ceremonial vessel in the Temple of God. I’ll even take some of them and make them priests and Levites,” says God.

22-23 “For just as the new heavens and new earth
    that I am making will stand firm before me”
        —God’s Decree—
“So will your children
    and your reputation stand firm.
Month after month and week by week,
    everyone will come to worship me,” God says.

24 “And then they’ll go out and look at what happened
    to those who rebelled against me. Corpses!
Maggots endlessly eating away on them,
    an endless supply of fuel for fires.
Everyone who sees what’s happened
    and smells the stench retches.”

I was caught up reading this. Um. That last verse. Lol. Great end to this chapter of judgment and hope. On to the next tomorrow!

Isaiah 63-64 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 63

Who Goes There?

The watchmen call out,
“Who goes there, marching out of Edom,
    out of Bozrah in clothes dyed red?
Name yourself, so splendidly dressed,
    advancing, bristling with power!”

“It is I: I speak what is right,
    I, mighty to save!”

“And why are your robes so red,
    your clothes dyed red like those who tread grapes?”

3-6 “I’ve been treading the winepress alone.
    No one was there to help me.
Angrily, I stomped the grapes;
    raging, I trampled the people.
Their blood spurted all over me—
    all my clothes were soaked with blood.
I was set on vengeance.
    The time for redemption had arrived.
I looked around for someone to help
    —no one.
I couldn’t believe it
    —not one volunteer.
So I went ahead and did it myself,
    fed and fueled by my rage.
I trampled the people in my anger,
    crushed them under foot in my wrath,
    soaked the earth with their lifeblood.”

A. Lot.

All the Things God Has Done That Need Praising

7-9 I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
    all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
    his great goodness to the family of Israel—
Compassion lavished,
    love extravagant.
He said, “Without question these are my people,
    children who would never betray me.”
So he became their Savior.
    In all their troubles,
    he was troubled, too.
He didn’t send someone else to help them.
    He did it himself, in person.
Out of his own love and pity
    he redeemed them.
He rescued them and carried them along
    for a long, long time.

10 But they turned on him;
    they grieved his Holy Spirit.
So he turned on them,
    became their enemy and fought them.

Well.

11-14 Then they remembered the old days,
    the days of Moses, God’s servant:
“Where is he who brought the shepherds of his flock
    up and out of the sea?
And what happened to the One who set
    his Holy Spirit within them?
Who linked his arm with Moses’ right arm,
    divided the waters before them,
Making him famous ever after,
    and led them through the muddy abyss
    as surefooted as horses on hard, level ground?
Like a herd of cattle led to pasture,
    the Spirit of God gave them rest.”

14-19 That’s how you led your people!
    That’s how you became so famous!
Look down from heaven, look at us!
    Look out the window of your holy and magnificent house!
Whatever happened to your passion,
    your famous mighty acts,
Your heartfelt pity, your compassion?
    Why are you holding back?
You are our Father.
    Abraham and Israel are long dead.
    They wouldn’t know us from Adam.
But you’re our living Father,
    our Redeemer, famous from eternity!
Why, God, did you make us wander from your ways?
    Why did you make us cold and stubborn
    so that we no longer worshiped you in awe?
Turn back for the sake of your servants.
    You own us! We belong to you!
For a while your holy people had it good,
    but now our enemies have wrecked your holy place.
For a long time now, you’ve paid no attention to us.
    It’s like you never knew us.

Laughable. Smh.

Isaiah 64

Can We Be Saved?

1-7 Oh, that you would rip open the heavens and descend,
    make the mountains shudder at your presence—
As when a forest catches fire,
    as when fire makes a pot to boil—
To shock your enemies into facing you,
    make the nations shake in their boots!
You did terrible things we never expected,
    descended and made the mountains shudder at your presence.
Since before time began
    no one has ever imagined,
No ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you
    who works for those who wait for him.
You meet those who happily do what is right,
    who keep a good memory of the way you work.
But how angry you’ve been with us!
    We’ve sinned and kept at it so long!
    Is there any hope for us? Can we be saved?
We’re all sin-infected, sin-contaminated.
    Our best efforts are grease-stained rags.
We dry up like autumn leaves—
    sin-dried, we’re blown off by the wind.
No one prays to you
    or makes the effort to reach out to you
Because you’ve turned away from us,
    left us to stew in our sins.

Make the last two sentences make sense. Nonsense. The entitlement and lack of awareness.

8-12 Still, God, you are our Father.
    We’re the clay and you’re our potter:
    All of us are what you made us.
Don’t be too angry with us, O God.
    Don’t keep a permanent account of wrongdoing.
    Keep in mind, please, we are your people—all of us.
Your holy cities are all ghost towns:
    Zion’s a ghost town,
    Jerusalem’s a field of weeds.
Our holy and beautiful Temple,
    which our ancestors filled with your praises,
Was burned down by fire,
    all our lovely parks and gardens in ruins.
In the face of all this,
    are you going to sit there unmoved, God?
Aren’t you going to say something?
    Haven’t you made us miserable long enough?

Wow.

Isaiah 61-62

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 61

Announce Freedom to All Captives

1-7 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me
    because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
    heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
    pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
    a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
    and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
    give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
    a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
    planted by God to display his glory.
They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
    raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
    take the rubble left behind and make it new.
You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
    and foreigners to work your fields,
But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,”
    honored as ministers of our God.
You’ll feast on the bounty of nations,
    you’ll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble
    and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
    and your joy go on forever.

Yas. Hope. Redemption. Recompense. Reward. Restoration. Revival. Okay. I’m done. Lol.

8-9 “Because I, God, love fair dealing
    and hate thievery and crime,
I’ll pay your wages on time and in full,
    and establish my eternal covenant with you.
Your descendants will become well-known all over.
    Your children in foreign countries
Will be recognized at once
    as the people I have blessed.”

Show out and off.

10-11 I will sing for joy in God,
    explode in praise from deep in my soul!
He dressed me up in a suit of salvation,
    he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo
    and a bride a jeweled tiara.
For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers,
    and as a garden cascades with blossoms,
So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom
    and puts praise on display before the nations.

The praise n worship.

Isaiah 62

Look, Your Savior Comes!

1-5 Regarding Zion, I can’t keep my mouth shut,
    regarding Jerusalem, I can’t hold my tongue,
Until her righteousness blazes down like the sun
    and her salvation flames up like a torch.
Foreign countries will see your righteousness,
    and world leaders your glory.
You’ll get a brand-new name
    straight from the mouth of God.
You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand,
    a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God.
No more will anyone call you Rejected,
    and your country will no more be called Ruined.
You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight),
    and your land Beulah (Married),
Because God delights in you
    and your land will be like a wedding celebration.
For as a young man marries his virgin bride,
    so your builder marries you,
And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride,
    so your God is happy with you.

This. Also. Jesus. His first miracle was at a wedding (John 2:1-11). There’s a parable with him as rhe bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13). Marriage is analogous to the relationship Jesus has with the church (Ephesians 5:22-32).

6-7 I’ve posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem.
    Day and night they keep at it, praying, calling out,
    reminding God to remember.
They are to give him no peace until he does what he said,
    until he makes Jerusalem famous as the City of Praise.

I mean. It never hurts to remind God of what He said. He didn’t forget. But, it is helpful to us and shows Him we heard Him and expect Him to make good on it.

8-9 God has taken a solemn oath,
    an oath he means to keep:
“Never again will I open your grain-filled barns
    to your enemies to loot and eat.
Never again will foreigners drink the wine
    that you worked so hard to produce.
No. The farmers who grow the food will eat the food
    and praise God for it.
And those who make the wine will drink the wine
    in my holy courtyards.”

Wine and vineyards again.

10-12 Walk out of the gates. Get going!
    Get the road ready for the people.
Build the highway. Get at it!
    Clear the debris,
    hoist high a flag, a signal to all peoples!
Yes! God has broadcast to all the world:
    “Tell daughter Zion, ‘Look! Your Savior comes,
Ready to do what he said he’d do,
    prepared to complete what he promised.’”
Zion will be called new names: Holy People, God-Redeemed,
    Sought-Out, City-Not-Forsaken.

Yas!

Isaiah 56-57 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 56

Messages of Hope

Salvation Is Just Around the Corner

1-3 God’s Message:

“Guard my common good:
    Do what’s right and do it in the right way,
For salvation is just around the corner,
    my setting-things-right is about to go into action.
How fortunate are you who enter into these things,
    you men and women who embrace them,
Who keep Sabbath and don’t defile it,
    who watch your step and don’t do anything evil!
Make sure no outsider who now follows God
    ever has occasion to say, ‘God put me in second-class.
    I don’t really belong.’
And make sure no physically mutilated person
    is ever made to think, ‘I’m damaged goods.
    I don’t really belong.’”

Hope.

4-5 For God says:

“To the mutilated who keep my Sabbaths
    and choose what delights me
    and keep a firm grip on my covenant,
I’ll provide them an honored place
    in my family and within my city,
    even more honored than that of sons and daughters.
I’ll confer permanent honors on them
    that will never be revoked.

Hope.

6-8 “And as for the outsiders who now follow me,
    working for me, loving my name,
    and wanting to be my servants—
All who keep Sabbath and don’t defile it,
    holding fast to my covenant—
I’ll bring them to my holy mountain
    and give them joy in my house of prayer.
They’ll be welcome to worship the same as the ‘insiders,’
    to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices to my altar.
Oh yes, my house of worship
    will be known as a house of prayer for all people.”
The Decree of the Master, God himself,
    who gathers in the exiles of Israel:
“I will gather others also,
    gather them in with those already gathered.”

Grateful. Cuz I’m an outsider.

9-12 A call to the savage beasts: Come on the run.
    Come, devour, beast barbarians!
For Israel’s watchmen are blind, the whole lot of them.
    They have no idea what’s going on.
They’re dogs without sense enough to bark,
    lazy dogs, dreaming in the sun—
But hungry dogs, they do know how to eat,
    voracious dogs, with never enough.
And these are Israel’s shepherds!
    They know nothing, understand nothing.
They all look after themselves,
    grabbing whatever’s not nailed down.
“Come,” they say, “let’s have a party.
    Let’s go out and get drunk!”
And tomorrow, more of the same:
    “Let’s live it up!”

Lol. The word choice. Man. I couldn’t imagine hearing some of this and then having to say it. The shock. The laughter though it isn’t funny.

Isaiah 57

Never Tired of Trying New Religions

1-2 Meanwhile, right-living people die
    and no one gives them a thought.
God-fearing people are carted off
    and no one even notices.
The right-living people are out of their misery,
    they’re finally at rest.
They lived well and with dignity
    and now they’re finally at peace.

3-10 “But you, children of a witch, come here!
    Sons of a slut, daughters of a whore.
What business do you have taunting,
    sneering, and sticking out your tongue?
Do you have any idea what wretches you’ve turned out to be?
    A race of rebels, a generation of liars.
You satisfy your lust any place you find some shade
    and fornicate at whim.
You kill your children at any convenient spot—
    any cave or crevasse will do.
You take stones from the creek
    and set up your sex-and-religion shrines.
You’ve chosen your fate.
    Your worship will be your doom.
You’ve climbed a high mountain
    to practice your foul sex-and-death religion.
Behind closed doors
    you assemble your precious gods and goddesses.
Deserting me, you’ve gone all out, stripped down
    and made your bed your place of worship.
You’ve climbed into bed with the ‘sacred’ whores
    and loved every minute of it,
    adoring every curve of their naked bodies.
You anoint your king-god with ointments
    and lavish perfumes on yourselves.
You send scouts to search out the latest in religion,
    send them all the way to hell and back.
You wear yourselves out trying the new and the different,
    and never see what a waste it all is.
You’ve always found strength for the latest fad,
    never got tired of trying new religions.

Ima just keep my thoughts to myself on this one…

11-13 “Who talked you into the pursuit of this nonsense,
    leaving me high and dry,
    forgetting you ever knew me?
Because I don’t yell and make a scene,
    do you think I don’t exist?
I’ll go over, detail by detail, all your ‘righteous’ attempts at religion,
    and expose the absurdity of it all.
Go ahead, cry for help to your collection of no-gods:
    A good wind will blow them away.
    They’re smoke, nothing but smoke.

Well

“But anyone who runs to me for help
    will inherit the land,
    will end up owning my holy mountain!”

Yes!

14 Someone says: “Build, build! Make a road!
    Clear the way, remove the rocks
    from the road my people will travel.”

😊

15-21 A Message from the high and towering God,
    who lives in Eternity,
    whose name is Holy:
“I live in the high and holy places,
    but also with the low-spirited, the spirit-crushed,
And what I do is put new spirit in them,
    get them up and on their feet again.
For I’m not going to haul people into court endlessly,
    I’m not going to be angry forever.
Otherwise, people would lose heart.
    These souls I created would tire out and give up.
was angry, good and angry, because of Israel’s sins.
    I struck him hard and turned away in anger,
    while he kept at his stubborn, willful ways.
When I looked again and saw what he was doing,
    I decided to heal him, lead him, and comfort him,
    creating a new language of praise for the mourners.
Peace to the far-off, peace to the near-at-hand,” says God—
    “and yes, I will heal them.
But the wicked are storm-battered seas
    that can’t quiet down.
    The waves stir up garbage and mud.
There’s no peace,” God says, “for the wicked.”

High and towering God. Good, good father. 😍

Isaiah 54-55 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 54

Spread Out! Think Big!

1-6 “Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby.
    Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth!
You’re ending up with far more children
    than all those childbearing women.” God says so!
“Clear lots of ground for your tents!
    Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope,
    drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room
    for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations;
    you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Don’t be afraid—you’re not going to be embarrassed.
    Don’t hold back—you’re not going to come up short.
You’ll forget all about the humiliations of your youth,
    and the indignities of being a widow will fade from memory.
For your Maker is your bridegroom,
    his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel,
    known as God of the whole earth.
You were like an abandoned wife, devastated with grief,
    and God welcomed you back,
Like a woman married young
    and then left,” says your God.

Part of this reads like actual children will be born. But the other part reads like ifnyou have never been blessed you will be blessed. If you were blessed and lost it you will be blessed again. I’m here for all of how it reads.

7-8 Your Redeemer God says:

“I left you, but only for a moment.
    Now, with enormous compassion, I’m bringing you back.
In an outburst of anger I turned my back on you—
    but only for a moment.
It’s with lasting love
    that I’m tenderly caring for you.

Yas. I mean. God has feelings too. Clearly.

9-10 “This exile is just like the days of Noah for me:
    I promised then that the waters of Noah
    would never again flood the earth.
I’m promising now no more anger,
    no more dressing you down.
For even if the mountains walk away
    and the hills fall to pieces,
My love won’t walk away from you,
    my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart.”
    The God who has compassion on you says so.

😍😍😍

11-17 “Afflicted city, storm-battered, unpitied:
    I’m about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
Lay your foundations with sapphires,
    construct your towers with rubies,
Your gates with jewels,
    and all your walls with precious stones.
All your children will have God for their teacher—
    what a mentor for your children!
You’ll be built solid, grounded in righteousness,
    far from any trouble—nothing to fear!
    far from terror—it won’t even come close!
If anyone attacks you,
    don’t for a moment suppose that I sent them,
And if any should attack,
    nothing will come of it.
I create the blacksmith
    who fires up his forge
    and makes a weapon designed to kill.
I also create the destroyer—
    but no weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged.
Any accuser who takes you to court
    will be dismissed as a liar.
This is what God’s servants can expect.
    I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.”
        God’s Decree.

