A Message for Rebellious Judah
This is what the LORD says:
“The children I raised and cared for
have rebelled against me.
and a donkey recognizes its master’s care —
but Israel doesn’t know its master.
My people don’t recognize my care for them.”
loaded down with a burden of guilt.
They are evil people,
corrupt children who have rejected the LORD.
They have despised the Holy One of Israel
and turned their backs on him.
Must you rebel forever?
Your head is injured,
and your heart is sick.
covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds —
without any soothing ointments or bandages.
and your towns are burned.
Foreigners plunder your fields before your eyes
and destroy everything they see.
like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard,
like a lean-to in a cucumber field after the harvest,
like a helpless city under siege.
had not spared a few of us,c
we would have been wiped out like Sodom,
destroyed like Gomorrah.
Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.”
says the LORD.
“I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of fattened cattle.
I get no pleasure from the blood
of bulls and lambs and goats.
who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?
the incense of your offerings disgusts me!
As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath
and your special days for fasting —
they are all sinful and false.
I want no more of your pious meetings.
They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen,
for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
Get your sins out of my sight.
Give up your evil ways.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson,
I will make them as white as wool.
you will have plenty to eat.
you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies.
I, the LORD, have spoken!”
has become a prostitute.
Once the home of justice and righteousness,
she is now filled with murderers.
you have become like worthless slag.
Once so pure,
you are now like watered-down wine.
the companions of thieves.
All of them love bribes
and demand payoffs,
but they refuse to defend the cause of orphans
or fight for the rights of widows.
the Mighty One of Israel, says,
“I will take revenge on my enemies
and pay back my foes!
I will melt you down and skim off your slag.
I will remove all your impurities.
and wise counselors like you used to have.
Then Jerusalem will again be called the Home of Justice
and the Faithful City.”
those who repent will be revived by righteousness.
and those who desert the LORD will be consumed.
in groves of sacred oaks.
You will blush because you worshiped
in gardens dedicated to idols.
like a garden without water.
their evil deeds will be the spark that sets it on fire.
They and their evil works will burn up together,
and no one will be able to put out the fire.
Isaiah, 1 chapter. New Living Translation.