All People Will Learn About God
“I helped people who had not come to me for advice. Those who found me were not looking for me.*
I spoke to a nation that does not use my name. I said, ‘Here I am! Here I am!’
“All day long I stood ready to accept those who turned against me. But they kept doing whatever they wanted to do, and all they did was wrong. 3
They keep doing things, right in front of me, that make me angry. They offer sacrifices and burn incense in their special gardens.† 4
They sit among the graves, waiting to get messages from the dead. They eat the meat of pigs, and their pots are full of soup made from unclean meat. 5
But they tell others, ‘Don’t come near me! Don’t touch me because I am holy!’ They are like smoke in my eyes, and their fire burns all the time.”
Israel Must Be Punished
6 “Look, here is a letter that lists all your sins. I will not be quiet until I pay you back for these sins. I will do it by punishing you. 7 I, the LORD, am doing this because of your sins and the sins of your ancestors. They did these sins when they burned incense in the mountains. They shamed me on those hills, and I punished them first.”
The LORD says, “When there is new wine in the grapes, people squeeze out the wine. But they don’t completely destroy the grapes because the grapes can still be used. I will do the same thing to my servants. I will not destroy them completely. 9
I will keep some of the people of Jacob. Some of the people of Judah will get my mountains. I will choose the people who will get the land. My servants will live there. 10
Then Sharon Valley will be a field for sheep. The Valley of Achor‡
will be a place for cattle to rest. All this will be for my people—for the people who come to me for help.
“But you people left the LORD, so you will be punished. You forgot about my holy mountain.§
You began to worship Luck. You held feasts for the false god, Fate.* 12
But I decided what would happen to you: you will be killed with a sword. You will all be killed because I called to you, but you refused to answer me. I spoke to you, but you would not listen. You did what I said is evil and chose to do what I did not like.”
13 So this is what the Lord GOD says:
“My servants will eat,
but you evil people will be hungry.
My servants will drink,
but you will be thirsty.
My servants will be happy,
but you will suffer shame.
14 My servants will shout for joy,
but you will cry out in pain.†
Your spirits will be broken,
and you will be very sad.
15 Your names will be like curses to my chosen servants.”
The Lord GOD will kill you,
and then he will call his servants by a new name.
16 The Lord says, “People now ask blessings from the earth.
But in the future they will ask blessings from the faithful God.
People now trust in the power of the earth when they make a promise.
But in the future they will trust in the God who is faithful.
That’s because the troubles in the past will all be forgotten.
They will be hidden from my sight.”
A New Time Is Coming
17 “I am creating a new heaven and a new earth.
The troubles of the past will be forgotten.
No one will remember them.
18 My people will be happy and rejoice forever and ever
because of what I will make.
I will make a Jerusalem that is full of joy,
and I will make her people happy.
19 “Then I will rejoice with Jerusalem.
I will be happy with my people.
There will never again be crying
and sadness in that city.
20 In that city there will never be a baby who lives only a few days,
and every older person will live for a long, long time.
A person who lives 100 years will be called young.
And whoever doesn’t live that long will be considered cursed.
21 “In that city whoever builds a house will live there;
whoever plants a vineyard will eat the grapes from that garden.
22 Never again will one person build a house
and another person live there.
Never again will one person plant a garden
and another eat the fruit from it.
My people will live as long as the trees.
My chosen people will get full use of whatever they make.
23 Never again will a woman suffer childbirth
and have her baby die.
Women will not fear childbirth.
I, the LORD, will bless all my people and their children.
24 I will answer them before they call for help.
I will help them before they finish asking.
25 Wolves and little lambs will eat together.
Lions will eat hay like cattle,
and snakes will eat only dust.
They will not hurt or destroy each other on my holy mountain.”
This is what the LORD said.