54 “Rejoice, childless one, who did not give birth;
burst into song and shout,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of the married woman,”
says the Lord.
2 “Enlarge the site of your tent,
and let your tent curtains be stretched out;
do not hold back;
lengthen your ropes,
and drive your pegs deep.
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left,
and your descendants will dispossess nations
and inhabit the desolate cities.
4 “Do not be afraid, for you will not be put to shame;
don’t be humiliated, for you will not be disgraced.
For you will forget the shame of your youth,
and you will no longer remember
the disgrace of your widowhood.
5 Indeed, your husband is your Maker—
his name is the Lord of Armies—
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of the whole earth.
6 For the Lord has called you,
like a wife deserted and wounded in spirit,
a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,”
says your God.
7 “I deserted you for a brief moment,
but I will take you back with abundant compassion.
8 In a surge of anger
I hid my face from you for a moment,
but I will have compassion on you
with everlasting love,”
says the Lord your Redeemer.
9 “For this is like the days[a] of Noah to me:
when I swore that the water of Noah
would never flood the earth again,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
or rebuke you.
10 Though the mountains move
and the hills shake,
my love will not be removed from you
and my covenant of peace will not be shaken,”
says your compassionate Lord.
11 “Poor Jerusalem, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
I will set your stones in black mortar,[b]
and lay your foundations in lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your fortifications[c] out of rubies,
your gates out of sparkling stones,
and all your walls out of precious stones.
13 Then all your children will be taught by the Lord,
their prosperity will be great,
14 and you will be established
on a foundation of righteousness.
You will be far from oppression,
you will certainly not be afraid;
you will be far from terror,
it will certainly not come near you.
15 If anyone attacks you,
it is not from me;
whoever attacks you
will fall before you.
16 Look, I have created the craftsman
who blows on the charcoal fire
and produces a weapon suitable for its task;
and I have created the destroyer to cause havoc.
17 No weapon formed against you will succeed,
and you will refute any accusation[d]
raised against you in court.
This is the heritage of the Lord’s servants,
and their vindication is from me.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.
Come to the Lord
55 “Come, everyone who is thirsty,
come to the water;
and you without silver,
come, buy, and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without silver and without cost!
2 Why do you spend silver on what is not food,
and your wages on what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and you will enjoy the choicest of foods.[e]
3 Pay attention and come to me;
listen, so that you will live.
I will make a permanent covenant with you
on the basis of the faithful kindnesses of David.[f]
4 Since I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples,
5 so you will summon a nation you do not know,
and nations who do not know you will run to you.
For the Lord your God,
even the Holy One of Israel,
has glorified you.”
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call to him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked one abandon his way
and the sinful one his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord,
so he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will freely forgive.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not my ways.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.
9 “For as heaven is higher than earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For just as rain and snow fall from heaven
and do not return there
without saturating the earth
and making it germinate and sprout,
and providing seed to sow
and food to eat,
11 so my word that comes from my mouth
will not return to me empty,
but it will accomplish what I please
and will prosper in what I send it to do.”
12 You will indeed go out with joy
and be peacefully guided;
the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush, a cypress will come up,
and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up;
this will stand as a monument for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that will not be destroyed.
A House of Prayer for All
56 This is what the Lord says:
Preserve justice and do what is right,
for my salvation is coming soon,
and my righteousness will be revealed.
2 Happy is the person who does this,
the son of man who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
and keeps his hand from doing any evil.
3 No foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord
“The Lord will exclude me from his people,”
and the eunuch should not say,
“Look, I am a dried-up tree.”
4 For the Lord says this:
“For the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
and choose what pleases me,
and hold firmly to my covenant,
5 I will give them, in my house and within my walls,
a memorial and a name
better than sons and daughters.
I will give each of them an everlasting name
that will never be cut off.
