New International Reader's Version

Isaiah 57

1Those who are right with God die.
    And no one really cares about it.
People who are faithful to the Lord are swept away by trouble.
    And no one understands why that happens
    to those who do what is right.
Those who lead honest lives
    will enjoy peace and rest when they die.

The Lord says, “Come here,
    you children of women who practice evil magic!
    You are children of prostitutes and those who commit adultery.
Who are you making fun of?
    Who are you laughing at?
    Who are you sticking your tongue out at?
You are people who refuse to obey me.
    You are just a bunch of liars!
You burn with sinful desire among the oak trees.
    You worship your gods under every green tree.
You sacrifice your children in the valleys.
    You also do it under the cliffs.
You have chosen some of the smooth stones in the valleys to be your gods.
    You have joined yourselves to them.
You have even poured out drink offerings to them.
    You have given grain offerings to them.
    So why should I take pity on you?
You have made your bed on a very high hill.
    You went up there to offer your sacrifices.
You have set up statues to remind you of your gods.
    You have put them behind your doors and doorposts.
You deserted me. You invited other lovers into your bed.
    You climbed into it and welcomed them.
You made a deal with them.
    And you looked with desire at their naked bodies.
You took olive oil to the god named Molek.
    You took a lot of perfume along with you.
You sent your messengers to places far away.
    You even sent them down to the place of the dead.
10 You wore yourself out with all your efforts.
    But you would not say, ‘It’s hopeless.’
You received new strength.
    So you did not give up.

11 “Who are you so afraid of
    that you have not been faithful to me?
You have not remembered me.
    What you do doesn’t even bother you.
I have not punished you for a long time.
    That is why you are not afraid of me.
12 You have not done what is right or good.
    I will let everyone know about it.
    And that will not be of any benefit to you.
13 Go ahead and cry out for help to all the statues of your gods.
    See if they can save you!
The wind will carry them off.
    Just a puff of air will blow them away.
But anyone who comes to me for safety
    will receive the land.
    They will possess my holy mountain of Zion.”

The Lord Comforts People Who Are Sorry for Their Sins

14 A messenger says,

“Build up the road! Build it up! Get it ready!
    Remove anything that would keep my people from coming back.”
15 The God who is highly honored lives forever.
    His name is holy. He says,
“I live in a high and holy place.
    But I also live with anyone who turns away from their sins.
    I live with anyone who is not proud.
I give new life to them.
    I give it to anyone who turns away from their sins.
16 I will not find fault with my people forever.
    I will not always be angry with them.
If I were, I would cause their spirits to grow weak.
    The people I created would faint away.
17 I was very angry with them.
    They always longed for more and more of everything.
So I punished them for that sin.
    I turned my face away from them because I was angry.
    But they kept on wanting their own way.
18 I have seen what they have done.
    But I will heal them.
I will guide them.
    I will give those who mourn in Israel the comfort they had before.
19     Then they will praise me.
I will give perfect peace to those who are far away and those who are near.
    And I will heal them,” says the Lord.
20 But those who are evil are like the rolling sea.
    It never rests.
    Its waves toss up mud and sand.

21 “There is no peace for those who are evil,” says my God.