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The Righteousness of God’s Judgment


I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask,

to be found by those who did not seek me.

I said, “Here I am, here I am,”

to a nation that did not call on my name.


I held out my hands all day long

to a rebellious people,

who walk in a way that is not good,

following their own devices;


a people who provoke me

to my face continually,

sacrificing in gardens

and offering incense on bricks;


who sit inside tombs,

and spend the night in secret places;

who eat swine’s flesh,

with broth of abominable things in their vessels;


who say, “Keep to yourself,

do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.”

These are a smoke in my nostrils,

a fire that burns all day long.


See, it is written before me:

I will not keep silent, but I will repay;

I will indeed repay into their laps


their iniquities and their ancestors’ iniquities together,

says the L ord;

because they offered incense on the mountains

and reviled me on the hills,

I will measure into their laps

full payment for their actions.


Thus says the L ord:

As the wine is found in the cluster,

and they say, “Do not destroy it,

for there is a blessing in it,”

so I will do for my servants’ sake,

and not destroy them all.


I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,

and from Judah inheritors of my mountains;

my chosen shall inherit it,

and my servants shall settle there.


Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks,

and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,

for my people who have sought me.


But you who forsake the L ord,

who forget my holy mountain,

who set a table for Fortune

and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny;


I will destine you to the sword,

and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter;

because, when I called, you did not answer,

when I spoke, you did not listen,

but you did what was evil in my sight,

and chose what I did not delight in.


Therefore thus says the Lord G od:

My servants shall eat,

but you shall be hungry;

my servants shall drink,

but you shall be thirsty;

my servants shall rejoice,

but you shall be put to shame;


my servants shall sing for gladness of heart,

but you shall cry out for pain of heart,

and shall wail for anguish of spirit.


You shall leave your name to my chosen to use as a curse,

and the Lord G od will put you to death;

but to his servants he will give a different name.


Then whoever invokes a blessing in the land

shall bless by the God of faithfulness,

and whoever takes an oath in the land

shall swear by the God of faithfulness;

because the former troubles are forgotten

and are hidden from my sight.


The Glorious New Creation


For I am about to create new heavens

and a new earth;

the former things shall not be remembered

or come to mind.


But be glad and rejoice forever

in what I am creating;

for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,

and its people as a delight.


I will rejoice in Jerusalem,

and delight in my people;

no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,

or the cry of distress.


No more shall there be in it

an infant that lives but a few days,

or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;

for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,

and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.


They shall build houses and inhabit them;

they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.


They shall not build and another inhabit;

they shall not plant and another eat;

for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,

and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.


They shall not labor in vain,

or bear children for calamity;

for they shall be offspring blessed by the L ord

and their descendants as well.


Before they call I will answer,

while they are yet speaking I will hear.


The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,

the lion shall eat straw like the ox;

but the serpent—its food shall be dust!

They shall not hurt or destroy

on all my holy mountain,

says the L ord.


10. And Sharon shall be an abode of flocks. By these figures he means nothing else than that the land, which was a desert, shall be again inhabited; for there is an implied comparison. “Although, in consequence of the banishment of her inhabitants into a distant country, she shall be forsaken and desolate, yet she shall at length be inhabited, so as to abound in flocks and herds, and have lands that are fertile and that are fit for pasture, and supply abundantly everything that is necessary for the food and support of men.” Sharon was a place adapted to pasture, and so was Achor; but the former was adapted to flocks, and the latter to herds.

Here we see that the promises of God contain blessings not only of the future but also of the present life, that we may taste more and more his bounty and kindness; for by the latter 207207     “Par les biens terriens.” “By earthly blessings.” we are invited to the greater and more excellent blessings of the heavenly life. When the Lord extends his bounty to flocks and herds, this ought to confirm us the more and make us more certain of his fatherly care and anxiety about us; for if he pays attention to flocks which were created for our sake, much more will he supply us with all that is necessary

“for the life that now is, and for that which is to come.”
(1 Timothy 4:8.)

Yet we must likewise keep in view the spiritual meaning (of which we have spoken formerly) that leads us from God’s earthly blessing to Christ’s spiritual kingdom, which the prophets shadow out under that image.

For my people. Here also he excludes the reprobate, who were not ashamed of glorying vainly and falsely of the name of God. Although they confidently boast of promises and sacraments, yet they have nothing in common with the children, and, having been shut out from all hope of God’s favors, they receive the reward of their iniquity. By adding, Who have sought me, he describes more plainly who are they that shall be partakers of these benefits, in order that, as has been already said, he may entirely cut off reprobates and hypocrites. The sure mark by which lambs are distinguished from kids, and lawful children from bastards, is to “seek” the Lord; for it is not enough to shelter ourselves under a name and title, but we must seek the Lord with a pure conscience, that we may cleave to him with the whole heart. (Deuteronomy 6:5.)

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