Expensive. Priceless. Precious. Strong. Defender. Present. Jesus.

Isaiah 55

Buy Without Money

1-5 “Hey there! All who are thirsty,
    come to the water!
Are you penniless?
    Come anyway—buy and eat!
Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.
    Buy without money—everything’s free!
Why do you spend your money on junk food,
    your hard-earned cash on cotton candy?
Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best,
    fill yourself with only the finest.
Pay attention, come close now,
    listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words.
I’m making a lasting covenant commitment with you,
    the same that I made with David: sure, solid, enduring love.
I set him up as a witness to the nations,
    made him a prince and leader of the nations,
And now I’m doing it to you:
    You’ll summon nations you’ve never heard of,
and nations who’ve never heard of you
    will come running to you
Because of me, your God,
    because The Holy of Israel has honored you.”

😊😍 when words fail, a good ol emoji rescues. The beauty and love of it. Speechless. I’m not putting on. Like. Sitting in this Bible. Considering who He was talking to. What they had done. And then what He said. What He did. What I said. What I did. What He’s done. What He’s doing. What He promised. We should always read His word with awe and reverence. He deserves it.

6-7 Seek God while he’s here to be found,
    pray to him while he’s close at hand.
Let the wicked abandon their way of life
    and the evil their way of thinking.
Let them come back to God, who is merciful,
    come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness.

😩

8-11 “I don’t think the way you think.
    The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
        God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
    so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
    and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
    and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
    producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
    not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
    they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.

😭

12-13 “So you’ll go out in joy,
    you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade,
    bursting with song.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession,
    exuberant with applause.
No more thistles, but giant sequoias,
    no more thornbushes, but stately pines—
Monuments to me, to God,
    living and lasting evidence of God.”

Isaiah 52-53 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 52

God Is Leading You Out of Here

1-2 Wake up, wake up! Pull on your boots, Zion!
    Dress up in your Sunday best, Jerusalem, holy city!
Those who want no part of God have been culled out.
    They won’t be coming along.
Brush off the dust and get to your feet, captive Jerusalem!
    Throw off your chains, captive daughter of Zion!

Get ready! He’s on His way!

God says, “You were sold for nothing. You’re being bought back for nothing.”

Well.

4-6 Again, the Master, God, says, “Early on, my people went to Egypt and lived, strangers in the land. At the other end, Assyria oppressed them. And now, what have I here?” God’s Decree. “My people are hauled off again for no reason at all. Tyrants on the warpath, whooping it up, and day after day, incessantly, my reputation blackened. Now it’s time that my people know who I am, what I’m made of—yes, that I have something to say. Here I am!”

I am (God) hear me roar.

7-10 How beautiful on the mountains
    are the feet of the messenger bringing good news,
Breaking the news that all’s well,
    proclaiming good times, announcing salvation,
    telling Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Voices! Listen! Your scouts are shouting, thunderclap shouts,
    shouting in joyful unison.
They see with their own eyes
    God coming back to Zion.
Break into song! Boom it out, ruins of Jerusalem:
    “God has comforted his people!
    He’s redeemed Jerusalem!”
God has rolled up his sleeves.
    All the nations can see his holy, muscled arm.
Everyone, from one end of the earth to the other,
    sees him at work, doing his salvation work.

This. Especially the first two lines.

11-12 Out of here! Out of here! Leave this place!
    Don’t look back. Don’t contaminate yourselves with plunder.
Just leave, but leave clean. Purify yourselves
    in the process of worship, carrying the holy vessels of God.
But you don’t have to be in a hurry.
    You’re not running from anybody!
God is leading you out of here,
    and the God of Israel is also your rear guard.

When they left Egypt in Exodus they got tot are things. It helped them build, or should have or maybe still did, where they were going. Brain doesn’t recall and I’m not going tonlook right now. Just know. They took stuff and then eventually built the Tabernacle. I don’t recall rhe materials falling from heaven like the manna. So I think they created it from what they took or already had it among the stuff they took.

Here, He’s like don’t take a thing. What isn’t said is Ima give you everything you need. And of course it is gonna be better than anything they would have taken.

It Was Our Pains He Carried

13-15 “Just watch my servant blossom!
    Exalted, tall, head and shoulders above the crowd!
But he didn’t begin that way.
    At first everyone was appalled.
He didn’t even look human—
    a ruined face, disfigured past recognition.
Nations all over the world will be in awe, taken aback,
    kings shocked into silence when they see him.
For what was unheard of they’ll see with their own eyes,
    what was unthinkable they’ll have right before them.”

Jesus?! Is that you?!

Isaiah 53

1 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
    Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?

I like it this way. But I also like the King James Version as well. Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

2-6 The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
    a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
    nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
    on him, on him.

Hey Jesus. And thank you.

7-9 He was beaten, he was tortured,
    but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
    and like a sheep being sheared,
    he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
    and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
    beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
    threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
    or said one word that wasn’t true.

Thank you Jesus.

10 Still, it’s what God had in mind all along,
    to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
    so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
    And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.

Thank you Jesus.

11-12 Out of that terrible travail of soul,
    he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
    will make many “righteous ones,”
    as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly—
    the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch,
    because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
    he took up the cause of all the black sheep.

Thank you Jesus. That’s it. That’s all I got. Extreme gratitude. I exist because this came to pass.

Isaiah 49-51 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 49 

A Light for the Nations

1-3 Listen, far-flung islands,
    pay attention, faraway people:
God put me to work from the day I was born.
    The moment I entered the world he named me.
He gave me speech that would cut and penetrate.
    He kept his hand on me to protect me.
He made me his straight arrow
    and hid me in his quiver.
He said to me, “You’re my dear servant,
    Israel, through whom I’ll shine.”

I love the confidence. He was humble and seemingly a tad afraid as one should be. But his relationship with God gave him confidence in and experience with God.

But I said, “I’ve worked for nothing.
    I’ve nothing to show for a life of hard work.
Nevertheless, I’ll let God have the last word.
    I’ll let him pronounce his verdict.”

The hopelessness and resignation of dealing with the people who would not listen.

5-6 “And now,” God says,
    this God who took me in hand
    from the moment of birth to be his servant,
To bring Jacob back home to him,
    to set a reunion for Israel—
What an honor for me in God’s eyes!
    That God should be my strength!
He says, “But that’s not a big enough job for my servant—
    just to recover the tribes of Jacob,
    merely to round up the strays of Israel.
I’m setting you up as a light for the nations
    so that my salvation becomes global!”

He was content where he found himself (Philippians 4:11-12). That contentment and obedience lead to promotion (Psalm 75:6).

God, Redeemer of Israel, The Holy of Israel,
    says to the despised one, kicked around by the nations,
    slave labor to the ruling class:
“Kings will see, get to their feet—the princes, too—
    and then fall on their faces in homage
Because of God, who has faithfully kept his word,
    The Holy of Israel, who has chosen you.”

Yas!

8-12 God also says:

“When the time’s ripe, I answer you.
    When victory’s due, I help you.
I form you and use you
    to reconnect the people with me,
To put the land in order,
    to resettle families on the ruined properties.
I tell prisoners, ‘Come on out. You’re free!’
    and those huddled in fear, ‘It’s all right. It’s safe now.’
There’ll be foodstands along all the roads,
    picnics on all the hills—
Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty,
    shade from the sun, shelter from the wind,
For the Compassionate One guides them,
    takes them to the best springs.
I’ll make all my mountains into roads,
    turn them into a superhighway.
Look: These coming from far countries,
    and those, out of the north,
These streaming in from the west,
    and those from all the way down the Nile!”

Always on time and meets our needs.

13 Heavens, raise the roof! Earth, wake the dead!
    Mountains, send up cheers!
God has comforted his people.
    He has tenderly nursed his beaten-up, beaten-down people.

😊

14 But Zion said, “I don’t get it. God has left me.
    My Master has forgotten I even exist.”

15-18 “Can a mother forget the infant at her breast,
    walk away from the baby she bore?
But even if mothers forget,
    I’d never forget you—never.
Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands.
    The walls you’re rebuilding are never out of my sight.
Your builders are faster than your wreckers.
    The demolition crews are gone for good.
Look up, look around, look well!
    See them all gathering, coming to you?
As sure as I am the living God”—God’s Decree—
    “you’re going to put them on like so much jewelry,
    you’re going to use them to dress up like a bride.

I feel like this would be the perfect emoji 🙄

19-21 “And your ruined land?
    Your devastated, decimated land?
Filled with more people than you know what to do with!
    And your barbarian enemies, a fading memory.
The children born in your exile will be saying,
    ‘It’s getting too crowded here. I need more room.’
And you’ll say to yourself,
    ‘Where on earth did these children come from?
I lost everything, had nothing, was exiled and penniless.
    So who reared these children?
    How did these children get here?’”

22-23 The Master, God, says:

“Look! I signal to the nations,
    I raise my flag to summon the people.
Here they’ll come: women carrying your little boys in their arms,
    men carrying your little girls on their shoulders.
Kings will be your babysitters,
    princesses will be your nursemaids.
They’ll offer to do all your drudge work—
    scrub your floors, do your laundry.
You’ll know then that I am God.
    No one who hopes in me ever regrets it.”

That last sentence. I knkw it to be true! Also. He continues to offer hope.

24-26 Can plunder be retrieved from a giant,
    prisoners of war gotten back from a tyrant?
But God says, “Even if a giant grips the plunder
    and a tyrant holds my people prisoner,
I’m the one who’s on your side,
    defending your cause, rescuing your children.
And your enemies, crazed and desperate, will turn on themselves,
    killing each other in a frenzy of self-destruction.
Then everyone will know that I, God,
    have saved you—I, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Well.

Isaiah 50

Who Out There Fears God?

1-3 God says:

“Can you produce your mother’s divorce papers
    proving I got rid of her?
Can you produce a receipt
    proving I sold you?
Of course you can’t.
    It’s your sins that put you here,
    your wrongs that got you shipped out.
So why didn’t anyone come when I knocked?
    Why didn’t anyone answer when I called?
Do you think I’ve forgotten how to help?
    Am I so decrepit that I can’t deliver?
I’m as powerful as ever,
    and can reverse what I once did:
I can dry up the sea with a word,
    turn river water into desert sand,
And leave the fish stinking in the sun,
    stranded on dry land . . .
Turn all the lights out in the sky
    and pull down the curtain.”

Put some respeck…

4-9 The Master, God, has given me
    a well-taught tongue,
So I know how to encourage tired people.
    He wakes me up in the morning,
Wakes me up, opens my ears
    to listen as one ready to take orders.
The Master, God, opened my ears,
    and I didn’t go back to sleep,
    didn’t pull the covers back over my head.
I followed orders,
    stood there and took it while they beat me,
    held steady while they pulled out my beard,
Didn’t dodge their insults,
    faced them as they spit in my face.
And the Master, God, stays right there and helps me,
    so I’m not disgraced.
Therefore I set my face like flint,
    confident that I’ll never regret this.
My champion is right here.
    Let’s take our stand together!
Who dares bring suit against me?
    Let him try!
Look! the Master, God, is right here.
    Who would dare call me guilty?
Look! My accusers are a clothes bin of threadbare
    socks and shirts, fodder for moths!

Isaiah went through! Nice picture painted and example tones regarding heating from God, doing and saying what He says, and enduring what we come against.

10-11 Who out there fears God,
    actually listens to the voice of his servant?
For anyone out there who doesn’t know where you’re going,
    anyone groping in the dark,
Here’s what: Trust in God.
    Lean on your God!
But if all you’re after is making trouble,
    playing with fire,
Go ahead and see where it gets you.
    Set your fires, stir people up, blow on the flames,
But don’t expect me to just stand there and watch.
    I’ll hold your feet to those flames.

Hey. 🤷🏾‍♀️ No lies detected.

Isaiah 51

Committed to Seeking God

1-3 “Listen to me, all you who are serious about right living
    and committed to seeking God.
Ponder the rock from which you were cut,
    the quarry from which you were dug.
Yes, ponder Abraham, your father,
    and Sarah, who bore you.
Think of it! One solitary man when I called him,
    but once I blessed him, he multiplied.
Likewise I, God, will comfort Zion,
    comfort all her mounds of ruins.
I’ll transform her dead ground into Eden,
    her moonscape into the garden of God,
A place filled with exuberance and laughter,
    thankful voices and melodic songs.

Teach the people. Give them this history lesson.

4-6 “Pay attention, my people.
    Listen to me, nations.
Revelation flows from me.
    My decisions light up the world.
My deliverance arrives on the run,
    my salvation right on time.
    I’ll bring justice to the peoples.
Even faraway islands will look to me
    and take hope in my saving power.
Look up at the skies,
    ponder the earth under your feet.
The skies will fade out like smoke,
    the earth will wear out like work pants,
    and the people will die off like flies.
But my salvation will last forever,
    my setting-things-right will never be obsolete.

See. On time.

7-8 “Listen now, you who know right from wrong,
    you who hold my teaching inside you:
Pay no attention to insults, and when mocked
    don’t let it get you down.
Those insults and mockeries are moth-eaten,
    from brains that are termite-ridden,
But my setting-things-right lasts,
    my salvation goes on and on and on.”

It’s the encouragement for me.

9-11 Wake up, wake up, flex your muscles, God!
    Wake up as in the old days, in the long ago.
Didn’t you once make mincemeat of Rahab,
    dispatch the old chaos-dragon?
And didn’t you once dry up the sea,
    the powerful waters of the deep,
And then made the bottom of the ocean a road
    for the redeemed to walk across?
In the same way God’s ransomed will come back,
    come back to Zion cheering, shouting,
Joy eternal wreathing their heads,
    exuberant ecstasies transporting them—
    and not a sign of moans or groans.

It never hurts to remind God of who He is when waiting on Him to fulfill His promise. I mean. It’s more for us. But it’s, to me, a form of worship. Acknowledging who He is.

What Are You Afraid of—or Who?

12-16 “I, I’m the One comforting you.
    What are you afraid of—or who?
Some man or woman who’ll soon be dead?
    Some poor wretch destined for dust?
You’ve forgotten me, God, who made you,
    who unfurled the skies, who founded the earth.
And here you are, quaking like an aspen
    before the tantrums of a tyrant
    who thinks he can kick down the world.
But what will come of the tantrums?
    The victims will be released before you know it.
They’re not going to die.
    They’re not even going to go hungry.
For I am God, your very own God,
    who stirs up the sea and whips up the waves,
    named God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
I teach you how to talk, word by word,
    and personally watch over you,
Even while I’m unfurling the skies,
    setting earth on solid foundations,
    and greeting Zion: ‘Welcome, my people!’”

Tuh. Scared of a frail human? God is like nah. I got this, you, and EVERYTHING.

17-20 So wake up! Rub the sleep from your eyes!
    Up on your feet, Jerusalem!
You’ve drunk the cup God handed you,
    the strong drink of his anger.
You drank it down to the last drop,
    staggered and collapsed, dead-drunk.
And nobody to help you home,
    no one among your friends or children
    to take you by the hand and put you in bed.
You’ve been hit with a double dose of trouble
    —does anyone care?
Assault and battery, hunger and death
    —will anyone comfort?
Your sons and daughters have passed out,
    strewn in the streets like stunned rabbits,
Sleeping off the strong drink of God’s anger,
    the rage of your God.

Huh.

