Isaiah 26

A Song of Praise to the Lord

 In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song:

Our city is strong!
    We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation.
 Open the gates to all who are righteous;
    allow the faithful to enter.
 You will keep in perfect peace
    all who trust in you,
    all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
 Trust in the Lord always,
    for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
 He humbles the proud
    and brings down the arrogant city.
    He brings it down to the dust.
 The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot,
    and the needy walk all over it.

 But for those who are righteous,
    the way is not steep and rough.
You are a God who does what is right,
    and you smooth out the path ahead of them.
 Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws;
    our heart’s desire is to glorify your name.
 In the night I search for you;
    in the morning[a] I earnestly seek you.
For only when you come to judge the earth
    will people learn what is right.
 Your kindness to the wicked
    does not make them do good.
Although others do right, the wicked keep doing wrong
    and take no notice of the Lord’s majesty.
 Lord, they pay no attention to your upraised fist.
    Show them your eagerness to defend your people.
Then they will be ashamed.
    Let your fire consume your enemies.

 Lord, you will grant us peace;
    all we have accomplished is really from you.
 Lord our God, others have ruled us,
    but you alone are the one we worship.
 Those we served before are dead and gone.
    Their departed spirits will never return!
You attacked them and destroyed them,
    and they are long forgotten.
 Lord, you have made our nation great;
    yes, you have made us great.
You have extended our borders,
    and we give you the glory!

 Lord, in distress we searched for you.
    We prayed beneath the burden of your discipline.
 Just as a pregnant woman
    writhes and cries out in pain as she gives birth,
    so were we in your presence, Lord.
 We, too, writhe in agony,
    but nothing comes of our suffering.
We have not given salvation to the earth,
    nor brought life into the world.
 But those who die in the Lord will live;
    their bodies will rise again!
Those who sleep in the earth
    will rise up and sing for joy!
For your life-giving light will fall like dew
    on your people in the place of the dead!

Restoration for Israel

 Go home, my people,
    and lock your doors!
Hide yourselves for a little while
    until the Lord’s anger has passed.
 Look! The Lord is coming from heaven
    to punish the people of the earth for their sins.
The earth will no longer hide those who have been killed.
    They will be brought out for all to see.

Isaiah 25

Praise for Judgment and Salvation

 Lord, I will honor and praise your name,
    for you are my God.
You do such wonderful things!
    You planned them long ago,
    and now you have accomplished them.
 You turn mighty cities into heaps of ruins.
    Cities with strong walls are turned to rubble.
Beautiful palaces in distant lands disappear
    and will never be rebuilt.
 Therefore, strong nations will declare your glory;
    ruthless nations will fear you.

 But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O Lord,
    a tower of refuge to the needy in distress.
You are a refuge from the storm
    and a shelter from the heat.
For the oppressive acts of ruthless people
    are like a storm beating against a wall,
     or like the relentless heat of the desert.
But you silence the roar of foreign nations.
    As the shade of a cloud cools relentless heat,
    so the boastful songs of ruthless people are stilled.

 In Jerusalem, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    will spread a wonderful feast
    for all the people of the world.
It will be a delicious banquet
    with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.
 There he will remove the cloud of gloom,
    the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.
 He will swallow up death forever!
    The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.
He will remove forever all insults and mockery
    against his land and people.
    The Lord has spoken!

 In that day the people will proclaim,
“This is our God!
    We trusted in him, and he saved us!
This is the Lord, in whom we trusted.
    Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!”
 For the Lord’s hand of blessing will rest on Jerusalem.
    But Moab will be crushed.
    It will be like straw trampled down and left to rot.
 God will push down Moab’s people
    as a swimmer pushes down water with his hands.
He will end their pride
    and all their evil works.

 The high walls of Moab will be demolished.
    They will be brought down to the ground,
    down into the dust.

Isaiah 24

Destruction of the Earth

 Look! The Lord is about to destroy the earth
    and make it a vast wasteland.
He devastates the surface of the earth
    and scatters the people.
 Priests and laypeople,
    servants and masters,
    maids and mistresses,
    buyers and sellers,
    lenders and borrowers,
    bankers and debtors—none will be spared.
 The earth will be completely emptied and looted.
    The Lord has spoken!

 The earth mourns and dries up,
    and the land wastes away and withers.
    Even the greatest people on earth waste away.
 The earth suffers for the sins of its people,
    for they have twisted God’s instructions,
violated his laws,
    and broken his everlasting covenant.
 Therefore, a curse consumes the earth.
    Its people must pay the price for their sin.
They are destroyed by fire,
    and only a few are left alive.
 The grapevines waste away,
    and there is no new wine.
    All the merrymakers sigh and mourn.
 The cheerful sound of tambourines is stilled;
    the happy cries of celebration are heard no more.
    The melodious chords of the harp are silent.
 Gone are the joys of wine and song;
    alcoholic drink turns bitter in the mouth.
 The city writhes in chaos;
    every home is locked to keep out intruders.
 Mobs gather in the streets, crying out for wine.
    Joy has turned to gloom.
    Gladness has been banished from the land.
 The city is left in ruins,
    its gates battered down.
 Throughout the earth the story is the same—
    only a remnant is left,
like the stray olives left on the tree
    or the few grapes left on the vine after harvest.

 But all who are left shout and sing for joy.
    Those in the west praise the Lord’s majesty.
 In eastern lands, give glory to the Lord.
    In the lands beyond the sea, praise the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
 We hear songs of praise from the ends of the earth,
    songs that give glory to the Righteous One!

But my heart is heavy with grief.
    Weep for me, for I wither away.
Deceit still prevails,
    and treachery is everywhere.
 Terror and traps and snares will be your lot,
    you people of the earth.
 Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap,
    and those who escape the trap will be caught in a snare.

Destruction falls like rain from the heavens;
    the foundations of the earth shake.
 The earth has broken up.
    It has utterly collapsed;
    it is violently shaken.
 The earth staggers like a drunk.
    It trembles like a tent in a storm.
It falls and will not rise again,
    for the guilt of its rebellion is very heavy.

 In that day the Lord will punish the gods in the heavens
    and the proud rulers of the nations on earth.
 They will be rounded up and put in prison.
    They will be shut up in prison
    and will finally be punished.
 Then the glory of the moon will wane,
    and the brightness of the sun will fade,
for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will rule on Mount Zion.
    He will rule in great glory in Jerusalem,
    in the sight of all the leaders of his people.