The LORD Controls Human Events 41 1Be silent and listen, every island in the sea. Have courage and come near, every one of you nations. Let's settle this matter! 2Who appointed this ruler from the east?[W] Who puts nations and kings in his power?[X] His sword and his arrows turn them to dust blown by the wind. 3He goes after them so quickly that his feet barely touch the ground— he doesn't even get hurt. 4Who makes these things happen? Who controls human events? I do! I am the LORD. I was there at the beginning; I will be there at the end. 5Islands and foreign nations saw what I did and trembled as they came near. What Can Idols Do? 6Worshipers of idols comfort each other, saying, “Don't worry!” 7Woodcarvers, goldsmiths, and other workers[Y] encourage one another and say, “We've done a great job!” Then they nail the idol down, so it won't fall over. The LORD's Chosen Servant 8 Israel, you are my servant. I chose you, the family of my friend Abraham. 9From far across the earth I brought you here and said, “You are my chosen servant. I haven't forgotten you.” 10Don't be afraid. I am with you. Don't tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories. 11Everyone who hates you will be terribly disgraced; those who attack will vanish into thin air. 12You will look around for those brutal enemies, but you won't find them— they will be gone. 13I am the LORD your God. I am holding your hand, so don't be afraid. I am here to help you. 14People of Israel, don't worry, though others may say, “Israel is only a worm!” I am the holy God of Israel, who saves and protects you. 15I will let you be like a log covered with sharp spikes.[Z] You will grind and crush every mountain and hill[A] until they turn to dust. 16A strong wind will scatter them in all directions. Then you will celebrate and praise me, your LORD, the holy God of Israel. The LORD Helps the Poor 17When the poor and needy are dying of thirst and cannot find water, I, the LORD God of Israel, will come to their rescue. I won't forget them. 18I will make rivers flow on mountain peaks. I will send streams to fill the valleys. Dry and barren land will flow with springs and become a lake. 19I will fill the desert with all kinds of trees— cedars, acacias, and myrtles; olive and cypress trees; fir trees and pines. 20Everyone will see this and know that I, the holy LORD God of Israel, created it all. Idols Are Useless 21I am the LORD, the King of Israel! Come argue your case with me. Present your evidence. 22Come near me, you idols.[B] Tell us about the past, and we will think about it. Tell us about the future, so we will know what is going to happen. 23Prove that you are gods by making your predictions come true. Do something good or evil, so we can be amazed and terrified.[C] 24You idols are nothing, and you are powerless.[D] To worship you would be disgusting. 25I, the LORD, appointed a ruler in the north; now he comes from the east to honor my name. He tramples[E] kings like mud, as potters trample clay.[F] 26Did any of you idols predict what would happen? Did any of you get it right? None of you told about this or even spoke a word. 27I was the first to tell the people of Jerusalem, “Look, it's happening!”[G] I was the one who announced this good news to Zion. 28None of these idols are able to give advice or answer questions. 29They are nothing,[H] and they can do nothing— they are merely a passing breeze.
Contemporary English Version / ©1995 American Bible Society About