21-23 Therefore listen, please,
    you with your splitting headaches,
You who are nursing the hangovers
    that didn’t come from drinking wine.
Your Master, your God, has something to say,
    your God has taken up his people’s case:
“Look, I’ve taken back the drink that sent you reeling.
    No more drinking from that jug of my anger!
I’ve passed it over to your abusers to drink, those who ordered you,
    ‘Down on the ground so we can walk all over you!’
And you had to do it. Flat on the ground,
    you were the dirt under their feet.”

Yaaaaaas! His vengeance. His restoration. Yas!

Isaiah 46-48 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 46 

This Is Serious Business, Rebels

1-2 The god Bel falls down, god Nebo slumps.
    The no-god hunks of wood are loaded on mules
And have to be hauled off,
    wearing out the poor mules—
Dead weight, burdens who can’t bear burdens,
    hauled off to captivity.

The honest shade of it all.

3-4 “Listen to me, family of Jacob,
    everyone that’s left of the family of Israel.
I’ve been carrying you on my back
    from the day you were born,
And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old.
    I’ll be there, bearing you when you’re old and gray.
I’ve done it and will keep on doing it,
    carrying you on my back, saving you.

Footprints.

5-7 “So to whom will you compare me, the Incomparable?
    Can you picture me without reducing me?
People with a lot of money
    hire craftsmen to make them gods.
The artisan delivers the god,
    and they kneel and worship it!
They carry it around in holy parades,
    then take it home and put it on a shelf.
And there it sits, day in and day out,
    a dependable god, always right where you put it.
Say anything you want to it, it never talks back.
    Of course, it never does anything either!

He is big mad. Offended. And rightfully so….

8-11 “Think about this. Wrap your minds around it.
    This is serious business, rebels. Take it to heart.
Remember your history,
    your long and rich history.
I am God, the only God you’ve had or ever will have—
    incomparable, irreplaceable—
From the very beginning
    telling you what the ending will be,
All along letting you in
    on what is going to happen,
Assuring you, ‘I’m in this for the long haul,
    I’ll do exactly what I set out to do,’
Calling that eagle, Cyrus, out of the east,
    from a far country the man I chose to help me.
I’ve said it, and I’ll most certainly do it.
    I’ve planned it, so it’s as good as done.

Tell the people.

12-13 “Now listen to me:
    You’re a hardheaded bunch and hard to help.
I’m ready to help you right now.
    Deliverance is not a long-range plan.
    Salvation isn’t on hold.
I’m putting salvation to work in Zion now,
    and glory in Israel.”

Let them know.

Isaiah 47 

The Party’s Over

1-3 “Get off your high horse and sit in the dirt,
    virgin daughter of Babylon.
No more throne for you—sit on the ground,
    daughter of the Chaldeans.
Nobody will be calling you ‘charming’
    and ‘alluring’ anymore. Get used to it.
Get a job, any old job:
    Clean gutters, scrub toilets.
Pawn your gowns and scarves,
    put on your working pants—the party’s over.
Your nude body will be on public display,
    exposed to vulgar taunts.
It’s vengeance time, and I’m taking vengeance.
    No one gets let off the hook.”

They got away with it long enough for His liking. They did what He allowed and their time was up.

You’re Acting Like the Center of the Universe

4-13 Our Redeemer speaks,
    named God-of-the-Angel-Armies, The Holy of Israel:
“Shut up and get out of the way,
    daughter of Chaldeans.
You’ll no longer be called
    ‘First Lady of the Kingdoms.’
I was fed up with my people,
    thoroughly disgusted with my progeny.
I turned them over to you,
    but you had no compassion.
You put old men and women
    to cruel, hard labor.
You said, ‘I’m the First Lady.
    I’ll always be the pampered darling.’
You took nothing seriously, took nothing to heart,
    never gave tomorrow a thought.
Well, start thinking, party girl.
    You’re acting like the center of the universe,
Smugly saying to yourself, ‘I’m Number One. There’s nobody but me.
    I’ll never be a widow, I’ll never lose my children.’
Those two things are going to hit you both at once,
    suddenly, on the same day:
Spouse and children gone, a total loss,
    despite your many enchantments and charms.
You were so confident and comfortable in your evil life,
    saying, ‘No one sees me.’
You thought you knew so much, had everything figured out.
    What delusion!
    Smugly telling yourself, ‘I’m Number One. There’s nobody but me.’
Ruin descends—
    you can’t charm it away.
Disaster strikes—
    you can’t cast it off with spells.
Catastrophe, sudden and total—
    and you’re totally at sea, totally bewildered!
But don’t give up. From your great repertoire
    of enchantments there must be one you haven’t yet tried.
You’ve been at this a long time.
    Surely something will work.
I know you’re exhausted trying out remedies,
    but don’t give up.
Call in the astrologers and stargazers.
    They’re good at this. Surely they can work up something!

See what I mean? What I didn’t say above was that He wanted to teach Israel a lesson and used other nations to do it. And boy did they. But Israel never seemed to learn…America…

14-15 “Fat chance. You’d be grasping at straws
    that are already in the fire,
A fire that is even now raging.
    Your ‘experts’ are in it and won’t get out.
It’s not a fire for cooking venison stew,
    not a fire to warm you on a winter night!
That’s the fate of your friends in sorcery, your magician cronies
    you’ve been colluding with all your life.
They reel, confused, bumping into one another.
    None of them bother to help you.”

Eeeeeeek.

Isaiah 48 

Tested in the Furnace of Affliction

1-11 “And now listen to this, family of Jacob,
    you who are called by the name Israel:
Who got you started in the loins of Judah,
    you who use God’s name to back up your promises
    and pray to the God of Israel?
But do you mean it?
    Do you live like it?
You claim to be citizens of the Holy City;
    you act as though you lean on the God of Israel,
    named God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
For a long time now, I’ve let you in on the way I work:
    I told you what I was going to do beforehand,
    then I did it and it was done, and that’s that.
I know you’re a bunch of hardheads,
    obstinate and flint-faced,
So I got a running start and began telling you
    what was going on before it even happened.
That is why you can’t say,
    ‘My god-idol did this.’
    ‘My favorite god-carving commanded this.’
You have all this evidence
    confirmed by your own eyes and ears.
    Shouldn’t you be talking about it?
And that was just the beginning.
    I have a lot more to tell you,
    things you never knew existed.
This isn’t a variation on the same old thing.
    This is new, brand-new,
    something you’d never guess or dream up.
When you hear this you won’t be able to say,
    ‘I knew that all along.’
You’ve never been good listeners to me.
    You have a history of ignoring me,
A sorry track record of fickle attachments—
    rebels from the womb.
But out of the sheer goodness of my heart,
    because of who I am,
I keep a tight rein on my anger and hold my temper.
    I don’t wash my hands of you.
Do you see what I’ve done?
    I’ve refined you, but not without fire.
    I’ve tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction.
Out of myself, simply because of who I am, I do what I do.
    I have my reputation to keep up.
    I’m not playing second fiddle to either gods or people.

1. See. They didn’t learn. 2. Second fiddle. Goodness. He said it forever ago to them though. No other gods. 10 commandments.

12-13 “Listen, Jacob. Listen, Israel—
    I’m the One who named you!
I’m the One.
    I got things started and, yes, I’ll wrap them up.
Earth is my work, handmade.
    And the skies—I made them, too, horizon to horizon.
When I speak, they’re on their feet, at attention.

I’m that guy. Lest you continue to forget.

14-16 “Come everybody, gather around, listen:
    Who among the gods has delivered the news?
I, God, love this man Cyrus, and I’m using him
    to do what I want with Babylon.
I, yes I, have spoken. I’ve called him.
    I’ve brought him here. He’ll be successful.
Come close, listen carefully:
    I’ve never kept secrets from you.
    I’ve always been present with you.”

I’ve always been present with you. In the wilderness. In the Promised Land. In captivity. Always with you.

Your Progeny, Like Grains of Sand

16-19 And now, the Master, God, sends me and his Spirit
    with this Message from God
    your Redeemer, The Holy of Israel:
“I am God, your God,
    who teaches you how to live right and well.
    I show you what to do, where to go.
If you had listened all along to what I told you,
    your life would have flowed full like a river,
    blessings rolling in like waves from the sea.
Children and grandchildren are like sand,
    your progeny like grains of sand.
There would be no end of them,
    no danger of losing touch with me.”

Promise to Abraham…sand…Genesis 22:17

20 Get out of Babylon! Run from the Babylonians!
    Shout the news. Broadcast it.
Let the world know, the whole world.
    Tell them, “God redeemed his dear servant Jacob!”

😊

21 They weren’t thirsty when he led them through the deserts.
    He made water pour out of the rock;
    he split the rock and the water gushed.

Miraculous.

22 “There is no peace,” says God, “for the wicked.”

Tuh.

Isaiah 44-45 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 44 

Proud to Be Called Israel

1-5 “But for now, dear servant Jacob, listen—
    yes, you, Israel, my personal choice.
God who made you has something to say to you;
    the God who formed you in the womb wants to help you.
Don’t be afraid, dear servant Jacob,
    Jeshurun, the one I chose.
For I will pour water on the thirsty ground
    and send streams coursing through the parched earth.
I will pour my Spirit into your descendants
    and my blessing on your children.
They shall sprout like grass on the prairie,
    like willows alongside creeks.
This one will say, ‘I am God’s,’
    and another will go by the name Jacob;
That one will write on his hand ‘God’s property’—
    and be proud to be called Israel.”

Personal choice. He is reminding them of the promise he made Abraham in Genesis 12:2 and repeated throughout Genesis. He is also giving them hope once again despite what os coming to them. This sounds like a prophesy of the Holy Ghost, the comforter talked about in the gospels, and Acts. Especially Acts 2.

6-8 God, King of Israel,
    your Redeemer, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says:
“I’m first, I’m last, and everything in between.
    I’m the only God there is.
Who compares with me?
    Speak up. See if you measure up.
From the beginning, who else has always announced what’s coming?
    So what is coming next? Anybody want to venture a try?
Don’t be afraid, and don’t worry:
    Haven’t I always kept you informed, told you what was going on?
You’re my eyewitnesses:
    Have you ever come across a God, a real God, other than me?
    There’s no Rock like me that I know of.”

Flex on em then. Lol.

Lover of Emptiness

9-11 All those who make no-god idols don’t amount to a thing, and what they work so hard at making is nothing. Their little puppet-gods see nothing and know nothing—they’re total embarrassments! Who would bother making gods that can’t do anything, that can’t “god”? Watch all the no-god worshipers hide their faces in shame. Watch the no-god makers slink off humiliated when their idols fail them. Get them out here in the open. Make them face God-reality.

That can’t “god”. Ha.

12 The blacksmith makes his no-god, works it over in his forge, hammering it on his anvil—such hard work! He works away, fatigued with hunger and thirst.

13-17 The woodworker draws up plans for his no-god, traces it on a block of wood. He shapes it with chisels and planes into human shape—a beautiful woman, a handsome man, ready to be placed in a chapel. He first cuts down a cedar, or maybe picks out a pine or oak, and lets it grow strong in the forest, nourished by the rain. Then it can serve a double purpose: Part he uses as firewood for keeping warm and baking bread; from the other part he makes a god that he worships—carves it into a god shape and prays before it. With half he makes a fire to warm himself and barbecue his supper. He eats his fill and sits back satisfied with his stomach full and his feet warmed by the fire: “Ah, this is the life.” And he still has half left for a god, made to his personal design—a handy, convenient no-god to worship whenever so inclined. Whenever the need strikes him he prays to it, “Save me. You’re my god.”

I laughed.

18-19 Pretty stupid, wouldn’t you say? Don’t they have eyes in their heads? Are their brains working at all? Doesn’t it occur to them to say, “Half of this tree I used for firewood: I baked bread, roasted meat, and enjoyed a good meal. And now I’ve used the rest to make a repulsive no-god. Here I am praying to a stick of wood!”

Well.

20 This lover of emptiness, of nothing, is so out of touch with reality, so far gone, that he can’t even look at what he’s doing, can’t even look at the no-god stick of wood in his hand and say, “This is crazy.”

I mean. Such are some of us…and we actually think it’s God we are serving and worshipping. We have created a God who isn’t even the God of the Bible.

21-22 “Remember these things, O Jacob.
    Take it seriously, Israel, that you’re my servant.
I made you, shaped you: You’re my servant.
    O Israel, I’ll never forget you.
I’ve wiped the slate of all your wrongdoings.
    There’s nothing left of your sins.
Come back to me, come back.
    I’ve redeemed you.”

Yes!

23 High heavens, sing!
    God has done it.
Deep earth, shout!
    And you mountains, sing!
    A forest choir of oaks and pines and cedars!
God has redeemed Jacob.
    God’s glory is on display in Israel.

😊

24 God, your Redeemer,
    who shaped your life in your mother’s womb, says:
“I am God. I made all that is.
    With no help from you I spread out the skies
    and laid out the earth.”

25-28 He makes the magicians look ridiculous
    and turns fortunetellers into jokes.
He makes the experts look trivial
    and their latest knowledge look silly.
But he backs the word of his servant
    and confirms the counsel of his messengers.
He says to Jerusalem, “Be inhabited,”
    and to the cities of Judah, “Be rebuilt,”
    and to the ruins, “I raise you up.”
He says to Ocean, “Dry up.
    I’m drying up your rivers.”
He says to Cyrus, “My shepherd—
    everything I want, you’ll do it.”
He says to Jerusalem, “Be built,”
    and to the Temple, “Be established.”

So good.

Isaiah 45

The God Who Forms Light and Darkness

1-7 God’s Message to his anointed,
    to Cyrus, whom he took by the hand
To give the task of taming the nations,
    of terrifying their kings—
He gave him free rein,
    no restrictions:
“I’ll go ahead of you,
    clearing and paving the road.
I’ll break down bronze city gates,
    smash padlocks, kick down barred entrances.
I’ll lead you to buried treasures,
    secret caches of valuables—
Confirmations that it is, in fact, I, God,
    the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.
It’s because of my dear servant Jacob,
    Israel my chosen,
That I’ve singled you out, called you by name,
    and given you this privileged work.
    And you don’t even know me!
I am God, the only God there is.
    Besides me there are no real gods.
I’m the one who armed you for this work,
    though you don’t even know me,
So that everyone, from east to west, will know
    that I have no god-rivals.
    I am God, the only God there is.
I form light and create darkness,
    I make harmonies and create discords.
    I, God, do all these things.

The grace, mercy, and love of it all.

8-10 “Open up, heavens, and rain.
    Clouds, pour out buckets of my goodness!
Loosen up, earth, and bloom salvation;
    sprout right living.
    I, God, generate all this.
But doom to you who fight your Maker—
    you’re a pot at odds with the potter!
Does clay talk back to the potter:
    ‘What are you doing? What clumsy fingers!’
Would a sperm say to a father,
    ‘Who gave you permission to use me to make a baby?’
Or a fetus to a mother,
    ‘Why have you cooped me up in this belly?’”

Hahahahaha. The last six lines.

11-13 Thus God, The Holy of Israel, Israel’s Maker, says:
    “Do you question who or what I’m making?
    Are you telling me what I can or cannot do?
I made earth,
    and I created man and woman to live on it.
I handcrafted the skies
    and direct all the constellations in their turnings.
And now I’ve got Cyrus on the move.
    I’ve rolled out the red carpet before him.
He will build my city.
    He will bring home my exiles.
I didn’t hire him to do this. I told him.
    I, God-of-the-Angel-Armies.”

This guy. Lol.

