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God Is Always with His People

43 Now this is what the Lord says.
    He created you, people of Jacob;
    he formed you, people of Israel.
He says, “Don’t be afraid, because I have saved you.
    I have called you by name, and you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
    When you cross rivers, you will not drown.
When you walk through fire, you will not be burned,
    nor will the flames hurt you.
This is because I, the Lord, am your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt to pay for you,
    and I gave Cush and Seba to make you mine.
Because you are precious to me,
    because I give you honor and love you,
I will give other people in your place;
    I will give other nations to save your life.
Don’t be afraid, because I am with you.
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.
I will tell the north: Give my people to me.
    I will tell the south: Don’t keep my people in prison.
Bring my sons from far away
    and my daughters from faraway places.
Bring to me all the people who are mine,
    whom I made for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”

Judah Is God’s Witness

Bring out the people who have eyes but don’t see
    and those who have ears but don’t hear.
All the nations gather together,
    and all the people come together.
Which of their gods said this would happen?
    Which of their gods can tell what happened in the beginning?
Let them bring their witnesses to prove they were right.
    Then others will say, “It is true.”
10 The Lord says, “You are my witnesses
    and the servant I chose.
I chose you so you would know and believe me,
    so you would understand that I am the true God.
There was no God before me,
    and there will be no God after me.
11 I myself am the Lord;
    I am the only Savior.
12 I myself have spoken to you, saved you, and told you these things.
    It was not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses, and I am God,”
    says the Lord.
13 “I have always been God.
No one can save people from my power;
    when I do something, no one can change it.”

14 This is what the Lord, who saves you,
    the Holy One of Israel, says:
“I will send armies to Babylon for you,
    and I will knock down all its locked gates.
The Babylonians will shout their cries of sorrow.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,
    the Creator of Israel, your King.”

God Will Save His People Again

16 This is what the Lord says.
    He is the one who made a road through the sea
    and a path through rough waters.
17 He is the one who defeated the chariots and horses
    and the mighty armies.
They fell together and will never rise again.
    They were destroyed as a flame is put out.
18 The Lord says, “Forget what happened before,
    and do not think about the past.
19 Look at the new thing I am going to do.
    It is already happening. Don’t you see it?
I will make a road in the desert
    and rivers in the dry land.
20 Even the wild animals will be thankful to me—
    the wild dogs and owls.
They will honor me when I put water in the desert
    and rivers in the dry land
to give water to my people, the ones I chose.
21 The people I made
    will sing songs to praise me.

22 “People of Jacob, you have not called to me;
    people of Israel, you have become tired of me.
23 You have not brought me your sacrifices of sheep
    nor honored me with your sacrifices.
I did not weigh you down with sacrifices to offer
    or make you tired with incense to burn.
24 So you did not buy incense for me;
    you did not freely bring me fat from your sacrifices.
Instead you have weighed me down with your many sins;
    you have made me tired of your many wrongs.

25 “I, I am the One who erases all your sins, for my sake;
    I will not remember your sins.
26 But you should remind me.
    Let’s meet and decide what is right.
    Tell what you have done and show you are right.
27 Your first father sinned,
    and your leaders have turned against me.
28 So I will make your holy rulers unholy.
    I will bring destruction on the people of Jacob,
    and I will let Israel be insulted.”

Israel’s Only Savior

43 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created(A) you, Jacob,
    he who formed(B) you, Israel:(C)
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed(D) you;
    I have summoned you by name;(E) you are mine.(F)
When you pass through the waters,(G)
    I will be with you;(H)
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,(I)
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.(J)
For I am the Lord your God,(K)
    the Holy One(L) of Israel, your Savior;(M)
I give Egypt(N) for your ransom,
    Cush[a](O) and Seba(P) in your stead.(Q)
Since you are precious and honored(R) in my sight,
    and because I love(S) you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid,(T) for I am with you;(U)
    I will bring your children(V) from the east
    and gather(W) you from the west.(X)
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south,(Y) ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters(Z) from the ends of the earth(AA)
everyone who is called by my name,(AB)
    whom I created(AC) for my glory,(AD)
    whom I formed and made.(AE)

Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,(AF)
    who have ears but are deaf.(AG)
All the nations gather together(AH)
    and the peoples assemble.
Which of their gods foretold(AI) this
    and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
    so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
10 “You are my witnesses,(AJ)” declares the Lord,
    “and my servant(AK) whom I have chosen,
so that you may know(AL) and believe me
    and understand that I am he.
Before me no god(AM) was formed,
    nor will there be one after me.(AN)
11 I, even I, am the Lord,(AO)
    and apart from me there is no savior.(AP)
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
    I, and not some foreign god(AQ) among you.
You are my witnesses,(AR)” declares the Lord, “that I am God.
13     Yes, and from ancient days(AS) I am he.(AT)
No one can deliver out of my hand.
    When I act, who can reverse it?”(AU)

God’s Mercy and Israel’s Unfaithfulness

14 This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer,(AV) the Holy One(AW) of Israel:
“For your sake I will send to Babylon
    and bring down as fugitives(AX) all the Babylonians,[b](AY)
    in the ships in which they took pride.
15 I am the Lord,(AZ) your Holy One,
    Israel’s Creator,(BA) your King.(BB)

16 This is what the Lord says—
    he who made a way through the sea,
    a path through the mighty waters,(BC)
17 who drew out(BD) the chariots and horses,(BE)
    the army and reinforcements together,(BF)
and they lay(BG) there, never to rise again,
    extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:(BH)
18 “Forget the former things;(BI)
    do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!(BJ)
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness(BK)
    and streams in the wasteland.(BL)
20 The wild animals(BM) honor me,
    the jackals(BN) and the owls,
because I provide water(BO) in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21     the people I formed(BP) for myself(BQ)
    that they may proclaim my praise.(BR)

22 “Yet you have not called on me, Jacob,
    you have not wearied(BS) yourselves for[c] me, Israel.(BT)
23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,(BU)
    nor honored(BV) me with your sacrifices.(BW)
I have not burdened(BX) you with grain offerings
    nor wearied you with demands(BY) for incense.(BZ)
24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus(CA) for me,
    or lavished on me the fat(CB) of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins
    and wearied(CC) me with your offenses.(CD)

25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
    your transgressions,(CE) for my own sake,(CF)
    and remembers your sins(CG) no more.(CH)
26 Review the past for me,
    let us argue the matter together;(CI)
    state the case(CJ) for your innocence.
27 Your first father(CK) sinned;
    those I sent to teach(CL) you rebelled(CM) against me.
28 So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple;
    I consigned Jacob to destruction[d](CN)
    and Israel to scorn.(CO)

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 43:3 That is, the upper Nile region
  2. Isaiah 43:14 Or Chaldeans
  3. Isaiah 43:22 Or Jacob; / surely you have grown weary of
  4. Isaiah 43:28 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.

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