6 As for the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord
to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
and to become his servants—
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
and who hold firmly to my covenant—
7 I will bring them to my holy mountain
and let them rejoice in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be acceptable on my altar,
for my house will be called a house of prayer
for all nations.”
8 This is the declaration of the Lord God,
who gathers the dispersed of Israel:
“I will gather to them still others
besides those already gathered.”
Unrighteous Leaders Condemned
9 All you animals of the field and forest,
come and eat!
10 Israel’s[g] watchmen are blind, all of them,
they know nothing;
all of them are mute dogs,
they cannot bark;
they dream, lie down,
and love to sleep.
11 These dogs have fierce appetites;
they never have enough.
And they are shepherds
who have no discernment;
all of them turn to their own way,
every last one for his own profit.
12 “Come, let me get some wine,
let’s guzzle some beer;
and tomorrow will be like today,
only far better!”
57 The righteous person perishes,
and no one takes it to heart;
the faithful are taken away,
with no one realizing
that the righteous person is taken away
because of[h] evil.
2 He will enter into peace—
they will rest on their beds[i]—
everyone who lives uprightly.
Pagan Religion Denounced
3 But come here,
you witch’s sons,
offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute![j]
4 Who are you mocking?
Who are you opening your mouth
and sticking out your tongue at?
Isn’t it you, you rebellious children,
you offspring of liars,
5 who burn with lust among the oaks,
under every green tree,
who slaughter children in the wadis
below the clefts of the rocks?
6 Your portion is among the smooth stones of the wadi;
indeed, they are your lot.
You have even poured out a drink offering to them;
you have offered a grain offering;
should I be satisfied with these?
7 You have placed your bed
on a high and lofty mountain;
you also went up there to offer sacrifice.
8 You have set up your memorial
behind the door and doorpost.
For away from me, you stripped,
went up, and made your bed wide,
and you have made a bargain[k] for yourself with them.
You have loved their bed;
you have gazed on their genitals.[l][m]
9 You went to the king with oil
and multiplied your perfumes;
you sent your envoys far away
and sent them down even to Sheol.
10 You became weary on your many journeys,
but you did not say, “It’s hopeless!”
You found a renewal of your strength;[n]
therefore you did not grow weak.
11 Who was it you dreaded and feared,
so that you lied and didn’t remember me
or take it to heart?
I have kept silent for a long time, haven’t I?[o]
So you do not fear me.
12 I will announce your righteousness,
and your works—they will not profit you.
13 When you cry out,
let your collection of idols rescue you!
The wind will carry all of them off,
a breath will take them away.
But whoever takes refuge in me
will inherit the land
and possess my holy mountain.
Healing and Peace
14 He said,
“Build it up, build it up, prepare the way,
remove every obstacle from my people’s way.”
15 For the High and Exalted One,
who lives forever, whose name is holy, says this:
“I live in a high and holy place,
and with the oppressed and lowly of spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and revive the heart of the oppressed.
16 For I will not accuse you forever,
and I will not always be angry;
for then the spirit would grow weak before me,
even the breath, which I have made.
17 Because of his sinful greed I was angry,
so I struck him; I was angry and hid;
but he went on turning back to the desires of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
I will lead him and restore comfort
to him and his mourners,
19 creating words of praise.”[p]
The Lord says,
“Peace, peace to the one who is far or near,
and I will heal him.
20 But the wicked are like the storm-tossed sea,
for it cannot be still,
and its water churns up mire and muck.
21 There is no peace for the wicked,”
says my God.
58 “Cry out loudly, don’t hold back!
Raise your voice like a ram’s horn.
Tell my people their transgression
and the house of Jacob their sins.
2 They seek me day after day
and delight to know my ways,
like a nation that does what is right
and does not abandon the justice of their God.
They ask me for righteous judgments;
they delight in the nearness of God.”
3 “Why have we fasted, but you have not seen?
We have denied ourselves, but you haven’t noticed!” [q]
“Look, you do as you please on the day of your fast,
and oppress all your workers.