14 God says:

“The workers of Egypt, the merchants of Ethiopia,
    and those statuesque Sabeans
Will all come over to you—all yours.
    Docile in chains, they’ll follow you,
Hands folded in reverence, praying before you:
    ‘Amazing! God is with you!
    There is no other God—none.’”

None.

Look at the Evidence

15-17 Clearly, you are a God who works behind the scenes,
    God of Israel, Savior God.
Humiliated, all those others
    will be ashamed to show their faces in public.
Out of work and at loose ends, the makers of no-god idols
    won’t know what to do with themselves.
The people of Israel, though, are saved by you, God,
    saved with an eternal salvation.
They won’t be ashamed,
    they won’t be at loose ends, ever.

18-24 God, Creator of the heavens—
    he is, remember, God.
Maker of earth—
    he put it on its foundations, built it from scratch.
He didn’t go to all that trouble
    to just leave it empty, nothing in it.
    He made it to be lived in.

This God says:

“I am God,
    the one and only.
I don’t just talk to myself
    or mumble under my breath.
I never told Jacob,
    ‘Seek me in emptiness, in dark nothingness.’
I am God. I work out in the open,
    saying what’s right, setting things right.
So gather around, come on in,
    all you refugees and castoffs.
They don’t seem to know much, do they—
    those who carry around their no-god blocks of wood,
    praying for help to a dead stick?
So tell me what you think. Look at the evidence.
    Put your heads together. Make your case.
Who told you, and a long time ago, what’s going on here?
    Who made sense of things for you?
Wasn’t I the one? God?
    It had to be me. I’m the only God there is—
The only God who does things right
    and knows how to help.
So turn to me and be helped—saved!—
    everyone, whoever and wherever you are.
I am God,
    the only God there is, the one and only.
I promise in my own name:
    Every word out of my mouth does what it says.
    I never take back what I say.
Everyone is going to end up kneeling before me.
    Everyone is going to end up saying of me,
    ‘Yes! Salvation and strength are in God!’”

24-25 All who have raged against him
    will be brought before him,
    disgraced by their unbelief.
And all who are connected with Israel
    will have a robust, praising, good life in God!

1. Him and this dead stick. 2. He has ro remind them. They don’t get it. They should have been ashamed. All He did. We ought to be ashamed…

Isaiah 42-43 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 42 

God’s Servant Will Set Everything Right

1-4 “Take a good look at my servant.
    I’m backing him to the hilt.
He’s the one I chose,
    and I couldn’t be more pleased with him.
I’ve bathed him with my Spirit, my life.
    He’ll set everything right among the nations.
He won’t call attention to what he does
    with loud speeches or gaudy parades.
He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt
    and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant,
    but he’ll steadily and firmly set things right.
He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped
    until he’s finished his work—to set things right on earth.
Far-flung ocean islands
    wait expectantly for his teaching.”

😊

The God Who Makes Us Alive with His Own Life

5-9 God’s Message,
    the God who created the cosmos, stretched out the skies,
    laid out the earth and all that grows from it,
Who breathes life into earth’s people,
    makes them alive with his own life:
“I am God. I have called you to live right and well.
    I have taken responsibility for you, kept you safe.
I have set you among my people to bind them to me,
    and provided you as a lighthouse to the nations,
To make a start at bringing people into the open, into light:
    opening blind eyes,
    releasing prisoners from dungeons,
    emptying the dark prisons.
I am God. That’s my name.
    I don’t franchise my glory,
    don’t endorse the no-god idols.
Take note: The earlier predictions of judgment have been fulfilled.
    I’m announcing the new salvation work.
Before it bursts on the scene,
    I’m telling you all about it.”

Receipts again. Let the people know!

10-16 Sing to God a brand-new song,
    sing his praises all over the world!
Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause,
    with all the far-flung islands joining in.
Let the desert and its camps raise a tune,
    calling the Kedar nomads to join in.
Let the villagers in Sela round up a choir
    and perform from the tops of the mountains.
Make God’s glory resound;
    echo his praises from coast to coast.
God steps out like he means business.
    You can see he’s primed for action.
He shouts, announcing his arrival;
    he takes charge and his enemies fall into line:
“I’ve been quiet long enough.
    I’ve held back, biting my tongue.
But now I’m letting loose, letting go,
    like a woman who’s having a baby—
Stripping the hills bare,
    withering the wildflowers,
Drying up the rivers,
    turning lakes into mudflats.
But I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way,
    who can’t see where they’re going.
I’ll be a personal guide to them,
    directing them through unknown country.
I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take,
    make sure they don’t fall into the ditch.
These are the things I’ll be doing for them—
    sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute.”

So good.

17 But those who invested in the no-gods
    are bankrupt—dead broke.

Well.

You’ve Seen a Lot, but Looked at Nothing

18-25 Pay attention! Are you deaf?
    Open your eyes! Are you blind?
You’re my servant, and you’re not looking!
    You’re my messenger, and you’re not listening!
The very people I depended upon, servants of God,
    blind as a bat—willfully blind!
You’ve seen a lot, but looked at nothing.
    You’ve heard everything, but listened to nothing.
God intended, out of the goodness of his heart,
    to be lavish in his revelation.
But this is a people battered and cowed,
    shut up in attics and closets,
Victims licking their wounds,
    feeling ignored, abandoned.
But is anyone out there listening?
    Is anyone paying attention to what’s coming?
Who do you think turned Jacob over to the thugs,
    let loose the robbers on Israel?
Wasn’t it God himself, this God against whom we’ve sinned—
    not doing what he commanded,
    not listening to what he said?
Isn’t it God’s anger that’s behind all this,
    God’s punishing power?
Their whole world collapsed but they still didn’t get it;
    their life is in ruins but they don’t take it to heart.

Eeek.

Isaiah 43 

When You’re Between a Rock and a Hard Place

1-4 But now, God’s Message,
    the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
    the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
    it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
    The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
    all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
    That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
    trade the creation just for you.

Love. Verse two in the King James Version (KJV) is one of my faves: When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

5-7 “So don’t be afraid: I’m with you.
    I’ll round up all your scattered children,
    pull them in from east and west.
I’ll send orders north and south:
    ‘Send them back.
Return my sons from distant lands,
    my daughters from faraway places.
I want them back, every last one who bears my name,
    every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory,
    yes, personally formed and made each one.’”

😭😍

8-13 Get the blind and deaf out here and ready—
    the blind (though there’s nothing wrong with their eyes)
    and the deaf (though there’s nothing wrong with their ears).
Then get the other nations out here and ready.
    Let’s see what they have to say about this,
    how they account for what’s happened.
Let them present their expert witnesses
    and make their case;
    let them try to convince us what they say is true.
“But you are my witnesses.” God’s Decree.
    “You’re my handpicked servant
So that you’ll come to know and trust me,
    understand both that I am and who I am.
Previous to me there was no such thing as a god,
    nor will there be after me.
I, yes I, am God.
    I’m the only Savior there is.
I spoke, I saved, I told you what existed
    long before these upstart gods appeared on the scene.
And you know it, you’re my witnesses,
    you’re the evidence.” God’s Decree.
“Yes, I am God.
    I’ve always been God
    and I always will be God.
No one can take anything from me.
    I make; who can unmake it?”

Periodt. And that’s on Mary had a little lamb whose name is Jesus.

You Didn’t Even Do the Minimum

14-15 God, your Redeemer,
    The Holy of Israel, says:
“Just for you, I will march on Babylon.
    I’ll turn the tables on the Babylonians.
Instead of whooping it up,
    they’ll be wailing.
I am God, your Holy One,
    Creator of Israel, your King.”

16-21 This is what God says,
    the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
    who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
    they lie down and then can’t get up;
    they’re snuffed out like so many candles:
“Forget about what’s happened;
    don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
    rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’
    —the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert,
    rivers through the sunbaked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
    the people I made especially for myself,
    a people custom-made to praise me.

Miraculous. The KJV of verse 19: Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

22-24 “But you didn’t pay a bit of attention to me, Jacob.
    You so quickly tired of me, Israel.
You wouldn’t even bring sheep for offerings in worship.
    You couldn’t be bothered with sacrifices.
It wasn’t that I asked that much from you.
    I didn’t expect expensive presents.
But you didn’t even do the minimum—
    so stingy with me, so closefisted.
Yet you haven’t been stingy with your sins.
    You’ve been plenty generous with them—and I’m fed up.

25 “But I, yes I, am the one
    who takes care of your sins—that’s what I do.
    I don’t keep a list of your sins.

26-28 “So, make your case against me. Let’s have this out.
    Make your arguments. Prove you’re in the right.
Your original ancestor started the sinning,
    and everyone since has joined in.
That’s why I had to disqualify the Temple leaders,
    repudiate Jacob and discredit Israel.”

Tuh.

Isaiah 39-41 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 39

There Will Be Nothing Left

1 Sometime later, King Merodach-baladan son of Baladan of Babylon sent messengers with greetings and a gift to Hezekiah. He had heard that Hezekiah had been sick and was now well.

Hezekiah received the messengers warmly. He took them on a tour of his royal precincts, proudly showing them all his treasures: silver, gold, spices, expensive oils, all his weapons—everything out on display. There was nothing in his house or kingdom that Hezekiah didn’t show them.

Later the prophet Isaiah showed up. He asked Hezekiah, “What were these men up to? What did they say? And where did they come from?”

Hezekiah said, “They came from a long way off, from Babylon.”

“And what did they see in your palace?”

“Everything,” said Hezekiah. “I showed them the works, opened all the doors and impressed them with it all.”

Legit SMH.

5-7 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Now listen to this Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: I have to warn you, the time is coming when everything in this palace, along with everything your ancestors accumulated before you, will be hauled off to Babylon. God says that there will be nothing left. Nothing. And not only your things but your sons. Some of your sons will be taken into exile, ending up as eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

Well.

Hezekiah replied to Isaiah, “Good. If God says so, it’s good.” Within himself he was thinking, “But surely nothing bad will happen in my lifetime. I’ll enjoy peace and stability as long as I live.”

Make it make sense please. Sigh.

Isaiah 40 

Messages of Comfort

Prepare for God’s Arrival

1-2 “Comfort, oh comfort my people,”
    says your God.
“Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem,
    but also make it very clear
That she has served her sentence,
    that her sin is taken care of—forgiven!
She’s been punished enough and more than enough,
    and now it’s over and done with.”

😊

3-5 Thunder in the desert!
    “Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road straight and smooth,
    a highway fit for our God.
Fill in the valleys,
    level off the hills,
Smooth out the ruts,
    clear out the rocks.
Then God’s bright glory will shine
    and everyone will see it.
    Yes. Just as God has said.”

Get things ready for an appearance by the most important One.

6-8 A voice says, “Shout!”
    I said, “What shall I shout?”

“These people are nothing but grass,
    their love fragile as wildflowers.
The grass withers, the wildflowers fade,
    if God so much as puffs on them.
    Aren’t these people just so much grass?
True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade,
    but our God’s Word stands firm and forever.”

Facts.

9-11 Climb a high mountain, Zion.
    You’re the preacher of good news.
Raise your voice. Make it good and loud, Jerusalem.
    You’re the preacher of good news.
    Speak loud and clear. Don’t be timid!
Tell the cities of Judah,
    “Look! Your God!”
Look at him! God, the Master, comes in power,
    ready to go into action.
He is going to pay back his enemies
    and reward those who have loved him.
Like a shepherd, he will care for his flock,
    gathering the lambs in his arms,
Hugging them as he carries them,
    leading the nursing ewes to good pasture.

The example for the world…

The Creator of All You Can See or Imagine

12-17 Who has scooped up the ocean
    in his two hands,
    or measured the sky between his thumb and little finger,
Who has put all the earth’s dirt in one of his baskets,
    weighed each mountain and hill?
Who could ever have told God what to do
    or taught him his business?
What expert would he have gone to for advice,
    what school would he attend to learn justice?
What god do you suppose might have taught him what he knows,
    showed him how things work?
Why, the nations are but a drop in a bucket,
    a mere smudge on a window.
Watch him sweep up the islands
    like so much dust off the floor!
There aren’t enough trees in Lebanon
    nor enough animals in those vast forests
    to furnish adequate fuel and offerings for his worship.
All the nations add up to simply nothing before him—
    less than nothing is more like it. A minus.

The absolute magnificent and magnitude of God.

18-20 So who even comes close to being like God?
    To whom or what can you compare him?
Some no-god idol? Ridiculous!
    It’s made in a workshop, cast in bronze,
Given a thin veneer of gold,
    and draped with silver filigree.
Or, perhaps someone will select a fine wood—
    olive wood, say—that won’t rot,
Then hire a woodcarver to make a no-god,
    giving special care to its base so it won’t tip over!

No lies detected.

21-24 Have you not been paying attention?
    Have you not been listening?
Haven’t you heard these stories all your life?
    Don’t you understand the foundation of all things?
God sits high above the round ball of earth.
    The people look like mere ants.
He stretches out the skies like a canvas—
    yes, like a tent canvas to live under.
He ignores what all the princes say and do.
    The rulers of the earth count for nothing.
Princes and rulers don’t amount to much.
    Like seeds barely rooted, just sprouted,
They shrivel when God blows on them.
    Like flecks of chaff, they’re gone with the wind.

God is not bothered or.moved by anyone or anything claiming to have power of any kind because He trumps all.

25-26 “So—who is like me?
    Who holds a candle to me?” says The Holy.
Look at the night skies:
    Who do you think made all this?
Who marches this army of stars out each night,
    counts them off, calls each by name
—so magnificent! so powerful!—
    and never overlooks a single one?

Let the people know God.

27-31 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
    or, whine, Israel, saying,
“God has lost track of me.
    He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
    He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
    And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind.

Yas. Our memories are so short. How soon we forget.

Isaiah 41 

Do You Feel Like a Lowly Worm?

1 “Quiet down, far-flung ocean islands. Listen!
    Sit down and rest, everyone. Recover your strength.
Gather around me. Say what’s on your heart.
    Together let’s decide what’s right.

The care and concern. While nothing that we say may change a thing, He cares about our feelings.

2-3 “Who got things rolling here,
    got this champion from the east on the move?
Who recruited him for this job,
    then rounded up and corralled the nations
    so he could run roughshod over kings?
He’s off and running,
    pulverizing nations into dust,
    leaving only stubble and chaff in his wake.
He chases them and comes through unscathed,
    his feet scarcely touching the path.

“Who did this? Who made it happen?
    Who always gets things started?
I did. God. I’m first on the scene.
    I’m also the last to leave.

5-7 “Far-flung ocean islands see it and panic.
    The ends of the earth are shaken.
    Fearfully they huddle together.
They try to help each other out,
    making up stories in the dark.
The godmakers in the workshops
    go into overtime production, crafting new models of no-gods,
Urging one another on—‘Good job!’ ‘Great design!’—
    pounding in nails at the base
    so that the things won’t tip over.

These people need constant reminders. Sounds a bit like…

8-10 “But you, Israel, are my servant.
    You’re Jacob, my first choice,
    descendants of my good friend Abraham.
I pulled you in from all over the world,
    called you in from every dark corner of the earth,
Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side.
    I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’
Don’t panic. I’m with you.
    There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
    I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

😊😩

11-13 “Count on it: Everyone who had it in for you
    will end up out in the cold—
    real losers.
Those who worked against you
    will end up empty-handed—
    nothing to show for their lives.
When you go out looking for your old adversaries
    you won’t find them—
Not a trace of your old enemies,
    not even a memory.
That’s right. Because I, your God,
    have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic.
    I’m right here to help you.’

