Encourage God's People
1 Our God has said:
“Encourage my people!
Give them comfort.
2 Speak kindly to Jerusalem
and announce:
Your slavery is past;
your punishment is over.
I, the Lord, made you pay
double for your sins.”

3 Someone is shouting:
“Clear a path in the desert!
Make a straight road
for the Lord our God.
4 Fill in the valleys;
flatten every hill
and mountain.
Level the rough
and rugged ground.
5 Then the glory of the Lord
will appear for all to see.
The Lord has promised this!”

6 Someone told me to shout,
and I asked,
“What should I shout?”
We humans are merely grass,
and we last no longer
than wild flowers.
7 At the Lord's command,
flowers and grass disappear,
and so do we.
8 Flowers and grass fade away,
but what our God has said
will never change.
Your God Is Here!
9 There is good news
for the city of Zion.
Shout it as loud as you can
from the highest mountain.
Don't be afraid to shout
to the towns of Judah:
“Your God is here!”
10 Look! The powerful Lord God
is coming to rule
with his mighty arm.
He brings with him
what he has taken in war,
and he rewards his people.
11 The Lord cares for his nation,
just as shepherds care
for their flocks.
He carries the lambs
in his arms,
while gently leading
the mother sheep.
Who Compares with God?
12 Did any of you measure
the ocean by yourself
or stretch out the sky
with your own hands?
Did you put the soil
of the earth in a bucket
or weigh the hills and mountains
on balance scales?

13 Has anyone told the Lord
what he must do
or given him advice?
14 Did the Lord ask anyone
to teach him wisdom
and justice?
Who gave him knowledge
and understanding?
15 To the Lord, all nations
are merely a drop in a bucket
or dust on balance scales;
all of the islands
are but a handful of sand.
16 The cattle on the mountains
of Lebanon
would not be enough to offer
as a sacrifice to God,
and the trees would not
be enough for the fire.
17 God thinks of the nations
as far less than nothing.

18 Who compares with God?
Is anything like him?
19 Is an idol at all like God?
It is made of bronze
with a thin layer of gold,
and decorated with silver.
20 Or special wood may be chosen
because it doesn't rot—
then skilled hands
take care to make an idol
that won't fall on its face.
God Rules the Whole Earth
21 Don't you know?
Haven't you heard?
Hasn't it been clear
since the time of creation?
22 God is the one who rules
the whole earth,
and we that live here
are merely insects.
He spread out the heavens
like a curtain or an open tent.

23 God brings down rulers
and turns them into nothing.
24 They are like flowers
freshly sprung up
and starting to grow.
But when God blows on them,
they wilt and are carried off
like straw in a storm.

25 The holy God asks,
“Who compares with me?
Is anyone my equal?”

26 Look at the evening sky!
Who created the stars?
Who gave them each a name?
Who leads them like an army?
The Lord is so powerful
that none of the stars
are ever missing.
The Lord Gives Strength
27 You people of Israel say,
“God pays no attention to us!
He doesn't care if we
are treated unjustly.”

But how can you say that?
28 Don't you know?
Haven't you heard?
The Lord is the eternal God,
Creator of the earth.
He never gets weary or tired;
his wisdom cannot be measured.

29 The Lord gives strength
to those who are weary.
30 Even young people get tired,
then stumble and fall.
31 But those who trust the Lord
will find new strength.
They will be strong like eagles
soaring upward on wings;
they will walk and run
without getting tired.