Isaiah Chapter 55 to 58 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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God Gives “Food” That Really Satisfies

55 “All you thirsty people, come drink water! Don’t worry if you do not have money. Come, eat and drink until you are full! You do not need money; eat and drink until you are full. The food and wine cost nothing! 2Why waste your money on something that is not real food? Why should you work for something that does not really satisfy you? Listen very closely to me, and you will eat the good food. You will enjoy the food that satisfies your soul. 3Listen closely to the things I say. Listen to me so your souls will live. Come to me and I will make an agreement with you that will continue forever. It will be like the agreement that I made with David. I promised David that I would love him and be loyal to him forever. And you can trust that agreement. 4I made David a witness of my power for all nations. I promised David that he would become a ruler and a commander of many nations.” 5There are nations in places you don’t know, but you will call for those nations. Those nations don’t know you, but they will run to you. This will happen because the Lord, your God, wants it. This will happen because the Holy One of Israel honors you. 6So you should look for the Lord before it is too late. You should call to him now, while he is near. 7Evil people should stop living evil lives. They should stop thinking bad thoughts. They should come to the Lord again. Then the Lord will comfort them. Those people should come to the Lord because our God forgives.

People Cannot Understand God

8The Lord says, “Your thoughts are not like my thoughts. Your ways are not like my ways. 9The heavens are higher than the earth. In the same way, my ways are higher than your ways. And my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” The Lord himself said these things. 10“Rain and snow fall from the sky. And they don’t go back to the sky until they touch the ground and make the ground wet. Then the ground makes plants sprout and grow. These plants make seeds for the farmer. And people use these seeds to make bread to eat. 11In the same way, my words leave my mouth, and they don’t come back until they make things happen. My words make the things happen that I want to happen. My words succeed in doing the things I send them to do. 12My words will go out with happiness, and they will bring peace. Mountains and hills will begin dancing with happiness. All the trees in the fields will clap their hands. 13Large cypress trees will grow where there were bushes. Myrtle trees will grow where there were weeds. These things will make the Lord famous. These things will be proof {that the Lord is powerful}. This proof will never be destroyed.”

All Nations Will Follow the Lord

56 The Lord said these things, “Be fair to all people. Do things that are right! Why? Because soon my salvation will come to you. My goodness will soon be shown to the whole world.” 2The person that obeys God’s law about the Sabbath* will be blessed. And the person that does no evil will be happy. 3Some people that are not Jews will join themselves to the Lord. Those people should not say, “The Lord will not accept me with his people.” A eunuch* should not say, “I am a dry piece of wood—{I can’t make any children}.” 4–5{These eunuchs* should not say those things} because the Lord says, “Some of those eunuchs obey the laws about the Sabbath.* And they choose to do the things I want. And they truly follow my Agreement.* So I will put a memorial stone in my temple for them. Their name will be remembered in my city! Yes, I will give those eunuchs something better than sons and daughters. I will give them a name that continues forever. They will not be cut off* from my people.” 6Some people that are not Jews will join themselves to the Lord. They will do this so they can serve him and love the Lord’s name. They will join themselves to the Lord to become his servants. They will keep the Sabbath* {as a special day of worship} and they will continue to closely follow my Agreement (Law). 7The Lord says, “I will bring those people to my holy mountain. I will make them happy in my house of prayer. The offerings and sacrifices they give me will please me. Why? Because my temple* will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” 8The Lord my Master said these things. The people of Israel were forced to leave their country. But the Lord will gather them together again. The Lord says, “I will again gather these people together.”

God Invites All People to Serve Him

9Wild animals in the forest, come and eat! 10The guards (prophets) are all blind. They don’t know what they are doing. They are like dogs that won’t bark. They lie on the ground and sleep. Oh, they love to sleep. 11They are like hungry dogs. They are never satisfied. The shepherds don’t know what they are doing. {They are like their sheep} that have all wandered away. They are greedy. All they want to do is satisfy themselves. 12They come and say, “I will drink some wine. I will drink some beer. I will do the same thing tomorrow. Only, I will drink even more.”

Sabbath Saturday, a special day of rest and worship for Jews. eunuch(s) Special servants. Sometimes their male sex organs were removed so they could not have children. Agreement Usually, this means the agreement God made with Israel through Moses. Here it might mean the agreement of Isaiah 55:3. cut off If a person was “cut off” from Israel, it meant that he died without children or that he was forced to leave his family and the people of Israel. This meant that another family would get his land and his family name would be removed from the list of the people of Israel. temple A special building for worshiping God. God commanded the Jews to worship him at the temple in Jerusalem.

Israel Does Not Follow God

57 The good people are all gone, and no one even noticed. The good people have gathered together. But they don’t understand why. They don’t know that trouble is coming, and that they have been gathered together for protection}. 2But peace will come, and the people will rest in their own beds. They will live the way God wants them to. 3“Come here you children of witches. Your father is guilty of sexual sins, and your mother sells her body for sex. Come here! 4You are evil and lying children. You make fun of me. You make faces at me. You stick your tongues out at me. 5All you want is to worship false gods under every green tree. You kill children by every stream, and sacrifice them in the rocky places. 6You love to worship the smooth rocks in the rivers. You pour wine on them to worship them. You give sacrifices* to them, but those rocks are all you get. Do you think this makes me happy? {No! It does not make me happy.} You make your bed on every hill and high mountain.* 7You go up to those places and offer sacrifices.* 8Then you get in those beds and sin against me by loving those gods. You love those gods. You enjoy looking at their naked bodies. You were with me, but you left me to be with them. You hide the things that help you remember me. You hide those things behind the doors and door posts.* And then you go and make agreements with those false gods. 9You use your oils and perfumes to look nice for Molech.* You sent your messengers to faraway lands. And this will bring you down to Sheol, {the place of death}.

