43 But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created(A) you, Jacob, he who formed(B) you, Israel:(C) “Do not fear, for I have redeemed(D) you; I have summoned you by name;(E) you are mine.(F) 2 When you pass through the waters,(G) I will be with you;(H) and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire,(I) you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.(J) 3 For I am the Lord your God,(K) the Holy One(L) of Israel, your Savior;(M) I give Egypt(N) for your ransom, Cush[a](O) and Seba(P) in your stead.(Q) 4 Since you are precious and honored(R) in my sight, and because I love(S) you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. 5 Do not be afraid,(T) for I am with you;(U) I will bring your children(V) from the east and gather(W) you from the west.(X) 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south,(Y) ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters(Z) from the ends of the earth(AA)— 7 everyone who is called by my name,(AB) whom I created(AC) for my glory,(AD) whom I formed and made.(AE)”
8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,(AF) who have ears but are deaf.(AG) 9 All the nations gather together(AH) and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold(AI) this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.” 10 “You are my witnesses,(AJ)” declares the Lord, “and my servant(AK) whom I have chosen, so that you may know(AL) and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god(AM) was formed, nor will there be one after me.(AN) 11 I, even I, am the Lord,(AO) and apart from me there is no savior.(AP) 12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god(AQ) among you. You are my witnesses,(AR)” declares the Lord, “that I am God. 13 Yes, and from ancient days(AS) I am he.(AT) No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”(AU)
God’s Mercy and Israel’s Unfaithfulness
14 This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer,(AV) the Holy One(AW) of Israel: “For your sake I will send to Babylon and bring down as fugitives(AX) all the Babylonians,[b](AY) in the ships in which they took pride. 15 I am the Lord,(AZ) your Holy One, Israel’s Creator,(BA) your King.(BB)”
16 This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters,(BC) 17 who drew out(BD) the chariots and horses,(BE) the army and reinforcements together,(BF) and they lay(BG) there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:(BH) 18 “Forget the former things;(BI) do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing!(BJ) Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness(BK) and streams in the wasteland.(BL) 20 The wild animals(BM) honor me, the jackals(BN) and the owls, because I provide water(BO) in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21 the people I formed(BP) for myself(BQ) that they may proclaim my praise.(BR)
22 “Yet you have not called on me, Jacob, you have not wearied(BS) yourselves for[c] me, Israel.(BT) 23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,(BU) nor honored(BV) me with your sacrifices.(BW) I have not burdened(BX) you with grain offerings nor wearied you with demands(BY) for incense.(BZ) 24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus(CA) for me, or lavished on me the fat(CB) of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins and wearied(CC) me with your offenses.(CD)
25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions,(CE) for my own sake,(CF) and remembers your sins(CG) no more.(CH) 26 Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together;(CI) state the case(CJ) for your innocence. 27 Your first father(CK) sinned; those I sent to teach(CL) you rebelled(CM) against me. 28 So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple; I consigned Jacob to destruction[d](CN) and Israel to scorn.(CO)
Israel the Chosen
44 “But now listen, Jacob, my servant,(CP) Israel, whom I have chosen.(CQ) 2 This is what the Lord says— he who made(CR) you, who formed you in the womb,(CS) and who will help(CT) you: Do not be afraid,(CU) Jacob, my servant,(CV) Jeshurun,[e](CW) whom I have chosen. 3 For I will pour water(CX) on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;(CY) I will pour out my Spirit(CZ) on your offspring, and my blessing(DA) on your descendants.(DB) 4 They will spring up like grass(DC) in a meadow, like poplar trees(DD) by flowing streams.(DE) 5 Some will say, ‘I belong(DF) to the Lord’; others will call themselves by the name of Jacob; still others will write on their hand,(DG) ‘The Lord’s,’(DH) and will take the name Israel.
The Lord, Not Idols
6 “This is what the Lord says— Israel’s King(DI) and Redeemer,(DJ) the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last;(DK) apart from me there is no God.(DL) 7 Who then is like me?(DM) Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come— yes, let them foretell(DN) what will come. 8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim(DO) this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God(DP) besides me? No, there is no other Rock;(DQ) I know not one.”
