Punishment Will End
“Comfort, comfort my people.
2Speak kindly to the people of Jerusalem
and tell them
that their time of service is finished,
that they have paid for their sins,
that the LORD has punished Jerusalem
twice for every
sin they did.”
is the voice of one who calls out:
“Prepare in the desert
the way for the LORD.
Make a straight road in the dry lands
for our God.
4Every valley should be raised up,
and every mountain and hill should be made flat.
The rough ground should be made level,
and the rugged ground should be made smooth.
5Then the glory of the LORD will be shown,
and all people together will see it.
The LORD himself said these things.”
6A voice says, “Cry out!”
Then I said, “What shall I cry out?”
“Say all people are like the grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
7The grass dies and the flowers fall
when the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are like grass.
8The grass dies and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God will live forever.”
9Jerusalem, you have good news to tell.
Go up on a high mountain.
Jerusalem, you have good news to tell.
Shout out loud the good news.
Shout it out and don’t be afraid.
Say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God.”
10Look, the Lord GOD is coming with power
to rule all the people.
Look, he will bring reward for his people;
he will have their payment with him.
11He takes care of his people like a shepherd.
He gathers them like lambs in his arms
and carries them close to him.
He gently leads
the mothers of the lambs.
12Who has measured the oceans in the palm of his hand?
Who has used his hand to measure the sky?
Who has used a bowl to measure all the dust of the earth
and scales to weigh the mountains and hills?
13Who has known the mind of the LORD
or been able to give him advice?
14Whom did he ask for help?
Who taught him the right way?
Who taught him knowledge
and showed him the way to understanding?
15The nations are like one small drop in a bucket;
they are no more than the dust on his measuring scales.
To him the islands are no more than fine dust on his scales.
16All the trees in Lebanon are not enough for the altar
and all the animals in Lebanon are not enough for burnt offerings.
17Compared to the LORD all the nations are worth nothing;
to him they are less than nothing.
18Can you compare God to anything?
Can you compare him to an image of anything?
19An idol is formed by a craftsman,
and a goldsmith covers it with gold
and makes silver chains for it.
20A poor person cannot buy those expensive statues,
so he finds a tree that will not rot.
Then he finds a skilled craftsman
to make it into an idol that will not fall over.
21Surely you know. Surely you have heard.
Surely from the beginning someone told you.
Surely you understand how the earth was created.
22God sits on his throne above the circle of the earth,
and compared to him, people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the skies like a piece of cloth
and spreads them out like a tent to sit under.
23He makes rulers unimportant
and the judges of this world worth nothing.
24They are like plants that are placed in the ground,
like seeds that are planted.
As soon as they begin to grow strong,
he blows on them and they die,
and the wind blows them away like chaff.
25God, the Holy One, says, “Can you compare me to
Is anyone equal to me?”
26Look up to the skies.
Who created all these stars?
He leads out the army of heaven one by one
and calls all the stars by name.
Because he is strong and powerful,
not one of them is missing.
27People of Jacob, why do you complain?
People of Israel, why do you say,
“The LORD does not see what happens to me;
he does not care if I am treated fairly”?
28Surely you know.
Surely you have heard.
The LORD is the God who lives forever,
who created all the world.
He does not become tired or need to rest.
No one can understand how great his wisdom is.
29He gives strength to those who are tired
and more power to those who are weak.
30Even children become tired and need to rest,
and young people trip and fall.
31But the people who trust the LORD will become strong
They will rise up as an eagle in the sky;
they will run and not need rest;
they will walk and
not become tired.
The Holy Bible, New Century Version
God promised to remain faithful to his
people. The Jews felt that God had ignored them, but God would rescue
them from captivity.
Because he is perfect, all-powerful,
and knows everything, God transcends nature. Mysteriously, though, he
still concerns himself with our lives.
God is always first, and God will
surely be last.
To say this is not to draw God downward
into the stream of time and involve Him in the flux and flow of the
world. He stands above His own creation and outside of time: but for
the convenience of His creatures, who are children of time, He makes
free use of time-words when referring to Himself. So He says that He
is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and
Man in the plan of God has been granted
considerable say; but never is he permitted to utter the first word
nor the last. That is the prerogative of the Deity, and one which He
will never surrender to His creatures.
Man has no say about the time or place
of his birth; God determines that without consulting the man himself.
One day the little man finds himself in consciousness and
accepts the fact that he is. There
his volitional life begins. Before that he had nothing to say about
anything. After that he struts and boasts and utters his defiant
proclamations of individual freedom, and encouraged by the sound of
his own voice he may declare his independence of God and call himself
an "atheist" or an "agnostic." Have your fun,
little man; you are only chattering in the interim between first and
last; you had no voice at the first and you will have none at the
last. God reserves the right to take up at the last where He began at
the first, and you are in the hands of God whether you will or not.
This knowledge should humble us and
encourage us, too. It should humble us when we remember how frail we
are, how utterly dependent on God; and it should encourage us to know
that when everything else has passed we may still have God no less
surely than before. (From The Root of Righteousness by A. W.
Is anything in your life guaranteed? Is
your career unshakable, your family immortal, and your money eternal?
Do not base your comfort and enjoyment on what could be gone
tomorrow. Only God and his Word will last for ever-let these be the
basis of everything in your life.
Waiting - Isaiah 52:10; 2 Corinthians
4:1; Hebrews 12:1-3.