😭🙌🏾

14-16 “Do you feel like a lowly worm, Jacob?
    Don’t be afraid.
Feel like a fragile insect, Israel?
    I’ll help you.
I, God, want to reassure you.
    The God who buys you back, The Holy of Israel.
I’m transforming you from worm to harrow,
    from insect to iron.
As a sharp-toothed harrow you’ll smooth out the mountains,
    turn those tough old hills into loamy soil.
You’ll open the rough ground to the weather,
    to the blasts of sun and wind and rain.
But you’ll be confident and exuberant,
    expansive in The Holy of Israel!

😍🥺 no words.

17-20 “The poor and homeless are desperate for water,
    their tongues parched and no water to be found.
But I’m there to be found, I’m there for them,
    and I, God of Israel, will not leave them thirsty.
I’ll open up rivers for them on the barren hills,
    spout fountains in the valleys.
I’ll turn the baked-clay badlands into a cool pond,
    the waterless waste into splashing creeks.
I’ll plant the red cedar in that treeless wasteland,
    also acacia, myrtle, and olive.
I’ll place the cypress in the desert,
    with plenty of oaks and pines.
Everyone will see this. No one can miss it—
    unavoidable, indisputable evidence
That I, God, personally did this.
    It’s created and signed by The Holy of Israel.

But. I’m. There.

21-24 “Set out your case for your gods,” says God.
    “Bring your evidence,” says the King of Jacob.
“Take the stand on behalf of your idols, offer arguments,
    assemble reasons.
Spread out the facts before us
    so that we can assess them ourselves.
Ask them, ‘If you are gods, explain what the past means—
    or, failing that, tell us what will happen in the future.
Can’t do that?
    How about doing something—anything!
Good or bad—whatever.
    Can you hurt us or help us? Do we need to be afraid?’
They say nothing, because they are nothing—
    sham gods, no-gods, fool-making gods.

I mean…

25-29 “I, God, started someone out from the north and he’s come.
    He was called out of the east by name.
He’ll stomp the rulers into the mud
    the way a potter works the clay.
Let me ask you, Did anyone guess that this might happen?
    Did anyone tell us earlier so we might confirm it
    with ‘Yes, he’s right!’?
No one mentioned it, no one announced it,
    no one heard a peep out of you.
But I told Zion all about this beforehand.
    I gave Jerusalem a preacher of good news.
But around here there’s no one—
    no one who knows what’s going on.
    I ask, but no one can tell me the score.
Nothing here. It’s all smoke and hot air—
    sham gods, hollow gods, no-gods.”

Truth. God always gives truth. Even if it hurts

Isaiah 37-38 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

So, I did skim ahead. But, now, I feel like I need to go back. Isaiah said the Assyrians would fall. I guess I assumed it would be farther in the future. Well in a different book. But wiki does say he may have prophesied for 64 years. So what seems short may have taken longer. And hey. God does what He wants when He wants…

Isaiah 37 

The Only God There Is

1-2 When King Hezekiah heard the report, he also tore his clothes and dressed in rough, penitential burlap gunnysacks, and went into the sanctuary of God. He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, all of them also dressed in penitential burlap, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.

Pretty sure this is sackcloth and ashes in other translations. Mourning clothes.

3-4 They said to him, “Hezekiah says, ‘This is a black day. We’re in crisis. We’re like pregnant women without even the strength to have a baby! Do you think your God heard what the Rabshekah said, sent by his master the king of Assyria to mock the living God? And do you think your God will do anything about it? Pray for us, Isaiah. Pray for those of us left here holding the fort!’”

The king knew who to go to. When trouble arose.

5-7 Then King Hezekiah’s servants came to Isaiah. Isaiah said, “Tell your master this, ‘God’s Message: Don’t be upset by what you’ve heard, all those words the servants of the Assyrian king have used to mock me. I personally will take care of him. I’ll arrange it so that he’ll get a rumor of bad news back home and rush home to take care of it. And he’ll die there. Killed—a violent death.’”

How merciful and loving.

The Rabshekah left and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah. (He had gotten word that the king had left Lachish.)

9-13 Just then the Assyrian king received an intelligence report on King Tirhakah of Ethiopia: “He is on his way to make war on you.”

On hearing that, he sent messengers to Hezekiah with instructions to deliver this message: “Don’t let your God, on whom you so naively lean, deceive you, promising that Jerusalem won’t fall to the king of Assyria. Use your head! Look around at what the kings of Assyria have done all over the world—one country after another devastated! And do you think you’re going to get off? Have any of the gods of any of these countries ever stepped in and saved them, even one of these nations my predecessors destroyed—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who lived in Telassar? Look around. Do you see anything left of the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, the king of Ivvah?”

When you think you know but have no idea. God ain’t thrm other gods. All the poor grammar. Lol.

14 Hezekiah took the letter from the hands of the messengers and read it. Then he went into the sanctuary of God and spread the letter out before God.

Yas!

15-20 Then Hezekiah prayed to God: “God-of-the-Angel-Armies, enthroned over the cherubim-angels, you are God, the only God there is, God of all kingdoms on earth. You made heaven and earth. Listen, O God, and hear. Look, O God, and see. Mark all these words of Sennacherib that he sent to mock the living God. It’s quite true, O God, that the kings of Assyria have devastated all the nations and their lands. They’ve thrown their gods into the trash and burned them—no great achievement since they were no-gods anyway, gods made in workshops, carved from wood and chiseled from rock. An end to the no-gods! But now step in, O God, our God. Save us from him. Let all the kingdoms of earth know that you and you alone are God.”

This worship before his request.

21-25 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this word to Hezekiah: “God’s Message, the God of Israel: Because you brought King Sennacherib of Assyria to me in prayer, here is my answer, God’s answer:

“‘She has no use for you, Sennacherib, nothing but contempt,
    this virgin daughter Zion.
She spits at you and turns on her heel,
    this daughter Jerusalem.

“‘Who do you think you’ve been mocking and reviling
    all these years?
Who do you think you’ve been jeering
    and treating with such utter contempt
All these years?
    The Holy of Israel!
You’ve used your servants to mock the Master.
    You’ve bragged, “With my fleet of chariots
I’ve gone to the highest mountain ranges,
    penetrated the far reaches of Lebanon,
Chopped down its giant cedars,
    its finest cypresses.
I conquered its highest peak,
    explored its deepest forest.
I dug wells
    and drank my fill.
I emptied the famous rivers of Egypt
    with one kick of my foot.”

26-27 “‘Haven’t you gotten the news
    that I’ve been behind this all along?
This is a longstanding plan of mine
    and I’m just now making it happen,
using you to devastate strong cities,
    turning them into piles of rubble
and leaving their citizens helpless,
    bewildered, and confused,
drooping like unwatered plants,
    stunted like withered seedlings.

28-29 “‘I know all about your pretentious poses,
    your self-important comings and goings,
    and, yes, the tantrums you throw against me.
Because of all your wild raging against me,
    your unbridled arrogance that I keep hearing of,
I’ll put my hook in your nose
    and my bit in your mouth.
I’ll show you who’s boss. I’ll turn you around
    and take you back to where you came from.

30-32 “‘And this, Hezekiah, will be your confirming sign: This year’s crops will be slim pickings, and next year it won’t be much better. But in three years, farming will be back to normal, with regular sowing and reaping, planting and harvesting. What’s left of the people of Judah will put down roots and make a new start. The people left in Jerusalem will get moving again. Mount Zion survivors will take hold again. The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.’

Ha. God said. Wait. Hol up. Pot meet kettle. Let me tell you bout yourself. You’re gonna suffer for your behavior. The people too.

33-35 “Finally, this is God’s verdict on the king of Assyria:

“‘Don’t worry, he won’t enter this city,
    won’t let loose a single arrow,
Won’t brandish so much as one shield,
    let alone build a siege ramp against it.
He’ll go back the same way he came.
    He won’t set a foot in this city.
        God’s Decree.
I’ve got my hand on this city
    to save it,
Save it for my very own sake,
    but also for the sake of my David dynasty.’”

But. I gotchu!

36-38 Then the Angel of God arrived and struck the Assyrian camp—185,000 Assyrians died. By the time the sun came up, they were all dead—an army of corpses! Sennacherib, king of Assyria, got out of there fast, back home to Nineveh. As he was worshiping in the sanctuary of his god Nisroch, he was murdered by his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer. They escaped to the land of Ararat. His son Esar-haddon became the next king.

Promise keeper.

Isaiah 38 

Time Spent in Death’s Waiting Room

1 At that time, Hezekiah got sick. He was about to die. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and said, “God says, ‘Prepare your affairs and your family. This is it: You’re going to die. You’re not going to get well.’”

Well.

2-3 Hezekiah turned away from Isaiah and, facing the wall, prayed to God: “God, please, I beg you: Remember how I’ve lived my life. I’ve lived faithfully in your presence, lived out of a heart that was totally yours. You’ve seen how I’ve lived, the good that I have done.” And Hezekiah wept as he prayed—painful tears.

Um. Didn’t God just tell you how you behaved? But kudos for going to Him.

4-6 Then God told Isaiah, “Go and speak with Hezekiah. Give him this Message from me, God, the God of your ancestor David: ‘I’ve heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll add fifteen years to your life. And I’ll save both you and this city from the king of Assyria. I have my hand on this city.

Mercy, mercy, mercy.

7-8 “‘And this is your confirming sign, confirming that I, God, will do exactly what I have promised. Watch for this: As the sun goes down and the shadow lengthens on the sundial of Ahaz, I’m going to reverse the shadow ten notches on the dial.’” And that’s what happened: The declining sun’s shadow reversed ten notches on the dial.

Promise. Keeper.

9-15 This is what Hezekiah king of Judah wrote after he’d been sick and then recovered from his sickness:

In the very prime of life
    I have to leave.
Whatever time I have left
    is spent in death’s waiting room.
No more glimpses of God
    in the land of the living,
No more meetings with my neighbors,
    no more rubbing shoulders with friends.
This body I inhabit is taken down
    and packed away like a camper’s tent.
Like a weaver, I’ve rolled up the carpet of my life
    as God cuts me free of the loom
And at day’s end sweeps up the scraps and pieces.
    I cry for help until morning.
Like a lion, God pummels and pounds me,
    relentlessly finishing me off.
I squawk like a doomed hen,
    moan like a dove.
My eyes ache from looking up for help:
    “Master, I’m in trouble! Get me out of this!”
But what’s the use? God himself gave me the word.
    He’s done it to me.
I can’t sleep—
    I’m that upset, that troubled.

16-19 O Master, these are the conditions in which people live,
    and yes, in these very conditions my spirit is still alive—
    fully recovered with a fresh infusion of life!
It seems it was good for me
    to go through all those troubles.
Throughout them all you held tight to my lifeline.
    You never let me tumble over the edge into nothing.
But my sins you let go of,
    threw them over your shoulder—good riddance!
The dead don’t thank you,
    and choirs don’t sing praises from the morgue.
Those buried six feet under
    don’t witness to your faithful ways.
It’s the living—live men, live women—who thank you,
    just as I’m doing right now.
Parents give their children
    full reports on your faithful ways.

20 God saves and will save me.
    As fiddles and mandolins strike up the tunes,
We’ll sing, oh we’ll sing, sing,
    for the rest of our lives in the Sanctuary of God.

His gratitude and worship. Whatever his mistakes, he knew what was up.

21-22 Isaiah had said, “Prepare a poultice of figs and put it on the boil so he may recover.”

Hezekiah had said, “What is my cue that it’s all right to enter again the Sanctuary of God?”

Bruh couldn’t wait to get back where God’s presence dwelled after alla this…

Isaiah 35-36 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 35 

The Voiceless Break into Song

1-2 Wilderness and desert will sing joyously,
    the badlands will celebrate and flower—
Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom,
    a symphony of song and color.
Mountain glories of Lebanon—a gift.
    Awesome Carmel, stunning Sharon—gifts.
God’s resplendent glory, fully on display.
    God awesome, God majestic.

It’s the hope for me. He tells them the consequences but tells them of the restoration. Full out love. Correction and covering.

3-4 Energize the limp hands,
    strengthen the rubbery knees.
Tell fearful souls,
    “Courage! Take heart!
God is here, right here,
    on his way to put things right
And redress all wrongs.
    He’s on his way! He’ll save you!”

Yessir.

5-7 Blind eyes will be opened,
    deaf ears unstopped,
Lame men and women will leap like deer,
    the voiceless break into song.
Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness,
    streams flow in the desert.
Hot sands will become a cool oasis,
    thirsty ground a splashing fountain.
Even lowly jackals will have water to drink,
    and barren grasslands flourish richly.Yes sir.

The prose. Words are my thing if you couldn’t tell from this site. Aaaah. Sigh.

8-10 There will be a highway
    called the Holy Road.
No one rude or rebellious
    is permitted on this road.
It’s for God’s people exclusively—
    impossible to get lost on this road.
    Not even fools can get lost on it.
No lions on this road,
    no dangerous wild animals—
Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening.
    Only the redeemed will walk on it.
The people God has ransomed
    will come back on this road.
They’ll sing as they make their way home to Zion,
    unfading halos of joy encircling their heads,
Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness
    as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.

Heaven? Is that you? Peace. This sounds like peace.

Isaiah 36 

It’s Their Fate That’s at Stake

1-3 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria made war on all the fortress cities of Judah and took them. Then the king of Assyria sent his general, the “Rabshekah,” accompanied by a huge army, from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah. The general stopped at the aqueduct where it empties into the upper pool on the road to the public laundry. Three men went out to meet him: Eliakim son of Hilkiah, in charge of the palace; Shebna the secretary; and Joah son of Asaph, the official historian.

4-7 The Rabshekah said to them, “Tell Hezekiah that the Great King, the king of Assyria, says this: ‘What kind of backing do you think you have against me? You’re bluffing and I’m calling your bluff. Your words are no match for my weapons. What kind of backup do you have now that you’ve rebelled against me? Egypt? Don’t make me laugh. Egypt is a rubber crutch. Lean on Egypt and you’ll end up flat on your face. That’s all Pharaoh king of Egypt is to anyone who leans on him. And if you try to tell me, “We’re leaning on our God,” isn’t it a bit late? Hasn’t Hezekiah just gotten rid of all the places of worship, telling you, “You’ve got to worship at this altar”?

8-9 “‘Be reasonable. Face the facts: My master the king of Assyria will give you two thousand horses if you can put riders on them. You can’t do it, can you? So how do you think, depending on flimsy Egypt’s chariots and riders, you can stand up against even the lowest-ranking captain in my master’s army?

10 “‘And besides, do you think I came all this way to destroy this land without first getting God’s blessing? It was your God who told me, Make war on this land. Destroy it.’”

11 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah answered the Rabshekah, “Please talk to us in Aramaic. We understand Aramaic. Don’t talk to us in Hebrew within earshot of all the people gathered around.”

12 But the Rabshekah replied, “Do you think my master has sent me to give this message to your master and you but not also to the people clustered here? It’s their fate that’s at stake. They’re the ones who are going to end up eating their own excrement and drinking their own urine.”

13-15 Then the Rabshekah stood up and called out loudly in Hebrew, the common language, “Listen to the message of the Great King, the king of Assyria! Don’t listen to Hezekiah’s lies. He can’t save you. And don’t pay any attention to Hezekiah’s pious sermons telling you to lean on God, telling you ‘God will save us, depend on it. God won’t let this city fall to the king of Assyria.’