9 All who make idols(DR) are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless.(DS) Those who would speak up for them are blind;(DT) they are ignorant, to their own shame.(DU) 10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,(DV) which can profit nothing?(DW) 11 People who do that will be put to shame;(DX) such craftsmen are only human beings. Let them all come together and take their stand; they will be brought down to terror and shame.(DY)
12 The blacksmith(DZ) takes a tool and works with it in the coals; he shapes an idol with hammers, he forges it with the might of his arm.(EA) He gets hungry and loses his strength; he drinks no water and grows faint.(EB) 13 The carpenter(EC) measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses. He shapes it in human form,(ED) human form in all its glory, that it may dwell in a shrine.(EE) 14 He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine,(EF) and the rain made it grow. 15 It is used as fuel(EG) for burning; some of it he takes and warms himself, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. But he also fashions a god and worships(EH) it; he makes an idol and bows(EI) down to it. 16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.(EJ)” 17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships.(EK) He prays(EL) to it and says, “Save(EM) me! You are my god!” 18 They know nothing, they understand(EN) nothing; their eyes(EO) are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand. 19 No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding(EP) to say, “Half of it I used for fuel;(EQ) I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable(ER) thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”(ES) 20 Such a person feeds on ashes;(ET) a deluded(EU) heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?(EV)”
21 “Remember(EW) these things, Jacob, for you, Israel, are my servant.(EX) I have made you, you are my servant;(EY) Israel, I will not forget you.(EZ) 22 I have swept away(FA) your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return(FB) to me, for I have redeemed(FC) you.”
23 Sing for joy,(FD) you heavens, for the Lord has done this; shout aloud, you earth(FE) beneath. Burst into song, you mountains,(FF) you forests and all your trees,(FG) for the Lord has redeemed(FH) Jacob, he displays his glory(FI) in Israel.
Jerusalem to Be Inhabited
24 “This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer,(FJ) who formed(FK) you in the womb:(FL)
I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens,(FM) who spreads out the earth(FN) by myself, 25 who foils(FO) the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners,(FP) who overthrows the learning of the wise(FQ) and turns it into nonsense,(FR) 26 who carries out the words(FS) of his servants and fulfills(FT) the predictions of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem,(FU) ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’ and of their ruins,(FV) ‘I will restore them,’(FW) 27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up(FX) your streams,’ 28 who says of Cyrus,(FY) ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem,(FZ) “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple,(GA) “Let its foundations(GB) be laid.”’
2 You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you(A) was not without results.(B)2 We had previously suffered(C) and been treated outrageously in Philippi,(D) as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.(E)3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives,(F) nor are we trying to trick you.(G)4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel.(H) We are not trying to please people(I) but God, who tests our hearts.(J)5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed(K)—God is our witness.(L)6 We were not looking for praise from people,(M) not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles(N) of Christ we could have asserted our authority.(O)7 Instead, we were like young children[a] among you.
Just as a nursing mother cares for her children,(P)8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God(Q) but our lives as well.(R)9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked(S) night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone(T) while we preached the gospel of God to you.10 You are witnesses,(U) and so is God,(V) of how holy,(W) righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,(X)12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy(Y) of God, who calls(Z) you into his kingdom and glory.
13 And we also thank God continually(AA) because, when you received the word of God,(AB) which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators(AC) of God’s churches in Judea,(AD) which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people(AE) the same things those churches suffered from the Jews15 who killed the Lord Jesus(AF) and the prophets(AG) and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles(AH) so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit.(AI) The wrath of God has come upon them at last.[b]
Paul’s Longing to See the Thessalonians
17 But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought),(AJ) out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.(AK)18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan(AL) blocked our way.(AM)19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown(AN) in which we will glory(AO) in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?(AP) Is it not you?20 Indeed, you are our glory(AQ) and joy.
Morrinsville Baptist is a church of 250-300 people from all ages and all walks of life who live or work in and around Morrinsville, New Zealand. Our faith in Jesus Christ is our common bond, and we are committed to living by the values and principles taught by Jesus, as we actively promote his Kingdom through our shared life as a church as well as through our personal daily lives.