Israel Should Trust God, Not Statues

10“You have worked hard to do these things, but you never became tired. You found new strength, because you enjoyed these things. 11You did not remember me. You did not even notice me! So, who were you worrying about? Who were you afraid of? Why did you lie? Look, I have been quiet for a long time—and you did not honor me. 12I could tell about your ‘good works’ and all the ‘religious’ things you do; but those things are useless! 13When you need help, you cry to those false gods that you have gathered around you. Let them help you! But I tell you, the wind will blow them all away. A puff of wind will blow them all away. But the person that depends on me will get the land {I promised}. That person will have my holy mountain.*

The Lord Will Save His People

14Clear the road! Clear the road! Make the way clear for my people! 15God is high and lifted up. God lives forever. God’s name is holy. God says: I live in a high and holy place, but also with people that are sad and humble. I will give new life to the people that are humble in spirit. I will give new life to the people that are sad in their hearts. 16I will not continue fighting forever. I will not always be angry. If I continued to be angry, then man’s spirit —the life I gave them—would die in front of me. 17These people did evil things, and it made me angry. So, I punished Israel. I turned away from him because I was angry. And Israel left me. He went wherever he wanted. 18I saw where Israel went. So, I will heal (forgive) him. I will comfort him and say words to make him feel better. Then he and his people will not feel sad. 19I will teach them a new word: ‘Peace.’ I will give peace to the people near me and to the people that are far away. I will heal (forgive) those people!” The Lord himself said these things. 20But evil people are like the angry ocean. They can’t be quiet and peaceful. They are angry, and like the ocean, they stir up mud. My God says, 21“There is no peace for evil people.”

sacrifices Gifts to God. Sometimes these were special kinds of animals that were killed and burned on an altar. every hill and high mountain The people worship false gods in these places. The people thought these false gods would give them good crops and more children. door posts The people of Israel were supposed to put special things on their door frames to help them remember God. See Deut. 6:9. Molech A false god. This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “king.” holy mountain This is the mountain the temple in Jerusalem is built on.”

People Must Be Told to Follow God

58 Shout as loud as you can! Don’t stop yourself! Shout loud like a trumpet! Tell the people about the wrong things they have done! Tell Jacob’s family about their sins! 2Then they will come every day to worship me. And they will want to learn my ways. They will become a nation that lives right. They will not quit following God’s good commands. They will ask me to judge them fairly. They will want to go to God {for his fair decisions}. 3Now those people say, “We stop eating food to show honor to you. Why don’t you see us? We hurt our bodies to show honor to you. Why don’t you notice us?” But the Lord says, “You do things to please yourselves on those special days for not eating food. And you punish your servants—not your own bodies. 4You are hungry; but not for food. You are hungry for arguing and fighting, not bread. You are hungry to hit people with your evil hands. When you stop eating food, it is not for me. You don’t want to use your voice to praise me. 5Do you think on those special days for not eating food that all I want is to see people punish their bodies? Do you think I want people to look sad? Do you think I want people to bow their heads like dead plants and wear clothes of sadness? Do you think I want people to sit in ashes to show their sadness? That is what you do on your special days for not eating food. Do you think that is what the Lord wants? 6“I will tell you the kind of special day I want—a day to make people free. I want a day that you take the burdens off people. I want a day when you make the troubled people free. I want a day when you take the burdens from their shoulders. 7I want you to share your food with the hungry people. I want you to find poor people that don’t have homes, and I want you to bring them into your own homes. When you see a man that has no clothes—give him your clothes! Don’t hide {from helping those people}; they are just like you.” 8If you do these things, your light will begin shining like the light of dawn. Then your wounds will heal. Your “Goodness” (God) will walk in front of you, and the Glory of the Lord* will come following behind you. 9Then you will call to the Lord, and the Lord will answer you. You will shout to the Lord, and he will say, “Here I am.”

God’s People Must Do Right

You should stop making troubles and burdens for people. You should stop using bitter words and blaming people for things. 10You should feel sorry for hungry people and give them food. You should help the people that are troubled—satisfy their needs. Then your light will shine in the darkness. And you will have no sadness. You will be bright like sunshine at noon. 11The Lord will always lead you. He will satisfy your soul in dry lands. The Lord will give strength to your bones. You will be like a garden that has much water. You will be like a spring that always has water. 12Your cities have been destroyed for many, many years. But new cities will be built, and the foundations of these cities will continue for many, many years. You will be called “The One Who Fixes Fences.” And you will be called, “The One Who Builds Roads and Houses.” 13That will happen when you stop sinning against God’s law about the Sabbath.* And that will happen when you stop doing things to please yourself on that special day. You should call the Sabbath a happy day. You should honor the Lord’s special day. You should honor that special day by not doing and saying those things you do every other day. 14Then you can ask the Lord to be kind to you. And he will carry you to the High Places above the earth. And he will give you all the things that belonged to Jacob your father. The Lord himself said these things!

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