The Lord Will Bring Comfort

1 If you want to do right
    and obey the Lord,
        follow Abraham’s example.
    He was the rock from which
        you were chipped.
2 God chose Abraham and Sarah
        to be your ancestors.
    The Lord blessed Abraham,
        and from that one man
            came many descendants.

3 Though Zion is in ruins,
        the Lord will bring comfort,
    and the city will be as lovely
    as the garden of Eden
        that he provided.
    Then Zion will celebrate;
        it will be thankful
            and sing joyful songs.

The Lord’s Victory Will Last

4 The Lord says:
    You are my people and nation!
        So pay attention to me.
    My teaching will cause justice
    to shine like a light
        for every nation.
5 Those who live across the sea
    are eagerly waiting
        for me to rescue them.
    I am strong and ready;
    soon I will come to save
        and to rule all nations.

6 Look closely at the sky!
        Stare at the earth.
    The sky will vanish like smoke;
    the earth will wear out
        like clothes.
    Everyone on this earth
        will die like flies.
    But my victory will last;
    my saving power never ends.

7 If you want to do right
        and to obey my teaching
    with all your heart,
        then pay close attention.
    Don’t be discouraged
    when others insult you
        and say hurtful things.
8 They will be eaten away
        like a moth-eaten coat.
    But my victory will last;
    my saving power
        will never end.

A Prayer for the Lord’s Help

9 Wake up! Do something, Lord.
        Be strong and ready.
    Wake up! Do what you did
        for our people long ago.
    Didn’t you chop up
        Rahab the monster?
10 Didn’t you dry up the deep sea
    and make a road for your people
        to follow safely across?
11 Now those you have rescued
    will return to Jerusalem,
        singing on their way.
    They will be crowned
        with great happiness,
    never again to be burdened
        with sadness and sorrow.

The Lord Gives Hope

12 I am the Lord, the one
        who encourages you.
    Why are you afraid
        of mere humans?
    They dry up and die like grass.

13 I spread out the heavens
    and laid foundations
        for the earth.
    But you have forgotten me,
        your Lord and Creator.
    All day long you were afraid
        of those who were angry
            and hoped to abuse you.
    Where are they now?

14 Everyone crying out in pain
        will be quickly set free;
    they will be rescued
        from the power of death
            and never go hungry.
15 I will help them
        because I am your God,
    the Lord All-Powerful,
        who makes the ocean roar.

16 I have told you what to say,
    and I will keep you safe
        in the palm of my hand.
    I spread out the heavens
    and laid foundations
        for the earth.
    Now I say, “Jerusalem,
        your people are mine.”

A Warning to Jerusalem

17 Jerusalem, wake up! Stand up!
    You’ve drunk too much
        from the cup filled
        with the Lord’s anger.
    You have swallowed every drop,
        and you can’t walk straight.
18 Not one of your many children
    is there to guide you
        or to offer a helping hand.
19 You have been destroyed
    by war and by famine;
        I cannot comfort you.
20 The Lord your God is angry,
        and on every street corner
    your children lie helpless,
        like deer trapped in nets.

21 You are in trouble and drunk,
        but not from wine.
    So pay close attention
22 to the Lord your God,
        who defends you and says,
    “I have taken from your hands
    the cup filled with my anger
        that made you drunk.
    You will never be forced
        to drink it again.
23 Instead I will give it
        to your brutal enemies,
    who treated you like dirt
        and walked all over you.”

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary