Isaiah 33-34

is33.jpgGreetings!

These are the last chapters where Isaiah delivers God’s message of judgment for various nations.

This section is about Assyria, a world power that repeatedly broke its promises.

Distress and Help

33     Woe to you, O destroyer,

you who have not been destroyed!

Woe to you, O traitor,

you who have not been betrayed!

When you stop destroying,

you will be destroyed;

when you stop betraying,

you will be betrayed.

2 O Lord, be gracious to us;

we long for you.

Be our strength every morning,

our salvation in time of distress.

3 At the thunder of your voice, the peoples flee;

when you rise up, the nations scatter.

4 Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;

like a swarm of locusts men pounce on it.

5 The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;

he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.

6 He will be the sure foundation for your times,

a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;

the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

7 Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;

the envoys of peace weep bitterly.

8 The highways are deserted,

no travelers are on the roads.

The treaty is broken,

its witnesses are despised,

no one is respected.

9 The land mourns and wastes away,

Lebanon is ashamed and withers;

Sharon is like the Arabah,

and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.

10 “Now will I arise,” says the Lord.

“Now will I be exalted;

now will I be lifted up.

11 You conceive chaff,

you give birth to straw;

your breath is a fire that consumes you.

12 The peoples will be burned as if to lime;

like cut thornbushes they will be set ablaze.”

13 You who are far away, hear what I have done;

you who are near, acknowledge my power!

14 The sinners in Zion are terrified;

trembling grips the godless:

“Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?

Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?”

15 He who walks righteously

and speaks what is right,

who rejects gain from extortion

and keeps his hand from accepting bribes,

who stops his ears against plots of murder

and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil—

16 this is the man who will dwell on the heights,

whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.

His bread will be supplied,

and water will not fail him.

17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty

and view a land that stretches afar.

18 In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror:

“Where is that chief officer?

Where is the one who took the revenue?

Where is the officer in charge of the towers?”

19 You will see those arrogant people no more,

those people of an obscure speech,

with their strange, incomprehensible tongue.

20 Look upon Zion, the city of our festivals;

your eyes will see Jerusalem,

a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved;

its stakes will never be pulled up,

nor any of its ropes broken.

21 There the Lord will be our Mighty One.

It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams.

No galley with oars will ride them,

no mighty ship will sail them.

22 For the Lord is our judge,

the Lord is our lawgiver,

the Lord is our king;

it is he who will save us.

23 Your rigging hangs loose:

The mast is not held secure,

the sail is not spread.

Then an abundance of spoils will be divided

and even the lame will carry off plunder.

24 No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill”;

and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.

These good things will come from God, not man.  Only He can provide the forgiveness we need.

Judgment Against the Nations

34     Come near, you nations, and listen;

pay attention, you peoples!

Let the earth hear, and all that is in it,

the world, and all that comes out of it!

2 The Lord is angry with all nations;

his wrath is upon all their armies.

He will totally destroy them,

he will give them over to slaughter.

3 Their slain will be thrown out,

their dead bodies will send up a stench;

the mountains will be soaked with their blood.

4 All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved

and the sky rolled up like a scroll;

all the starry host will fall

like withered leaves from the vine,

like shriveled figs from the fig tree.

5 My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens;

see, it descends in judgment on Edom,

the people I have totally destroyed.

6 The sword of the Lord is bathed in blood,

it is covered with fat—

the blood of lambs and goats,

fat from the kidneys of rams.

For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah

and a great slaughter in Edom.

7 And the wild oxen will fall with them,

the bull calves and the great bulls.

Their land will be drenched with blood,

and the dust will be soaked with fat.

8 For the Lord has a day of vengeance,

a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause.

9 Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch,

her dust into burning sulfur;

her land will become blazing pitch!

10 It will not be quenched night and day;

its smoke will rise forever.

From generation to generation it will lie desolate;

no one will ever pass through it again.

11 The desert owl and screech owl will possess it;

the great owl and the raven will nest there.

God will stretch out over Edom

the measuring line of chaos

and the plumb line of desolation.

12 Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom,

all her princes will vanish away.

13 Thorns will overrun her citadels,

nettles and brambles her strongholds.

She will become a haunt for jackals,

a home for owls.

14 Desert creatures will meet with hyenas,

and wild goats will bleat to each other;

there the night creatures will also repose

and find for themselves places of rest.

15 The owl will nest there and lay eggs,

she will hatch them, and care for her young under the shadow of

her wings;

there also the falcons will gather,

each with its mate.

16 Look in the scroll of the Lord and read:

None of these will be missing,

not one will lack her mate.

For it is his mouth that has given the order,

and his Spirit will gather them together.

17 He allots their portions;

his hand distributes them by measure.

They will possess it forever

and dwell there from generation to generation.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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