4 You fast with contention and strife
to strike viciously with your fist.
You cannot fast as you do today,
hoping to make your voice heard on high.
5 Will the fast I choose be like this:
A day for a person to deny himself,
to bow his head like a reed,
and to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 Isn’t this the fast I choose:
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?[r]
8 Then your light will appear like the dawn,
and your recovery will come quickly.
Your righteousness will go before you,
and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.
9 At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer;
when you cry out, he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you get rid of the yoke among you,
the finger-pointing and malicious speaking,
10 and if you offer yourself[s] to the hungry,
and satisfy the afflicted one,
then your light will shine in the darkness,
and your night will be like noonday.
11 The Lord will always lead you,
satisfy you in a parched land,
and strengthen your bones.
You will be like a watered garden
and like a spring whose water never runs dry.
12 Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
you will restore the foundations laid long ago;
you will be called the repairer of broken walls,
the restorer of streets where people live.
13 “If you keep from desecrating the Sabbath,
from doing whatever you want on my holy day;
if you call the Sabbath a delight,
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
seeking your own pleasure, or talking business;[t][u]
14 then you will delight in the Lord,
and I will make you ride over the heights of the land,
and let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Sin and Redemption
59 Indeed, the Lord’s arm is not too weak to save,
and his ear is not too deaf to hear.
2 But your iniquities are separating you
from your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not listen.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood
and your fingers, with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies,
and your tongues mutter injustice.
4 No one makes claims justly;
no one pleads honestly.
They trust in empty and worthless words;
they conceive trouble and give birth to iniquity.
5 They hatch viper’s eggs
and weave spider’s webs.
Whoever eats their eggs will die;
crack one open, and a viper is hatched.
6 Their webs cannot become clothing,
and they cannot cover themselves with their works.
Their works are sinful works,
and violent acts are in their hands.
7 Their feet run after evil,
and they rush to shed innocent blood.
Their thoughts are sinful thoughts;
ruin and wretchedness are in their paths.
8 They have not known the path of peace,
and there is no justice in their ways.
They have made their roads crooked;
no one who walks on them will know peace.
9 Therefore justice is far from us,
and righteousness does not reach us.
We hope for light, but there is darkness;
for brightness, but we live in the night.
10 We grope along a wall like the blind;
we grope like those without eyes.
We stumble at noon as though it were twilight;
we are like the dead among those who are healthy.
11 We all growl like bears
and moan like doves.
We hope for justice, but there is none;
for salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For our transgressions have multiplied before you,
and our sins testify against us.
For our transgressions are with us,
and we know our iniquities:
13 transgression and deception against the Lord,
turning away from following our God,
speaking oppression and revolt,
conceiving and uttering lying words from the heart.
14 Justice is turned back,
and righteousness stands far off.
For truth has stumbled in the public square,
and honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth is missing,
and whoever turns from evil is plundered.
The Lord saw that there was no justice,
and he was offended.
16 He saw that there was no man—
he was amazed that there was no one interceding;
so his own arm brought salvation,
and his own righteousness supported him.
17 He put on righteousness as body armor,
and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and he wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
18 So he will repay according to their deeds:
fury to his enemies,
retribution to his foes,
and he will repay the coasts and islands.
19 They will fear the name of the Lord in the west
and his glory in the east;[v]
for he will come like a rushing stream
driven by the wind of the Lord.
20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
and to those in Jacob who turn from transgression.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.
21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of your children’s children, from now on and forever,” says the Lord.
The Lord’s Glory in Zion
60 Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord shines over you.[w]
2 For look, darkness will cover the earth,
and total darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will shine over you,
and his glory will appear over you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to your shining brightness.
4 Raise your eyes and look around:
they all gather and come to you;
your sons will come from far away,
and your daughters on the hips of nursing mothers.