16-20 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah. Listen to the king of Assyria’s offer: ‘Make peace with me. Come and join me. Everyone will end up with a good life, with plenty of land and water, and eventually something far better. I’ll turn you loose in wide open spaces, with more than enough fertile and productive land for everyone.’ Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you with his lies, ‘God will save us.’ Has that ever happened? Has any god in history ever gotten the best of the king of Assyria? Look around you. Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? The gods of Sepharvaim? Did the gods do anything for Samaria? Name one god that has ever saved its countries from me. So what makes you think that God could save Jerusalem from me?’”

21 The three men were silent. They said nothing, for the king had already commanded, “Don’t answer him.”

22 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, tearing their clothes in defeat and despair, went back and reported what the Rabshekah had said to Hezekiah.

I was so engrossed. Like. I may have to read on just to see what happens/happened!

Isaiah 32-34 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 32 

Safe Houses, Quiet Gardens

1-8 But look! A king will rule in the right way,
    and his leaders will carry out justice.
Each one will stand as a shelter from high winds,
    provide safe cover in stormy weather.
Each will be cool running water in parched land,
    a huge granite outcrop giving shade in the desert.
Anyone who looks will see,
    anyone who listens will hear.
The impulsive will make sound decisions,
    the tongue-tied will speak with eloquence.
No more will fools become celebrities,
    nor crooks be rewarded with fame.
For fools are fools and that’s that,
    thinking up new ways to do mischief.
They leave a wake of wrecked lives
    and lies about God,
Turning their backs on the homeless hungry,
    ignoring those dying of thirst in the streets.
And the crooks? Underhanded sneaks they are,
    inventive in sin and scandal,
Exploiting the poor with scams and lies,
    unmoved by the victimized poor.
But those who are noble make noble plans,
    and stand for what is noble.

Hey Jesus.

9-14 Take your stand, idle women!
    Listen to me!
Indulgent, idle women,
    listen closely to what I have to say.
In just a little over a year from now,
    you’ll be shaken out of your lazy lives.
The grape harvest will fail,
    and there’ll be no fruit on the trees.
Oh tremble, you idle women.
    Get serious, you pampered dolls!
Strip down and discard your silk fineries.
    Put on funeral clothes.
Shed honest tears for the lost harvest,
    the failed vintage.
Weep for my people’s gardens and farms
    that grow nothing but thistles and thornbushes.
Cry tears, real tears, for the happy homes no longer happy,
    the merry city no longer merry.
The royal palace is deserted,
    the bustling city quiet as a morgue,
The emptied parks and playgrounds
    taken over by wild animals,
    delighted with their new home.

15-20 Yes, weep and grieve until the Spirit is poured
    down on us from above
And the badlands desert grows crops
    and the fertile fields become forests.
Justice will move into the badlands desert.
    Right will build a home in the fertile field.
And where there’s Right, there’ll be Peace
    and the progeny of Right: quiet lives and endless trust.
My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood—
    in safe houses, in quiet gardens.
The forest of your pride will be clear-cut,
    the city showing off your power leveled.
But you will enjoy a fortunate life,
    planting well-watered fields and gardens,
    with your farm animals grazing freely.

The hope!

Isaiah 33 

The Ground Under Our Feet Mourns

1 Doom to you, Destroyer,
    not yet destroyed;
And doom to you, Betrayer,
    not yet betrayed.
When you finish destroying,
    your turn will come—destroyed!
When you quit betraying,
    your turn will come—betrayed!

2-4 God, treat us kindly. You’re our only hope.
    First thing in the morning, be there for us!
    When things go bad, help us out!
You spoke in thunder and everyone ran.
    You showed up and nations scattered.
Your people, for a change, got in on the loot,
    picking the field clean of the enemy spoils.

5-6 God is supremely esteemed. His center holds.
    Zion brims over with all that is just and right.
God keeps your days stable and secure—
    salvation, wisdom, and knowledge in surplus,
    and best of all, Zion’s treasure, Fear-of-God.

7-9 But look! Listen!
    Tough men weep openly.
    Peacemaking diplomats are in bitter tears.
The roads are empty—
    not a soul out on the streets.
The peace treaty is broken,
    its conditions violated,
    its signers reviled.
The very ground under our feet mourns,
    the Lebanon mountains hang their heads,
Flowering Sharon is a weed-choked gully,
    and the forests of Bashan and Carmel? Bare branches.

Alla this is poetic. Ion even have anything to say to this point.

10-12 “Now I’m stepping in,” God says.
    “From now on, I’m taking over.
    The gloves come off. Now see how mighty I am.
There’s nothing to you.
    Pregnant with chaff, you produce straw babies;
    full of hot air, you self-destruct.
You’re good for nothing but fertilizer and fuel.
    Earth to earth—and the sooner the better.

Like. Ima let yall do what you do for a minute cuz they need to learn. But that’s enough.

13-14 “If you’re far away,
    get the reports on what I’ve done,
And if you’re in the neighborhood,
    pay attention to my record.
The sinners in Zion are rightly terrified;
    the godless are at their wit’s end:
‘Who among us can survive this firestorm?
    Who of us can get out of this purge with our lives?’”

Receipts. God is using Isaiah to show His receipts.

15-16 The answer’s simple:
    Live right,
    speak the truth,
    despise exploitation,
    refuse bribes,
    reject violence,
    avoid evil amusements.
This is how you raise your standard of living!
    A safe and stable way to live.
    A nourishing, satisfying way to live.

God Makes All the Decisions Here

17-19 Oh, you’ll see the king—a beautiful sight!
    And you’ll take in the wide vistas of land.
In your mind you’ll go over the old terrors:
    “What happened to that Assyrian inspector who condemned and confiscated?
And the one who gouged us of taxes?
    And that cheating moneychanger?”
Gone! Out of sight forever! Their insolence
    nothing now but a fading stain on the carpet!
No more putting up with a language you can’t understand,
    no more sounds of gibberish in your ears.

20-22 Just take a look at Zion, will you?
    Centering our worship in festival feasts!
Feast your eyes on Jerusalem,
    a quiet and permanent place to live.
No more pulling up stakes and moving on,
    no more patched-together lean-tos.
Instead, God! God majestic, God himself the place
    in a country of broad rivers and streams,
But rivers blocked to invading ships,
    off-limits to predatory pirates.
For God makes all the decisions here. God is our king.
    God runs this place and he’ll keep us safe.

23 Ha! Your sails are in shreds,
    your mast wobbling,
    your hold leaking.
The plunder is free for the taking, free for all—
    for weak and strong, insiders and outsiders.

24 No one in Zion will say, “I’m sick.”
    Best of all, they’ll all live guilt-free.

God gives good things despite what we deserve even after we suffer thr consequences. Such a good, good Father.

Isaiah 34

The Fires Burning Day and Night

Draw in close now, nations. Listen carefully,
    you people. Pay attention!
Earth, you, too, and everything in you.
    World, and all that comes from you.

He wanted the attention of everything He created.

2-4 And here’s why: God is angry,
    good and angry with all the nations,
So blazingly angry at their arms and armies
    that he’s going to rid earth of them, wipe them out.
The corpses, thrown in a heap,
    will stink like the town dump in midsummer,
Their blood flowing off the mountains
    like creeks in spring runoff.
Stars will fall out of the sky
    like overripe, rotting fruit in the orchard,
And the sky itself will be folded up like a blanket
    and put away in a closet.
All that army of stars, shriveled to nothing,
    like leaves and fruit in autumn, dropping and rotting!

5-7 “Once I’ve finished with earth and sky,
    I’ll start in on Edom.
I’ll come down hard on Edom,
    a people I’ve slated for total termination.”
God has a sword, thirsty for blood and more blood,
    a sword hungry for well-fed flesh,
Lamb and goat blood,
    the suet-rich kidneys of rams.
Yes, God has scheduled a sacrifice in Bozrah, the capital,
    the whole country of Edom a slaughterhouse.
A wholesale slaughter, wild animals
    and farm animals alike slaughtered.
The whole country soaked with blood,
    all the ground greasy with fat.

8-15 It’s God’s scheduled time for vengeance,
    the year all Zion’s accounts are settled.
Edom’s streams will flow sluggish, thick with pollution,
    the soil sterile, poisoned with waste,
The whole country
    a smoking, stinking garbage dump—
The fires burning day and night,
    the skies black with endless smoke.
Generation after generation of wasteland—
    no more travelers through this country!
Vultures and skunks will police the streets;
    owls and crows will feel at home there.
God will reverse creation. Chaos!
    He will cancel fertility. Emptiness!
Leaders will have no one to lead.
    They’ll name it No Kingdom There,
A country where all kings
    and princes are unemployed.
Thistles will take over, covering the castles,
    fortresses conquered by weeds and thornbushes.
Wild dogs will prowl the ruins,
    ostriches have the run of the place.
Wildcats and hyenas will hunt together,
    demons and devils dance through the night.
The night-demon Lilith, evil and rapacious,
    will establish permanent quarters.
Scavenging carrion birds will breed and brood,
    infestations of ominous evil.

16-17 Get and read God’s book:
    None of this is going away,
    this breeding, brooding evil.
God has personally commanded it all.
    His Spirit set it in motion.
God has assigned them their place,
    decreed their fate in detail.
This is permanent—
    generation after generation, the same old thing.

Um. That’s all I got. That’s a lot.

Isaiah 29-31 The Message MSG

Isaiah 29

Blind Yourselves So That You See Nothing

1-4 Doom, Ariel, Ariel,
    the city where David set camp!
Let the years add up,
    let the festivals run their cycles,
But I’m not letting up on Jerusalem.
    The moaning and groaning will continue.
    Jerusalem to me is an Ariel.
Like David, I’ll set up camp against you.
    I’ll set siege, build towers,
    bring in siege engines, build siege ramps.
Driven into the ground, you’ll speak,
    you’ll mumble words from the dirt—
Your voice from the ground, like the muttering of a ghost.
    Your speech will whisper from the dust.

Play with God if you want to….He is THE same God. We are just given grace through the blood sacrifice of Jesus. But. Play with Him if you want to. His judgment will return after Jesus comes back for His people. So. Play with Him if you want to. This isn’t some made up thing. Read Revelation. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and see what Jesus says about heaven and the kingdom.

5-8 But it will be your enemies who are beaten to dust,
    the mob of tyrants who will be blown away like chaff.
Because, surprise, as if out of nowhere,
    a visit from God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
With thunderclaps, earthquakes, and earsplitting noise,
    backed up by hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning strikes,
And the mob of enemies at war with Ariel,
    all who trouble and hassle and torment her,
    will turn out to be a bad dream, a nightmare.
Like a hungry man dreaming he’s eating steak
    and wakes up hungry as ever,
Like a thirsty woman dreaming she’s drinking iced tea
    and wakes up thirsty as ever,
So that mob of nations at war against Mount Zion
    will wake up and find they haven’t shot an arrow,
    haven’t killed a single soul.

Thus reminds me of I can talk about them (friends/family) but you better not. Ha. I can get my children, but, if you try it, you better watch out.

9-10 Drug yourselves so you feel nothing.
    Blind yourselves so you see nothing.
Get drunk, but not on wine.
    Black out, but not from whiskey.
For God has rocked you into a deep, deep sleep,
    put the discerning prophets to sleep,
    put the farsighted seers to sleep.

Eeek. I cannot imagine a TRULY silent God. Like. We think He’s gone quiet on us. Nah. But them? 400 years between Malachi and the events of Matthew. Sheesh.

You Have Everything Backward

11-12 What you’ve been shown here is somewhat like a letter in a sealed envelope. If you give it to someone who can read and tell her, “Read this,” she’ll say, “I can’t. The envelope is sealed.” And if you give it to someone who can’t read and tell him, “Read this,” he’ll say, “I can’t read.”

13-14 The Master said:

“These people make a big show of saying the right thing,
    but their hearts aren’t in it.
Because they act like they’re worshiping me
    but don’t mean it,
I’m going to step in and shock them awake,
    astonish them, stand them on their ears.
The wise ones who had it all figured out
    will be exposed as fools.
The smart people who thought they knew everything
    will turn out to know nothing.”

They 👏🏾 didn’t 👏🏾 learn 👏🏾 a 👏🏾 thing 👏🏾. How do I know? Sadducees and Pharisees in Matthew-Luke. And many “Christians” today…

15-16 Doom to you! You pretend to have the inside track.
    You shut God out and work behind the scenes,
Plotting the future as if you knew everything,
    acting mysterious, never showing your hand.
You have everything backward!
    You treat the potter as a lump of clay.
Does a book say to its author,
    “He didn’t write a word of me”?
Does a meal say to the woman who cooked it,
    “She had nothing to do with this”?

Yooooooo. That’s it. That’s all I got.

17-21 And then before you know it,
    and without you having anything to do with it,
Wasted Lebanon will be transformed into lush gardens,
    and Mount Carmel reforested.
At that time the deaf will hear
    word-for-word what’s been written.
After a lifetime in the dark,
    the blind will see.
The castoffs of society will be laughing and dancing in God,
    the down-and-outs shouting praise to The Holy of Israel.
For there’ll be no more gangs on the street.
    Cynical scoffers will be an extinct species.
Those who never missed a chance to hurt or demean
    will never be heard of again:
Gone the people who corrupted the courts,
    gone the people who cheated the poor,
    gone the people who victimized the innocent.

🙂 Heaven here we come. I mean. He probably meant the real world here. But to me, sounds like heaven…

22-24 And finally this, God’s Message for the family of Jacob,
    the same God who redeemed Abraham:
“No longer will Jacob hang his head in shame,
    no longer grow gaunt and pale with waiting.
For he’s going to see his children,
    my personal gift to him—lots of children.
And these children will honor me
    by living holy lives.
In holy worship they’ll honor the Holy One of Jacob
    and stand in holy awe of the God of Israel.
Those who got off-track will get back on-track,
    and complainers and whiners will learn gratitude.”

Promise. Keeper.

Isaiah 30 

All Show, No Substance

1-5 “Doom, rebel children!”
    God’s Decree.
“You make plans, but not mine.
    You make deals, but not in my Spirit.
You pile sin on sin,
    one sin on top of another,
Going off to Egypt
    without so much as asking me,
Running off to Pharaoh for protection,
    expecting to hide out in Egypt.
Well, some protection Pharaoh will be!
    Some hideout, Egypt!
They look big and important, true,
    with officials strategically established in
Zoan in the north and Hanes in the south,
    but there’s nothing to them.
Anyone stupid enough to trust them
    will end up looking stupid—
All show, no substance,
    an embarrassing farce.”

Like. Amnesia. Dummies. He brought your ancestors out but you go back? We’ve all likely done it. It isn’t good to or for us. But it is familiar. I won’t say comfortable. Cuz I doubt much of it is. But it’s what we know and what we’re used to.

6-7 And this note on the animals of the Negev
    encountered on the road to Egypt:
A most dangerous, treacherous route,
    menaced by lions and deadly snakes.
And you’re going to lug all your stuff down there,
    your donkeys and camels loaded down with bribes,
Thinking you can buy protection
    from that hollow farce of a nation?
Egypt is all show, no substance.
    My name for her is Toothless Dragon.

I chuckled at toothless dragon.

