God Rules His World
1 “Family of Jacob, listen to me!
You people call yourself ‘Israel,’
but you are from Judah’s family.
When you take an oath, I, the LORD, the God of Israel,
am the one whose name you use,
but you are not honest and sincere.
2 “Yes, you call yourselves citizens of the holy city,
those who depend on the God of Israel.
The LORD All-Powerful is his name.
3 “Long ago I told you what would happen.
I told you about these things.
And suddenly I made them happen.
4 I did that because I knew you were stubborn.
You were like iron that will not bend,
with heads as hard as bronze.
5 So long ago I told you what would happen.
I told you about those things long before they happened.
I did this so that you could not say,
‘The gods we made did this.
Our idols, our statues, made this happen.’ ”
God Punishes Israel to Make Them Pure
6 “You heard what I said would happen.
And you can see it has all been done.
Shouldn’t you tell this to others?
Now I will tell you about new things,
secrets you have not known before.
7 This is something that is happening now, not long ago.
You have not heard about it before today.
So you cannot say, ‘We already knew that.’
8 But even in the past you didn’t listen.
You didn’t learn anything.
You never listen to what I say.
I have always known that you would turn against me.
You have rebelled against me from the time you were born.
9 “But I will be patient.
I will do this for myself.
People will praise me for not becoming angry and destroying you.
You will praise me for waiting.
10 “Look, I will make you pure,
but not in the way you make silver pure.
I will make you pure by giving you troubles.
11 I will do this for myself—for me!
I will not let you treat me as if I am not important.
I will not let some false god take my glory and praise.
12 “Jacob, listen to me!
Israel, I called you to be my people.
So listen to me!
I am the Beginning,
and I am the End.
13 I made the earth with my own hands.
My right hand made the sky.
And if I call them,
they will come to stand before me.
14 “All of you, come here and listen to me.
Did any of the false gods say these things would happen? No!
The LORD’S friend will do what he wants
to Babylon and the Chaldeans.
15 “I told you that I would call him.
I will lead him,
and I will make him succeed.
16 Come here and listen to me!
I was there when Babylon began as a nation.
And from the beginning, I spoke clearly
so that people could know what I said.”
Now, the Lord GOD sends me and his Spirit to tell you these things.
17 The LORD, the Savior, the Holy One of Israel, says,
“I am the LORD your God.
I teach you for your own good.
I lead you in the way you should go.
18 If you had obeyed me,
then peace would have come to you
like a full flowing river.
Good things would have come to you again and again,
like the waves of the sea.
19 If you had obeyed me,
you would have had as many children as there are grains of sand.
And they would always have been mine
and would never have been destroyed.”
20 My people, leave Babylon!
My people, run from the Chaldeans!
Tell the news with joy.
Spread the news around the world.
“The LORD rescued his servant Jacob.”
21 They never got thirsty as he led them through the desert,
because he made water flow from a rock.
He split the rock,
and water flowed out.
22 But the LORD also said,
“There is no peace for evil people.”