O Lord, Be Gracious to Us

Isaiah 33

1 Doom to you, Destroyer, not yet destroyed;
And doom to you, Betrayer,
not yet betrayed.
When you finish destroying,
your turn will come - destroyed!
When you quit betraying,
your turn will come - betrayed!

2 God, treat us kindly. You're our only hope.
First thing in the morning, be there for us!
When things go bad, help us out!
You spoke in thunder and everyone ran.
You showed up and nations scattered.
Your people, for a change, got in on the loot,
picking the field clean of the enemy spoils.

5 God is supremely esteemed. His center holds.
Zion brims over with all that is just and right.
God keeps your days stable and secure -
salvation, wisdom, and knowledge in surplus,
and best of all, Zion's treasure, Fear-of-God.

7 But look! Listen!
Tough men weep openly.
Peacemaking diplomats are in bitter tears.
The roads are empty -
not a soul out on the streets.
The peace treaty is broken,
its conditions violated,
its signers reviled.
The very ground under our feet mourns,
the Lebanon mountains hang their heads,
Flowering Sharon is a weed-choked gully,
and the forests of Bashan and Carmel? Bare branches.

10 "Now I'm stepping in," God says.
"From now on, I'm taking over.
The gloves come off. Now see how mighty I am.
There's nothing to you.
Pregnant with chaff, you produce straw babies;
full of hot air, you self-destruct.
You're good for nothing but fertilizer and fuel.
Earth to earth - and the sooner the better.

13 "If you're far away,
get the reports on what I've done,
And if you're in the neighborhood,
pay attention to my record.
The sinners in Zion are rightly terrified;
the godless are at their wit's end:
'Who among us can survive this firestorm?
Who of us can get out of this purge with our lives?'"
15 The answer's simple:
Live right,
speak the truth,
despise exploitation,
refuse bribes,
reject violence,
avoid evil amusements.
This is how you raise your standard of living!
A safe and stable way to live.
A nourishing, satisfying way to live.

17 Oh, you'll see the king - a beautiful sight!
And you'll take in the wide vistas of land.
In your mind you'll go over the old terrors:
"What happened to that Assyrian inspector who condemned and confiscated?
And the one who gouged us of taxes?
And that cheating moneychanger?"
Gone! Out of sight forever! Their insolence
nothing now but a fading stain on the carpet!
No more putting up with a language you can't understand,
no more sounds of gibberish in your ears.
20 Just take a look at Zion, will you?
Centering our worship in festival feasts!
Feast your eyes on Jerusalem,
a quiet and permanent place to live.
No more pulling up stakes and moving on,
no more patched-together lean-tos.
Instead, God! God majestic, God himself the place
in a country of broad rivers and streams,
But rivers blocked to invading ships,
off-limits to predatory pirates.
For God makes all the decisions here. God is our king.
God runs this place and he'll keep us safe.

23 Ha! Your sails are in shreds,
your mast wobbling,
your hold leaking.
The plunder is free for the taking, free for all -
for weak and strong, insiders and outsiders.
24 No one in Zion will say, "I'm sick."
Best of all, they'll all live guilt-free.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by NavPress and Eugene H. Peterson
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