The thrilling conclusion!
Jerusalem to be Inhabited-I (God) wrecked Jerusalem, because My children there were being wankers. But I will redeem them, and My city will be rebuilt. I will raise up Cyrus (Persian King), and I will lead him to victory. Though he has never recognized Me, Cyrus will do My bidding; he will free My exiles. And then everybody, the Egyptians, the people of Cush, everybody will bow to Me.
Gods of Babylon-All other gods are lame. How can they be compared to me? “I am God, and there is no other.” And I can do whatever I want. And I intend to. My righteousness is near; I will grant salvation to Zion. (The term Zion has been used a lot, but I’ve been avoiding it. Apparently, it can refer to Israel itself or can be used to represent the church of Israel.)
The Fall of Babylon-“Now then, listen, you wonton creature” (meaning Babylon), you have been a naughty girl, what with your magic spells and astronomers. I gave you My people as slaves, because they were being a pain in the neck, but you laid a heavy yoke on even the oldest of My children. This has made Me irritable. Also, you’re too proud and have a penchant for worshipping others gods. So I’m going to destroy you. Completely. (To be honest, Isaiah is beautifully written, and this particular passage is just… wow.)
Stubborn Israel-Israel, you are the most hardheaded wankers there are. “The sinews of your neck [are] iron, your forehead [is] bronze.” You’re a real pain, but I knew that a long time ago and even told you that a long time ago! I even told you that I would make you suffer for it; I wanted to make sure that you knew it was Me and not some idol punishing you. But now, I will tell you something new: I have tested you but not cut you off, and that was for My own glory.
Israel Freed-I (God still) intend to free the Israelis! I will choose an ally and work through them to defeat the Babylonians. Then My people will flee from their Babylonian masters!
The Servant of the Lord-There will be a servant of God, who will rise up to free the Israelites. He will be above kings and princes, and he will lead gentiles to God.
Restoration of Israel-I (God again) am gonna save Israel so hard that everyone will know that I am the one, true savior.
Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience-You guys (Israel) sinned really badly, and I had to punish you in a fitting manner. It hurt me more than it hurt you. Not really though. But now that I’ve decided to take pity on you, you need to be good kids. Cut the crap, ok?
Everlasting Salvation for Zion-Hey, Israel, “You are my people.” Remember when I took Abraham from one dude to thousands by allowing him and Sarah to multiply? Remember how I gave your people the promised land? Remember how I can do anything? Don’t you want to be on my side? You should. And if that’s what you want, you better show Me some respect.
The Cup of the Lord’s Wrath-Now I may have made you (Israel) drink from My cup of wrath, but I’m not gonna do that again. In fact, I’ll make your enemies drink from the cup instead! Partially because your enemies kept taking My name in vain, but mostly because they were mean to you! Mostly that.
The Suffering and Glory of the Servant-I will send you a wise servant. He will be unseemly and disfigured. He will be judged and misunderstood. He will marred and punished to heal your wounds and transgressions. (This for sure sounds like Jesus.) He will die and be buried as a poor man, but in death, he will be rich. I will do this to save my people, as a guilt offering. This servant will bear “the sins of many.” (It’s gotta be Jesus, right?)
The Future Glory of Zion-Worry not, barren women! I will give you more babies than you know what to do with! I got really mad and cursed everybody, but I promise not to do it again! Even if you’re really, really bad. I’m going to make everything up to you, promise! Riches and babies, tons of riches and babies.
Invitation to the Thirsty-Riches and babies! For free! Forever!
Salvation for Others-I’m totally cool with foreigners too! And eunuchs. All they have to do is stick to my rules and keep the Sabbath holy. That’s it. And sacrifice animals and stuff. That’s it. I’ll accept anyone who does those things.
God’s Accusation Against the Wicked-Everybody thinks I just kill people, but that’s not really it! I help the righteous find peace by putting their souls at rest. By doing so, I’m saving them from this evil world. But all you evildoers, you “offspring of adulterers and prostitutes,” you will go straight to the grave. No peace for you!
Comfort for the Contrite-You people with your wicked ways made Me really, really mad. But I’ve pretty much just found peace with the fact that no matter what I do, you’re always going to be a bunch of naughty sinners. That said, I’m over trying to punish you really harshly. Except for the wicked, “there is no peace for the wicked.”
True Fasting-You know, I was fairly specific about what I wanted form you guys with the whole fasting thing. Here is what you’ve chosen to do: act like a bunch of drunkards and do things only in your best interest. Here is what I asked you to do: “share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter–when you see the naked, to clothe him.” When you decide to do as I asked you, everything will be roses! I will bless you more than you’ve ever been blessed. But you have to do what I actually asked you to do, not whatever you want.
Sin, Confession and Redemption-The Lord can save anyone, but He won’t if people keep being all evil. They are quick to spill blood and slow to peace. Quick to judge and slow to help. That’s why the Lord does not save us; He has looked upon us and seen greed. The Lord is righteous and will not reward those who have acted as we have. But He will be back to redeem those who deserve it.
The Glory of Zion-I (God) have punished you, but now I will save you and place you above all others. It is going to be fantastic, and we are going to party like its 1999. Ok, Maybe not party, just be really happy.
The Year of the Lord’s Favor-God has made me (Isaiah) His voice to the people. It is my job to tell you about how awesome it is going to be when God saves us. And it will be awesome.
Zion’s New Name-God is going to save Zion and give them a new name, the Holy People. And they will never be slaves again.
God’s Day of Vengeance and Redemption-I (God) was really mad at you guys and trampled you into the ground. Which, by the way, got blood all over my robes, and now they’re filthy. But I’m over that now, and I’m ready to save you.
Praise and Power-Dear God, we realize that we’ve been really bad, but… I mean, you can’t stay mad forever can you? We’re sorry. Honest.
Judgment and Salvation-I (God) tried really hard to be a good god to you guys, but you are such a pain in the neck. I said, don’t sacrifice to idols, and you did. I said, don’t eat pigs, and you did. I mean… really? I’ve tried really hard to be patient, but you guys just keep doing stuff I said not to do. I will bless those who follow my ways, but the ones who keep doing bad stuff, I just can’t bless.
New Heavens and a New Earth-I’m going to create a new earth, a new Jerusalem. In it, there will be no sorrow or grief. Everyone (person and animal) will live together in peace.
Judgment and Hope-In my new Jerusalem, everyone is going to have plenty of everything, and we’re all going to have a great time. I will send out some of My children to distant lands, to preach my name and bring new worshippers back with them. But those who eat pigs or do other abominable things will be punished.
The end. Well, that started out pretty nasty, but it ended on a pretty good note. I actually really liked this book, destruction at the beginning aside. It shows a softer, more caring side to God that we haven’t seen much of up until now. It also reiterates man’s need to be good and kind and helpful to one another in order t live within God’s covenant. So, get to it people!
Up next, Jeremiah!