May 21 - Isaiah 54.1-17

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A Promise of the LORD's Protection

Isaiah 54 Sing and shout,
even though you have never had children!
The LORD has promised
that you will have more children
than someone married for a long time.
2Make your tents larger! Spread out the tent pegs;
fasten them firmly.
3You and your descendants will take over the land
of other nations.
You will settle in towns that are now in ruins.

4Don't be afraid or ashamed and don't be discouraged.
You won't be disappointed.
Forget how sinful you were when you were young;
stop feeling ashamed for being left a widow.
5The LORD All-Powerful, the Holy God of Israel,
rules all the earth.
He is your Creator and husband, and he will rescue you.

6You were like a young wife, brokenhearted and crying
because her husband had divorced her.
But the LORD your God says,
"I am taking you back! 7I rejected you for a while,
but with love and tenderness I will embrace you again.
8For a while, I turned away in furious anger.
Now I will have mercy and love you forever!
I, your protector and LORD, make this promise."

The LORD Promises Lasting Peace

9I once promised Noah that I would never again
destroy the earth by a flood.
Now I have promised that I will never again
get angry and punish you.
10Every mountain and hill may disappear.
But I will always be kind and merciful to you;
I won't break my agreement to give your nation peace.

The New Jerusalem

11Jerusalem, you are sad and discouraged,
tossed around in a storm.
But I, the LORD, will rebuild your city
with precious stones;
for your foundation I will use blue sapphires.
12Your fortresses will be built of rubies,
your gates of jewels, and your walls of gems.
13I will teach your children and make them successful.

14You will be built on fairness with no fears of injustice;
every one of your worries will be taken far from you.
15I will never send anyone to attack your city,
and you will make prisoners of those who do attack.
16Don't forget that I created metalworkers
who make weapons over burning coals.
I also created armies that can bring destruction.
17Weapons made to attack you won't be successful;
words spoken against you won't hurt at all.

My servants, Jerusalem is yours!
I, the LORD, promise to bless you with victory.

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This reading is from The Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society, 1995.

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