5 Then you will see and be radiant,
and your heart will tremble and rejoice,[x]
because the riches of the sea will become yours
and the wealth of the nations will come to you.
6 Caravans of camels will cover your land[y]—
young camels of Midian and Ephah—
all of them will come from Sheba.
They will carry gold and frankincense
and proclaim the praises of the Lord.
7 All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered to you;
the rams of Nebaioth will serve you
and go up on my altar as an acceptable sacrifice.
I will glorify my beautiful house.
8 Who are these who fly like a cloud,
like doves to their shelters?
9 Yes, the coasts and islands will wait for me
with the ships of Tarshish in the lead,
to bring your children from far away,
their silver and gold with them,
for the honor of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
who has glorified you.
10 Foreigners will rebuild your walls,
and their kings will serve you.
Although I struck you in my wrath,
yet I will show mercy to you with my favor.
11 Your city gates will always be open;
they will never be shut day or night
so that the wealth of the nations
may be brought into you,
with their kings being led in procession.
12 For the nation and the kingdom
that will not serve you will perish;
those nations will be annihilated.
13 The glory of Lebanon will come to you—
its pine, elm, and cypress together—
to beautify the place of my sanctuary,
and I will glorify my dwelling place.[z]
14 The sons of your oppressors
will come and bow down to you;
all who reviled you
will fall facedown at your feet.
They will call you the City of the Lord,
Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15 Instead of your being deserted and hated,
with no one passing through,
I will make you an object of eternal pride,
a joy from age to age.
16 You will nurse on the milk of nations,
and nurse at the breast of kings;
you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior
and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
17 I will bring gold instead of bronze;
I will bring silver instead of iron,
bronze instead of wood,
and iron instead of stones.
I will appoint peace as your government
and righteousness as your overseers.
18 Violence will never again be heard of in your land;
devastation and destruction
will be gone from your borders.
You will call your walls Salvation
and your city gates Praise.
19 The sun will no longer be your light by day,
and the brightness of the moon will not shine on you.
The Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your splendor.
20 Your sun will no longer set,
and your moon will not fade;
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and the days of your sorrow will be over.
21 All your people will be righteous;
they will possess the land forever;
they are the branch I planted,
the work of my[aa] hands,
so that I may be glorified.
22 The least will become a thousand,
the smallest a mighty nation.
I am the Lord;
I will accomplish it quickly in its time.
61 The Spirit of the Lord God is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to heal[ab] the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and freedom to the prisoners;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of our God’s vengeance;
to comfort all who mourn,
3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion;
to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
festive oil instead of mourning,
and splendid clothes instead of despair.[ac]
And they will be called righteous trees,
planted by the Lord
to glorify him.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins;
they will restore the former devastations;
they will renew the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
5 Strangers will stand and feed your flocks,
and foreigners will be your plowmen and vinedressers.
6 But you will be called the Lord’s priests;
they will speak of you as ministers of our God;
you will eat the wealth of the nations,
and you will boast in their riches.
7 In place of your shame, you will have a double portion;
in place of disgrace, they will rejoice over their share.
So they will possess double in their land,
and eternal joy will be theirs.
8 For I the Lord love justice;
I hate robbery and injustice;[ad]
I will faithfully reward my people
and make a permanent covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations,
and their posterity among the peoples.
All who see them will recognize
that they are a people the Lord has blessed.
10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord,
I exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation
and wrapped me in a robe of righteousness,
as a groom wears a turban
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth produces its growth,
and as a garden enables what is sown to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to spring up before all the nations.
Look at the start of chapter 55: 55 “Come, everyone who is thirsty,
come to the water;
and you without silver,
come, buy, and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without silver and without cost!
What an amazing God we serve. You don’t have to have anything but thirst to come to God. He will give freely to those who come to Him and express their thirst. There are no pre-qualifications to coming to God except humbling ourselves and recognizing He is the giver of all good things. Today, realize that God loves you and gives to you without cost.