There is Hope for the Future
1 “Listen to me, you who pursue godliness,
who seek the Lord!
Look at the rock from which you were chiselled,
at the quarry from which you were dug!
2 Look at Abraham, your father,
and Sarah, who gave you birth.
When I summoned him, he was a lone individual,
but I blessed him and gave him numerous descendants.
3 Certainly the Lord will console Zion;
he will console all her ruins.
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the Garden of the Lord.
Happiness and joy will be restored to her,
thanksgiving and the sound of music.
4 Pay attention to me, my people!
Listen to me, my people!
For I will issue a decree,
I will make my justice a light to the nations.
5 I am ready to vindicate,
I am ready to deliver,
I will establish justice among the nations.
The coastlands wait patiently for me;
they wait in anticipation for the revelation of my power.
6 Look up at the sky!
Look at the earth below!
For the sky will dissipate like smoke,
and the earth will wear out like clothes;
its residents will die like gnats.
But the deliverance I give is permanent;
the vindication I provide will not disappear.
7 Listen to me, you who know what is right,
you people who are aware of my law!
Don’t be afraid of the insults of men;
don’t be discouraged because of their abuse!
8 For a moth will eat away at them like clothes;
a clothes moth will devour them like wool.
But the vindication I provide will be permanent;
the deliverance I give will last.”
9 Wake up! Wake up!
Clothe yourself with strength, O arm of the Lord!
Wake up as in former times, as in antiquity!
Did you not smash the Proud One?
Did you not wound the sea monster?
10 Did you not dry up the sea,
the waters of the great deep?
Did you not make a path through the depths of the sea,
so those delivered from bondage could cross over?
11 Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return;
they will enter Zion with a happy shout.
Unending joy will crown them,
happiness and joy will overwhelm them;
grief and suffering will disappear.
12 “I, I am the one who consoles you.
Why are you afraid of mortal men,
of mere human beings who are as short-lived as grass?
13 Why do you forget the Lord, who made you,
who stretched out the sky
and founded the earth?
Why do you constantly tremble all day long
at the anger of the oppressor,
when he makes plans to destroy?
Where is the anger of the oppressor?
14 The one who suffers will soon be released;
he will not die in prison,
he will not go hungry.
15 I am the Lord your God,
who churns up the sea so that its waves surge.
The Lord who commands armies is his name!
Zion’s Time to Celebrate
16 I commission you as my spokesman;
I cover you with the palm of my hand,
to establish the sky and to found the earth,
to say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”
17 Wake up! Wake up!
Get up, O Jerusalem!
You drank from the cup the Lord passed to you,
which was full of his anger!
You drained dry
the goblet full of intoxicating wine.
18 There was no one to lead her
among all the children she bore;
there was no one to take her by the hand
among all the children she raised.
19 These double disasters confronted you.
But who feels sorry for you?
Destruction and devastation,
famine and sword.
But who consoles you?
20 Your children faint;
they lie at the head of every street
like an antelope in a snare.
They are left in a stupor by the Lord’s anger,
by the battle cry of your God.
21 So listen to this, oppressed one,
who is drunk, but not from wine!
22 This is what your sovereign master, the Lord your God, says:
“Look, I have removed from your hand
the cup of intoxicating wine,
the goblet full of my anger.
You will no longer have to drink it.
23 I will put it into the hand of your tormentors
who said to you, ‘Lie down, so we can walk over you.’
You made your back like the ground,
and like the street for those who walked over you.”