This Is a Rebel Generation

8-11 So, go now and write all this down.
    Put it in a book
So that the record will be there
    to instruct the coming generations,
Because this is a rebel generation,
    a people who lie,
A people unwilling to listen
    to anything God tells them.
They tell their spiritual leaders,
    “Don’t bother us with irrelevancies.”
They tell their preachers,
    “Don’t waste our time on impracticalities.
Tell us what makes us feel better.
    Don’t bore us with obsolete religion.
That stuff means nothing to us.
    Quit hounding us with The Holy of Israel.”

The more things change the more they stay the same…

12-14 Therefore, The Holy of Israel says this:
    “Because you scorn this Message,
Preferring to live by injustice
    and shape your lives on lies,
This perverse way of life
    will be like a towering, badly built wall
That slowly, slowly tilts and shifts,
    and then one day, without warning, collapses—
Smashed to bits like a piece of pottery,
    smashed beyond recognition or repair,
Useless, a pile of debris
    to be swept up and thrown in the trash.”

Something I love to say is you may get by but you won’t get away. Ion remember where it came from. But it’s true. I was raised in the south though so…

God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

15-17 God, the Master, The Holy of Israel,
    has this solemn counsel:
“Your salvation requires you to turn back to me
    and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.
Your strength will come from settling down
    in complete dependence on me—
The very thing
    you’ve been unwilling to do.
You’ve said, ‘No way! We’ll rush off on horseback!’
    You’ll rush off, all right! Just not far enough!
You’ve said, ‘We’ll ride off on fast horses!’
    Do you think your pursuers ride old nags?
Think again: A thousand of you will scatter before one attacker.
    Before a mere five you’ll all run off.
There’ll be nothing left of you—
    a flagpole on a hill with no flag,
    a signpost on a roadside with the sign torn off.”

Wellst

18 But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.
    He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.
God takes the time to do everything right—everything.
    Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

Yaaaaaas!

19-22 Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he’ll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your teacher alive and present among you. Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” You’ll scrap your expensive and fashionable god-images. You’ll throw them in the trash as so much garbage, saying, “Good riddance!”

Hey Jesus 👋🏾 😀

23-26 God will provide rain for the seeds you sow. The grain that grows will be abundant. Your cattle will range far and wide. Oblivious to war and earthquake, the oxen and donkeys you use for hauling and plowing will be fed well near running brooks that flow freely from mountains and hills. Better yet, on the Day God heals his people of the wounds and bruises from the time of punishment, moonlight will flare into sunlight, and sunlight, like a whole week of sunshine at once, will flood the land.

This made me smile. What is coming will not know what has been. There will be no residue or reminder.

27-28 Look, God’s on his way,
    and from a long way off!
Smoking with anger,
    immense as he comes into view,
Words steaming from his mouth,
    searing, indicting words!
A torrent of words, a flash flood of words
    sweeping everyone into the vortex of his words.
He’ll shake down the nations in a sieve of destruction,
    herd them into a dead end.

Hebrews 4:12 King James Version: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

29-33 But you will sing,
    sing through an all-night holy feast!
Your hearts will burst with song,
    make music like the sound of flutes on parade,
En route to the mountain of God,
    on the way to the Rock of Israel.
God will sound out in grandiose thunder,
    display his hammering arm,
Furiously angry, showering sparks—
    cloudburst, storm, hail!
Oh yes, at God’s thunder
    Assyria will cower under the clubbing.
Every blow God lands on them with his club
    is in time to the music of drums and pipes,
God in all-out, two-fisted battle,
    fighting against them.
Topheth’s fierce fires are well prepared,
    ready for the Assyrian king.
The Topheth furnace is deep and wide,
    well stoked with hot-burning wood.
God’s breath, like a river of burning pitch,
    starts the fire.

I mean.

Isaiah 31 

Impressed by Military Mathematics

1-3 Doom to those who go off to Egypt
    thinking that horses can help them,
Impressed by military mathematics,
    awed by sheer numbers of chariots and riders—
And to The Holy of Israel, not even a glance,
    not so much as a prayer to God.
Still, he must be reckoned with,
    a most wise God who knows what he’s doing.
He can call down catastrophe.
    He’s a God who does what he says.
He intervenes in the work of those who do wrong,
    stands up against interfering evildoers.
Egyptians are mortal, not God,
    and their horses are flesh, not Spirit.
When God gives the signal, helpers and helped alike
    will fall in a heap and share the same dirt grave.

Deceived.

4-5 This is what God told me:

“Like a lion, king of the beasts,
    that gnaws and chews and worries its prey,
Not fazed in the least by a bunch of shepherds
    who arrive to chase it off,
So God-of-the-Angel-Armies comes down
    to fight on Mount Zion, to make war from its heights.
And like a huge eagle hovering in the sky,
    God-of-the-Angel-Armies protects Jerusalem.
I’ll protect and rescue it.
    Yes, I’ll hover and deliver.”

The imagery.

6-7 Repent, return, dear Israel, to the One you so cruelly abandoned. On the day you return, you’ll throw away—every last one of you—the no-gods your sinful hands made from metal and wood.

8-9 “Assyrians will fall dead,
    killed by a sword-thrust but not by a soldier,
    laid low by a sword not swung by a mortal.
Assyrians will run from that sword, run for their lives,
    and their prize young men made slaves.
Terrorized, that rock-solid people will fall to pieces,
    their leaders scatter hysterically.”
God’s Decree on Assyria.
    His fire blazes in Zion,
    his furnace burns hot in Jerusalem.

God fighting for us is so much better and way more impactful.

Isaiah 27-28 The Message MSG

Isaiah 27 

Selected Grain by Grain

I thought about the wheat and tare as soon as I saw this. Interested to see if there’s a tie an as I read. I’d wager a yes.

At that time God will unsheathe his sword,
    his merciless, massive, mighty sword.
He’ll punish the serpent Leviathan as it flees,
    the serpent Leviathan thrashing in flight.
He’ll kill that old dragon
    that lives in the sea.

2-5 “At that same time, a fine vineyard will appear.
    There’s something to sing about!
I, God, tend it.
    I keep it well-watered.
I keep careful watch over it
    so that no one can damage it.
I’m not angry. I care.
    Even if it gives me thistles and thornbushes,
I’ll just pull them out
    and burn them up.
Let that vine cling to me for safety,
    let it find a good and whole life with me,
    let it hold on for a good and whole life.”

Im not angry. I care.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH this is what I thought about: Matthew 13 (King James Version KJV).

Parable of the Wheat and the Tares;

24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”

The days are coming when Jacob
    shall put down roots,
Israel blossom and grow fresh branches,
    and fill the world with its fruit.

They will live independently again. Growth. Newness. New life.

7-11 Has God knocked them to the ground
    as he knocked down those who hit them? Oh, no.
Were they killed
    as their killers were killed? Again, no.
He was hard on them all right. The exile was a harsh sentence.
    He blew them away on a fierce blast of wind.
But the good news is that through this experience
    Jacob’s guilt was taken away.
    The evidence that his sin is removed will be this:
He will tear down the alien altars,
    take them apart stone by stone,
And then crush the stones into gravel
    and clean out all the sex-and-religion shrines.
For there’s nothing left of that pretentious grandeur.
    Nobody lives there anymore. It’s unlivable.
But animals do just fine,
    browsing and bedding down.
And it’s not a bad place to get firewood.
    Dry twigs and dead branches are plentiful.
It’s the remains of a people with no sense of God.
    So, the God who made them
Will have nothing to do with them.
    He who formed them will turn his back on them.

They had to learn a lesson. He mercifully loved and dealt with them as His beloved not as with those who were not in relationship, fellowship with Him. The Lord chastened those He loves (Hebrews 12:6). But it’s for their good (Romans 8:28)!

12-13 At that time God will thresh
    from the River Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt,
And you, people of Israel,
    will be selected grain by grain.
At that same time a great trumpet will be blown,
    calling home the exiles from Assyria,
Welcoming home the refugees from Egypt
    to come and worship God on the holy mountain, Jerusalem.

To select grain by grain sounds like a tedious and time consuming labor of love.

Isaiah 28 

God Will Speak in Baby Talk

This made me chuckle. Especially because people say you should talk to babies as if you are talking to adults or children and not in gibberish like babies do. I dunno if it is studies, but, kids who have spent a lot of time around adults, who talk to them or others normally, seem to have nice vocabularies and start talking sooner. I also thought about the whole milk and meat situation in 1 Corinthians 3:2 (King James Version (KJV)): I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

1-4 Doom to the pretentious drunks of Ephraim,
    shabby and washed out and seedy—
Tipsy, sloppy-fat, beer-bellied parodies
    of a proud and handsome past.
Watch closely: God has someone picked out,
    someone tough and strong to flatten them.
Like a hailstorm, like a hurricane, like a flash flood,
    one-handed he’ll throw them to the ground.
Samaria, the party hat on Israel’s head,
    will be knocked off with one blow.
It will disappear quicker than
    a piece of meat tossed to a dog.

5-6 At that time, God-of-the-Angel-Armies will be
    the beautiful crown on the head of what’s left of his people:
Energy and insights of justice to those who guide and decide,
    strength and prowess to those who guard and protect.

So poetic.

7-8 These also, the priest and prophet, stagger from drink,
    weaving, falling-down drunks,
Besotted with wine and whiskey,
    can’t see straight, can’t talk sense.
Every table is covered with vomit.
    They live in vomit.

I mean. Your are thr spiritual head with the ear of God and this is what you do? Sounds…nvm.

9-10 “Is that so? And who do you think you are to teach us?
    Who are you to lord it over us?
We’re not babies in diapers
    to be talked down to by such as you—
‘Da, da, da, da,
    blah, blah, blah, blah.
That’s a good little girl,
    that’s a good little boy.’”

Well.

11-12 But that’s exactly how you will be addressed.
    God will speak to this people
In baby talk, one syllable at a time—
    and he’ll do it through foreign oppressors.
He said before, “This is the time and place to rest,
    to give rest to the weary.
This is the place to lay down your burden.”
    But they won’t listen.

Well. Lol.

13 So God will start over with the simple basics
    and address them in baby talk, one syllable at a time—
“Da, da, da, da,
    blah, blah, blah, blah.
That’s a good little girl,
    that’s a good little boy.”
And like toddlers, they will get up and fall down,
    get bruised and confused and lost.

Sometimes you just have to go back and start over.

14-15 Now listen to God’s Message, you scoffers,
    you who rule this people in Jerusalem.
You say, “We’ve taken out good life insurance.
    We’ve hedged all our bets, covered all our bases.
No disaster can touch us. We’ve thought of everything.
    We’re advised by the experts. We’re set.”

The Meaning of the Stone

16-17 But the Master, God, has something to say to this:

“Watch closely. I’m laying a foundation in Zion,
    a solid granite foundation, squared and true.
And this is the meaning of the stone:
    a trusting life won’t topple.
I’ll make justice the measuring stick
    and righteousness the plumb line for the building.
A hailstorm will knock down the shantytown of lies,
    and a flash flood will wash out the rubble.

Jesus? Is that you?

18-22 “Then you’ll see that your precious life insurance policy
    wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.
Your careful precautions against death
    were a pack of illusions and lies.
When the disaster happens,
    you’ll be crushed by it.
Every time disaster comes, you’ll be in on it—
    disaster in the morning, disaster at night.”
Every report of disaster
    will send you cowering in terror.
There will be no place where you can rest,
    nothing to hide under.
God will rise to full stature,
    raging as he did long ago on Mount Perazim
And in the valley of Gibeon against the Philistines.
    But this time it’s against you.
Hard to believe, but true.
    Not what you’d expect, but it’s coming.
Sober up, friends, and don’t scoff.
    Scoffing will just make it worse.
I’ve heard the orders issued for destruction, orders from
    God-of-the-Angel-Armies—ending up in an international disaster.

Whoa.

23-26 Listen to me now.
    Give me your closest attention.
Do farmers plow and plow and do nothing but plow?
    Or harrow and harrow and do nothing but harrow?
After they’ve prepared the ground, don’t they plant?
    Don’t they scatter dill and spread cumin,
Plant wheat and barley in the fields
    and raspberries along the borders?
They know exactly what to do and when to do it.
    Their God is their teacher.

Hmmm.

27-29 And at the harvest, the delicate herbs and spices,
    the dill and cumin, are treated delicately.
On the other hand, wheat is threshed and milled, but still not endlessly.
    The farmer knows how to treat each kind of grain.
He’s learned it all from God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    who knows everything about when and how and where.

Listen. This proves a point I’ve made. God treats each of us how we should be treated. We can’t handle being related to the same exact way. He knew us and how we are. Same should go for relationships and parenting. But the people…nvm again.

Isaiah 25-26 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 25 

God’s Hand Rests on This Mountain

1-5 God, you are my God.
    I celebrate you. I praise you.
You’ve done your share of miracle-wonders,
    well-thought-out plans, solid and sure.
Here you’ve reduced the city to rubble,
    the strong city to a pile of stones.
The enemy Big City is a non-city,
    never to be a city again.
Superpowers will see it and honor you,
    brutal oppressors bow in worshipful reverence.
They’ll see that you take care of the poor,
    that you take care of poor people in trouble,
Provide a warm, dry place in bad weather,
    provide a cool place when it’s hot.
Brutal oppressors are like a winter blizzard
    and vicious foreigners like high noon in the desert.
But you, shelter from the storm and shade from the sun,
    shut the mouths of the big-mouthed bullies.

It’s the worship for me…

6-8 But here on this mountain, God-of-the-Angel-Armies
    will throw a feast for all the people of the world,
A feast of the finest foods, a feast with vintage wines,
    a feast of seven courses, a feast lavish with gourmet desserts.
And here on this mountain, God will banish
    the pall of doom hanging over all peoples,
The shadow of doom darkening all nations.
    Yes, he’ll banish death forever.
And God will wipe the tears from every face.
    He’ll remove every sign of disgrace
From his people, wherever they are.
    Yes! God says so!

The wine again. Lol. At first it made me think of the vineyard he’s talked about. Then it made me think of Jesus. His first miracle was turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). He talked about wine skins (Matthew 9:18). He also talked about being the true vine (John 15:1-6). OMG. THE BLOOOOOOD! Eventually, he used wine as a representation of his blood at the last supper (Mark 14:23-25). Maaaaaan sheesh. I cannot. This is what people mean when they say you can look at something you’ve read before and see it in a whole new way. I felt bad that I was too tired to do this last night after letting the day escape me. I’m glad I went to sleep and got on this first thing. Cuz I probably wouldn’t have ended up where I did…

9-10 Also at that time, people will say,
    “Look at what’s happened! This is our God!
We waited for him and he showed up and saved us!
    This God, the one we waited for!
Let’s celebrate, sing the joys of his salvation.
    God’s hand rests on this mountain!”

Yaaaaaas! Good, good Father!

10-12 As for the Moabites, they’ll be treated like trash,
    waste shoveled into a cesspool.
Thrash away as they will,
    like swimmers trying to stay afloat,
They’ll sink in the sewage.
    Their pride will pull them under.
Their famous fortifications will crumble to nothing,
    those mighty walls reduced to dust.

I mean. I know they didn’t do right. But Moab brought us Jesus. Buuuuuut. Just because some good comes out of some stuff doesn’t mean all.of it is good and that it should be kept or looked upon favorably as a whole.

Isaiah 26 

Stretch the Borders of Life

1-6 At that time, this song
    will be sung in the country of Judah:
We have a strong city, Salvation City,
    built and fortified with salvation.
Throw wide the gates
    so good and true people can enter.
People with their minds set on you,
    you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
    because they keep at it and don’t quit.
Depend on God and keep at it
    because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.
Those who lived high and mighty
    he knocked off their high horse.
He used the city built on the hill
    as fill for the marshes.
All the exploited and outcast peoples
    build their lives on the reclaimed land.

