Separation from God
1Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short
That it cannot save,
Nor His ear so impaired
That it cannot hear.
2But your wickedness has separated you from your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
3For your hands are defiled with blood
And your fingers with wickedness [with sin, with injustice, with wrongdoing];
Your lips have spoken lies,
Your tongue mutters wickedness.
4No one sues righteously [but for the sake of doing injury to others—to take some undue advantage], and no one pleads [his case] in truth; [but rather]
They trust in empty arguments and speak lies;
They conceive trouble and bring forth injustice.
5They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s webs;
He who eats of their eggs dies,
And from an egg which is crushed a viper breaks out.
6Their webs will not serve as clothing,
Nor will they cover themselves with what they make;
Their works are works of wickedness [of sin, of injustice, of wrongdoing],
And the act of violence is in their hands.
7Their feet run to evil,
And they rush to shed innocent blood.
Their thoughts are thoughts of wickedness [of sin, of injustice, of wrongdoing];
Devastation and destruction are in their highways.
8They do not know the way of peace,
And there is no justice in their tracks.
They have made them into crooked paths;
Whoever walks on them does not know peace.
A Confession of Wickedness
9Therefore justice is far from us,
And righteousness does not overtake us.
We [expectantly] hope for light, but only see darkness;
We hope for gleam of light, but we walk in darkness and gloom.
10We grope for a wall like the blind,
We grope like those who have no eyes.
We stumble at midday as in the twilight;
Among those who are healthy we are like dead men.
11We all groan and growl like bears,
And coo sadly like doves;
We hope for justice, but there is none,
For salvation, but it is far from us.
12For our transgressions are multiplied before You [O Lord],
And our sins testify against us;
For our transgressions are with us,
And we know and recognize our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]:
13Rebelling against and denying the Lord,
Turning away from [following] our God,
Speaking oppression and revolt,
Conceiving and muttering from the heart lying words.
14Justice is pushed back,
And righteous behavior stands far away;
For truth has fallen in the city square,
And integrity cannot enter.
15Yes, truth is missing;
And he who turns away from evil makes himself a prey.
Now the Lord saw it,
And it displeased Him that there was no justice.
16He saw that there was no man,
And was amazed that there was no one to intercede [on behalf of truth and right];
Therefore His own arm brought salvation to Him,
And His own righteousness sustained Him.
17For He [the Lord] put on righteousness like a coat of armor,
And salvation like a helmet on His head;
He put on garments of vengeance for clothing
And covered Himself with zeal [and great love for His people] as a cloak.
18As their deeds deserve, so He will repay:
Wrath to His adversaries, retribution to His enemies;
To the islands and coastlands He will repay.
19So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west
And His glory from the rising of the sun.
For He will come in like a narrow, rushing stream
Which the breath of the Lord drives [overwhelming the enemy].
20“A Redeemer (Messiah) will come to Zion,
And to those in Jacob (Israel) who turn from transgression (sin),” declares the Lord.
21“As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit which is upon you [writing the law of God on the heart], and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouths of your [true, spiritual] children, nor from the mouth of your children’s children,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.”