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Isaiah: 41

God's assurance to Israel.  Is.41.1-20

1Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;
let the peoples renew their strength;
let them approach, then let them speak;
let us together draw near for judgment.

2Who stirred up one from the east
whom victory meets at every step?
He gives up nations before him,
so that he tramples kings under foot;
he makes them like dust with his sword,
like driven stubble with his bow.
3He pursues them and passes on safely,
by paths his feet have not trod.
4Who has performed and done this,
calling the generations from the beginning?
I, the LORD, the first,
and with the last; I am He.

5The coastlands have seen and are afraid,
the ends of the earth tremble;
they have drawn near and come.
6Every one helps his neighbor,
and says to his brother, "Take courage!"
7The craftsman encourages the goldsmith,
and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil,
saying of the soldering, "It is good";
and they fasten it with nails so that it cannot be moved.

8But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
9you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, "You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off";
10fear not, for I am with you,
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

11Behold, all who are incensed against you
shall be put to shame and confounded;
those who strive against you
shall be as nothing and shall perish.
12You shall seek those who contend with you,
but you shall not find them;
those who war against you shall be as nothing at all.
13For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I will help you."

14Fear not, you worm Jacob,
you men of Israel!
I will help you, says the LORD;
your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15Behold, I will make of you a threshing sledge,
new, sharp, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
and you shall make the hills like chaff;
16You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them away,
and the tempest shall scatter them.
And you shall rejoice in the LORD;
in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.
17When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the LORD will answer them,
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
18I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
19I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive;
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together;
20that men may see and know,
may consider and understand together,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The LORD's challenge to false gods.  Is.41.21-29

21Set forth your case, says the LORD;
bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.
22Let them bring them, and tell us
what is to happen.
Tell us the former things, what they are,
that we may consider them,
that we may know their outcome;
or declare to us the things to come.
23Tell us what is to come hereafter,
that we may know that you are gods;
do good, or do harm,
that we may be dismayed and terrified.
24Behold, you are nothing,
and your work is nought;
an abomination is he who chooses you.

25I stirred up one from the north, and he has come,
from the rising of the sun, and he shall call on my name;
he shall trample Correction - Heb: come on rulers as on mortar,
as the potter treads clay.
26Who declared it from the beginning, that we might know,
and beforetime, that we might say, "He is right"?
There was none who declared it, none who proclaimed,
none who heard your words.
27I first have declared it to Zion, Correction - Heb: first to Zion, Behold, behold them
and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good tidings.
28But when I look there is no one;
among these there is no counselor
who, when I ask, gives an answer.
29Behold, they are all a delusion;
their works are nothing;
their molten images are empty wind.


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Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971], Apocrypha, copyright 1957; The Third and Fourth Books of the Maccabees and Psalm 151, copyright 1977, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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