I don’t really have the words. God is so good. The knowledge that He is our salvation. If we keep.out minds on Him we are whole. We are steady because we keep at it and don’t quit. We depend on Him and keep going BECAUASE HE IS A SURE THING. I know it is written already. But still. He will never fail us. He will never, truly disappoint us cuz it works out in the end. He will never walk out on us. He will ALWAYS be there for us. In a life filled with the failures of people, I am reminded and grateful for the fact that God has never and will never fail or abandon me.

7-10 The path of right-living people is level.
    The Leveler evens the road for the right-living.
We’re in no hurry, God. We’re content to linger
    in the path sign-posted with your decisions.
Who you are and what you’ve done
    are all we’ll ever want.
Through the night my soul longs for you.
    Deep from within me my spirit reaches out to you.
When your decisions are on public display,
    everyone learns how to live right.
If the wicked are shown grace,
    they don’t seem to get it.
In the land of right living, they persist in wrong living,
    blind to the splendor of God.

Come on through with the words Isaiah!

11-15 You hold your hand up high, God,
    but they don’t see it.
Open their eyes to what you do,
    to see your zealous love for your people.
Shame them. Light a fire under them.
    Get the attention of these enemies of yours.
God, order a peaceful and whole life for us
    because everything we’ve done, you’ve done for us.
O God, our God, we’ve had other masters rule us,
    but you’re the only Master we’ve ever known.
The dead don’t talk,
    ghosts don’t walk,
Because you’ve said, “Enough—that’s all for you,”
    and wiped them off the books.
But the living you make larger than life.
    The more life you give, the more glory you display,
    and stretch the borders to accommodate more living!

16-18 O God, they begged you for help when they were in trouble,
    when your discipline was so heavy
    they could barely whisper a prayer.
Like a woman having a baby,
    writhing in distress, screaming her pain
    as the baby is being born,
That’s how we were because of you, O God.
    We were pregnant full-term.
We writhed in labor but bore no baby.
    We gave birth to wind.
Nothing came of our labor.
    We produced nothing living.
    We couldn’t save the world.

Sheesh.

19 But friends, your dead will live,
    your corpses will get to their feet.
All you dead and buried,
    wake up! Sing!
Your dew is morning dew
    catching the first rays of sun,
The earth bursting with life,
    giving birth to the dead.

This makes me want to run and holler. Judgment, punishment, and correction are still in order today. But AFTER He has done that He will still keep His promise and allow us to walk out the plan He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11).

20-21 Come, my people, go home
    and shut yourselves in.
Go into seclusion for a while
    until the punishing wrath is past,
Because God is sure to come from his place
    to punish the wrong of the people on earth.
Earth itself will point out the bloodstains;
    it will show where the murdered have been hidden away.

Erm. Eek?!

Isaiah 23-24 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 23

It Was All Numbers, Dead Numbers, Profit and Loss

1-4 Wail, ships of Tarshish,
    your strong seaports all in ruins!
When the ships returned from Cyprus,
    they saw the destruction.
Hold your tongue, you who live on the seacoast,
    merchants of Sidon.
Your people sailed the deep seas,
    buying and selling,
Making money on wheat from Shihor,
    grown along the Nile—
    multinational broker in grains!
Hang your head in shame, Sidon. The Sea speaks up,
    the powerhouse of the ocean says,
“I’ve never had labor pains, never had a baby,
    never reared children to adulthood,
Never gave life, never worked with life.
    It was all numbers, dead numbers, profit and loss.”

When Egypt gets the report on Tyre,
    what wailing! what wringing of hands!

Here we go. No games.

Nothing Left Here to Be Proud Of

6-12 Visit Tarshish, you who live on the seacoast.
    Take a good, long look and wail—yes, cry buckets of tears!
Is this the city you remember as energetic and alive,
    bustling with activity, this historic old city,
Expanding throughout the globe,
    buying and selling all over the world?
And who is behind the collapse of Tyre,
    the Tyre that controlled the world markets?
Tyre’s merchants were the business tycoons.
    Tyre’s traders called all the shots.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies ordered the crash
    to show the sordid backside of pride
    and puncture the inflated reputations.
Sail for home, O ships of Tarshish.
    There are no docks left in this harbor.
God reached out to the sea and sea traders,
    threw the sea kingdoms into turmoil.
God ordered the destruction
    of the seacoast cities, the centers of commerce.
God said, “There’s nothing left here to be proud of,
    bankrupt and bereft Sidon.
Do you want to make a new start in Cyprus?
    Don’t count on it. Nothing there will work out for you either.”

Tarshish made me think of Paul formerly known as Saul (Acts 9:11). But it is also where Jonah fled to (Jonah 1:3) …

13 Look at what happened to Babylon: There’s nothing left of it. Assyria turned it into a desert, into a refuge for wild dogs and stray cats. They brought in their big siege engines, tore down the buildings, and left nothing behind but rubble.

14 Wail, ships of Tarshish,
    your strong seaports all in ruins!

15-16 For the next seventy years, a king’s lifetime, Tyre will be forgotten. At the end of the seventy years, Tyre will stage a comeback, but it will be the comeback of a worn-out whore, as in the song:

Threescore and ten a.k.a. 70 (Psalm 90:10 KJV).

“Take a harp, circle the city,
    unremembered whore.
Sing your old songs, your many old songs.
    Maybe someone will remember.”

Gosh.

17-18 At the end of the seventy years, God will look in on Tyre. She’ll go back to her old whoring trade, selling herself to the highest bidder, doing anything with anyone—promiscuous with all the kingdoms of earth—for a fee. But everything she gets, all the money she takes in, will be turned over to God. It will not be put in banks. Her profits will be put to the use of God-Aware, God-Serving-People, providing plenty of food and the best of clothing.

Wellst.

Isaiah 24

The Landscape Will Be a Moonscape

1-3 Danger ahead! God’s about to ravish the earth
    and leave it in ruins,
Rip everything out by the roots
    and send everyone scurrying:
        priests and laypeople alike,
        owners and workers alike,
        celebrities and nobodies alike,
        buyers and sellers alike,
        bankers and beggars alike,
        the haves and have-nots alike.
The landscape will be a moonscape,
    totally wasted.
And why? Because God says so.
    He’s issued the orders.

Hw wasn’t playin. From the root. He wanted that dead dead.

The earth turns gaunt and gray,
    the world silent and sad,
    sky and land lifeless, colorless.

Well He spoke and created it in Genesis 1 so….

Earth Polluted by Its Very Own People

5-13 Earth is polluted by its very own people,
    who have broken its laws,
Disrupted its order,
    violated the sacred and eternal covenant.
Therefore a curse, like a cancer,
    ravages the earth.
Its people pay the price of their sacrilege.
    They dwindle away, dying out one by one.
No more wine, no more vineyards,
    no more songs or singers.
The laughter of castanets is gone,
    the shouts of celebrants, gone,
    the laughter of fiddles, gone.
No more parties with toasts of champagne.
    Serious drinkers gag on their drinks.
The chaotic cities are unlivable. Anarchy reigns.
    Every house is boarded up, condemned.
People riot in the streets for wine,
    but the good times are gone forever—
    no more joy for this old world.
The city is dead and deserted,
    bulldozed into piles of rubble.
That’s the way it will be on this earth.
    This is the fate of all nations:
An olive tree shaken clean of its olives,
    a grapevine picked clean of its grapes.

But the promise of new vines and Jesus’s/Jesus’ (idk) mentioning vines in John 15.

14-16 But there are some who will break into glad song.
    Out of the west they’ll shout of God’s majesty.
Yes, from the east God’s glory will ascend.
    Every island of the sea
Will broadcast God’s fame,
    the fame of the God of Israel.
From the four winds and the seven seas we hear the singing:
    “All praise to the Righteous One!”

16-20 But I said, “That’s all well and good for somebody,
    but all I can see is doom, doom, and more doom.”
All of them at one another’s throats,
    yes, all of them at one another’s throats.
Terror and pits and booby traps
    are everywhere, whoever you are.
If you run from the terror,
    you’ll fall into the pit.
If you climb out of the pit,
    you’ll get caught in the trap.
Chaos pours out of the skies.
    The foundations of earth are crumbling.
Earth is smashed to pieces,
    earth is ripped to shreds,
    earth is wobbling out of control,
Earth staggers like a drunk,
    sways like a shack in a high wind.
Its piled-up sins are too much for it.
    It collapses and won’t get up again.

My, my, my.

21-23 That’s when God will call on the carpet
    rebel powers in the skies and
Rebel kings on earth.
    They’ll be rounded up like prisoners in a jail,
Corralled and locked up in a jail,
    and then sentenced and put to hard labor.
Shamefaced moon will cower, humiliated,
    red-faced sun will skulk, disgraced,
Because God-of-the-Angel-Armies will take over,
    ruling from Mount Zion and Jerusalem,
Splendid and glorious
    before all his leaders.

Um. Okay?

Isaiah 20-22 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 20

Exposed to Mockery and Jeers

1-2 In the year the field commander, sent by King Sargon of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought and took it, God told Isaiah son of Amoz, “Go, take off your clothes and sandals,” and Isaiah did it, going about naked and barefooted.

3-6 Then God said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has walked around town naked and barefooted for three years as a warning sign to Egypt and Ethiopia, so the king of Assyria is going to come and take the Egyptians as captives and the Ethiopians as exiles. He’ll take young and old alike and march them out of there naked and barefooted, exposed to mockery and jeers—the bared buttocks of Egypt on parade! Everyone who has put hope in Ethiopia and expected help from Egypt will be thrown into confusion. Everyone who lives along this coast will say, ‘Look at them! Naked and barefooted, shuffling off to exile! And we thought they were our best hope, that they’d rescue us from the king of Assyria. Now what’s going to happen to us? How are we going to get out of this?’”

Wait. What? Three years?! I am unable…

Isaiah 21

The Betrayer Betrayed

1-4 A Message concerning the desert at the sea:

As tempests drive through the Negev Desert,
    coming out of the desert, that terror-filled place,
A hard vision is given me:
    The betrayer betrayed, the plunderer plundered.
Attack, Elam!
    Lay siege, Media!
Persians, attack!
    Attack, Babylon!
I’ll put an end to
    all the moaning and groaning.
Because of this news I’m doubled up in pain,
    writhing in pain like a woman having a baby,
Baffled by what I hear,
    undone by what I see.
Absolutely stunned,
    horror-stricken,
I had hoped for a relaxed evening,
    but it has turned into a nightmare.

The banquet is spread,
    the guests reclining in luxurious ease,
Eating and drinking, having a good time,
    and then, “To arms, princes! The fight is on!”

6-9 The Master told me, “Go, post a lookout.
    Have him report whatever he spots.
When he sees horses and wagons in battle formation,
    lines of donkeys and columns of camels,
Tell him to keep his ear to the ground,
    note every whisper, every rumor.”
Just then, the lookout shouted,
    “I’m at my post, Master,
Sticking to my post day after day
    and all through the night!
I watched them come,
    the horses and wagons in battle formation.
I heard them call out the war news in headlines:
    ‘Babylon fallen! Fallen!
And all its precious god-idols
    smashed to pieces on the ground.’”

10 Dear Israel, you’ve been through a lot,
    you’ve been put through the mill.
The good news I get from God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    the God of Israel, I now pass on to you.

11-12 A Message concerning Edom:

A voice calls to me
    from the Seir mountains in Edom,
“Night watchman! How long till daybreak?
    How long will this night last?”
The night watchman calls back,
    “Morning’s coming,
But for now it’s still night.
    If you ask me again, I’ll give the same answer.”

13-15 A Message concerning Arabia:

You’ll have to camp out in the desert badlands,
    you caravans of Dedanites.
Haul water to the thirsty,
    greet fugitives with bread.
Show your desert hospitality,
    you who live in Tema.
The desert’s swarming with refugees
    escaping the horrors of war.

16-17 The Master told me, “Hang on. Within one year—I’ll sign a contract on it!—the arrogant brutality of Kedar, those hooligans of the desert, will be over, nothing much left of the Kedar toughs.” The God of Israel says so.

So merciful!

Isaiah 22 

A Country of Cowards

1-3 A Message concerning the Valley of Vision:

What’s going on here anyway?
    All this partying and noisemaking,
Shouting and cheering in the streets,
    the city noisy with celebrations!
You have no brave soldiers to honor,
    no combat heroes to be proud of.
Your leaders were all cowards,
    captured without even lifting a sword,
A country of cowards
    captured escaping the battle.

Eek

You Looked, but You Never Looked to Him

4-8 In the midst of the shouting, I said, “Let me alone.
    Let me grieve by myself.
Don’t tell me it’s going to be all right.
    These people are doomed. It’s not all right.”
For the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    is bringing a day noisy with mobs of people,
Jostling and stampeding in the Valley of Vision,
    knocking down walls
    and hollering to the mountains, “Attack! Attack!”
Old enemies Elam and Kir arrive armed to the teeth—
    weapons and chariots and cavalry.
Your fine valleys are noisy with war,
    chariots and cavalry charging this way and that.
    God has left Judah exposed and defenseless.

8-11 You assessed your defenses that Day, inspected your arsenal of weapons in the Forest Armory. You found the weak places in the city walls that needed repair. You secured the water supply at the Lower Pool. You took an inventory of the houses in Jerusalem and tore down some to get bricks to fortify the city wall. You built a large cistern to ensure plenty of water.

You looked and looked and looked, but you never looked to him who gave you this city, never once consulted the One who has long had plans for this city.

Tuh. Sounds familiar…

12-13 The Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    called out on that Day,
Called for a day of repentant tears,
    called you to dress in somber clothes of mourning.
But what do you do? You throw a party!
    Eating and drinking and dancing in the streets!
You barbecue bulls and sheep, and throw a huge feast—
    slabs of meat, kegs of beer.
“Seize the day! Eat and drink!
    Tomorrow we die!”

Foolish foolishness.

14 God-of-the-Angel-Armies whispered to me his verdict on this frivolity: “You’ll pay for this outrage until the day you die.” The Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says so.

The Key of the Davidic Heritage

15-19 The Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, spoke: “Come. Go to this steward, Shebna, who is in charge of all the king’s affairs, and tell him: What’s going on here? You’re an outsider here and yet you act like you own the place, make a big, fancy tomb for yourself where everyone can see it, making sure everyone will think you’re important. God is about to sack you, to throw you to the dogs. He’ll grab you by the hair, swing you round and round dizzyingly, and then let you go, sailing through the air like a ball, until you’re out of sight. Where you’ll land, nobody knows. And there you’ll die, and all the stuff you’ve collected heaped on your grave. You’ve disgraced your master’s house! You’re fired—and good riddance!

OMG.

20-24 “On that Day I’ll replace Shebna. I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah. I’ll dress him in your robe. I’ll put your belt on him. I’ll give him your authority. He’ll be a father-leader to Jerusalem and the government of Judah. I’ll give him the key of the Davidic heritage. He’ll have the run of the place—open any door and keep it open, lock any door and keep it locked. I’ll pound him like a nail into a solid wall. He’ll secure the Davidic tradition. Everything will hang on him—not only the fate of Davidic descendants but also the detailed daily operations of the house, including cups and cutlery.

25 “And then the Day will come,” says God-of-the-Angel-Armies, “when that nail will come loose and fall out, break loose from that solid wall—and everything hanging on it will go with it.” That’s what will happen. God says so.