Speak gentle words and glorious comfort comes
so comfort all the wretched people here
your God has spoken all these words of grace
speak peace and comfort to Jerusalem
and call down comfort on her bended head.
what shall I speak?
what can I know?
though comfort strains to speak.
Her warfare done, and all her battles past
iniquities are pardoned fully now
for she receives from God’s own righteous hand
a double wage for all her crimson sins
and now her war is peace complete and full.
The voice of one who cries out in the wild
prepare the way so that the Lord might come
make straight a highway for our savior God
across the desert, come prepare the way
a voice that calls, that in the desert cries.
the Tishbite comes
with water comes
to cleanse and wash the dead.
And every valley shall be lifted up
and every mountain, every hill brought low
the crooked straight, the rough place plain
our moutainous pride is humbled here
the lowly stand when their salvation comes.
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed
all mortal flesh shall see it when it comes
for now the mouth of God has spoken it
and eyes will see what eyes cannot behold
the glory of the Lord shone round about.
A voice said, cry—what can a mortal cry?
all flesh is grass, and like the meadow flowers
the grass dries up, the flower fades away
all men are grass, like grass they brown and die
in this dry wind, the spirit of the Lord.
obey the voice
and hear a plaintive cry
the way of flesh
is withered brown
The grass turns brown, the flower fades away
the words of God are ever lush and green
and this good news is Zion’s living hope
for God is life and all His words alive
but all created plants are withered through.
O Zion’s voice, you bring the great, good news
so get yourself up to the sloping hills
lift up your voice in living, rolling strength
ascend the mountains with no craven fear
and Judah’s cities all will heed the word.
can withered grass
bear this good news?
and cities live
where cities died?
Behold your God! The Lord will come
and with strong hand and arm will rule
He bears the fruit of wisdom in His hand
His work lies here before Him now
the Lord our God will come and bear the rule.
if He rules with wisdom
and if we rest with wisdom
then how can fruit,
hold any less?
And like a shepherd, He the flock will feed
and He shall gather lambs with His right arm
He carries them, protected, on his chest
He gently leads the ewes that are with young
and sacrifice is what a shepherd bleeds.
Who takes the oceans in His hollowed hands?
who measures all the sky with just a span?
who weighs the dust of earth with measuring cups?
or puts the mountain ranges on His scales?
on balances who takes and places hills?
our God created blood
that He might bleed
so pleasure flows
from His right hand
into the age
So who has taught the Spirit of our God?
and who has offered Him sage counsel deep?
did God seek out a man to show Him paths?
did God seek out advice, a man to teach?
did God take lessons from a mortal man?
The nations all together—just a drop
the dust a merchant blows from off the scales
our God takes islands as a little thing
the forests of green Lebanon can’t burn
and all the beasts together fail and die.
Before the Lord all nations nothing are
and reckoned less than nothing, vain besides
to whom then will you liken God our Lord?
the workman melts his poor pathetic bronze
the goldsmith at his vanity, with chains.
breathe through the nose
and Heaven rules
all mites and midges
kings and priests
The poor man with no offering to bring
selects a tree that will not ever rot
and seeks a cunning workman for the task
from wood that cannot rot he makes his god
a poor man’s god that will not move or shake.
Have you not known? have you not come to hear?
have you not listened to the ancient truth?
have you not heard the earth’s foundations speak?
the word has come to us from days of old
have you been deaf to all that God has said?
a god to put upon the shelf
a god that I have made myself
a god to worship when I please
a god to pray to on my knees
God sits upon the circle of the earth
grasshoppers dwell and all men do the same
God stretches out the heavens like a tent
and brings the princes down to rule their place
presiding judges sit in vanity.
behold the mighty prince of power
his throne is gold
a judge in black behind the bench
his bench is wood
the legislator passes laws
for paper gods
And ah, the pride of man shall not take root
the insolence of man shall not be sown
his stock shall not be planted in the earth
the Spirit comes and blows his seed away
his plants shall brown; the whirlwind takes them off.
To whom then will you think to liken me?
to whom shall I be made a tiny peer?
thus says the Holy One of Israel
you think to weigh me in your balances?
you think to call me by an earthly name?
what is God like?
what may we use?
Lift up your eyes, up to the highest place
behold the One creating all these things
Who calls out all the heavenly host by name
behold the greatness of His powerful might
lift up believing eyes, not one star fails.
So why, O Jacob, do you speak no sense?
and why, O Israel, do you think to hide?
your sinful paths are plain before the Lord
have you not known? Have you not heard?
the everlasting God, the Lord, is wise.
The ends of earth were fashioned by His hand
He does not faint; He never falls to earth
there is no limit; God alone is wise
how could the one who made all things grow faint?
the ends of earth were spoken by a Word.
the trees that were felled
to make the lumber
that made the Beagle
were made by Him
all things, all birds
were made by Him
declare His praise
And so He gives His power to the faint
to them who have no might He gives His strength
and though the young shall faint and trembling fall
who wait upon the Lord renew their strength
they mount as eagles; run and do not faint.
Keep silence now, O islands of the sea
and let the people come renew their strength
let them come near; let them approach the throne
for in His judgment, God renews the faint
keep silence here, the Lord God justifies.
the vindication of the Lord
reaches to the uttermost
and glory comes
from mist off the river
to the ends of the earth
So who raised up the righteous eastern prince?
who gave the nations to his righteous rule?
why should this man become a king of kings?
with all men dust before the conquering sword
and stubble to his bow, he ruled these lands.
the Lord lifts up
the Lord brings down
the haughty heart
and polished crown
Now who has done this glorious thing?
now calling generations from the first?
I am the Lord, the first and last alone
the islands saw and feared the one who calls
the ends of earth bowed down, drew near, and came.
And every person to his neighbor said
take courage now and summon up your strength
the goldsmith and the workmen gave the call
take up your tools to fix these to the wall
and every fastened god shall not be moved.
another nail should do the trick
our god shall not be moved
and fastened tight
But Israel, my servant, Jacob all
you are the seed of Abraham my friend
you are the nation brought from distant lands
called out from nobles there, and fully owned
you are my servant and my choice, my son.
So do not fear; I am Your God and Lord
be not dismayed, and I will give you strength
and I will strengthen you with my right hand
the holy strength of all my righteousness
will help you stand, so do not tremble now.
All those incensed against you in this place
shall be confounded and shall be ashamed—
so they shall come to nothing; they shall fall
destruction comes to those who strive
as those who fought in anger all shall die.
my people come
so do not fear
from east and west
to dine with Abraham
shall turn aside
and seek their own broad way
And you will seek for them who fought with you
and shall not find their armor or their boasts
they came to nothing, all their glory done
their pride is gone; their hopelessness has run
their armies silent as the empty air.
For I the Lord your God take your right hand
and say to you, fear not; my help is here
fear not, O Jacob, sorry little worm
O Israel; I am redeeming help
thus says the Lord, the Holy One of old.
the first are last
the last are first
and God is not what men supposed
Behold, I make a thresher—sharpened teeth
will thresh the mountains, beat them fine and small
till all the hills blow off as powdered chaff
the wind will then pick up the mountain dust
our thresher God will make your heart rejoice.
the day of the Lord
the day of the Lord
history and time
in molten puddles
The needy and the poor seek water here
but there is none, and so they thirst and faint
and I the Lord will hear their thirsty cry
to quench their thirst with rivers deep
the poor find gushing springs of water now.
The dry land takes from God the shittah tree
the cedar and the oil tree grow alike
the Lord God saves and plants this wilderness
the myrtle and the pine and fir and box
that all may see and know the hand of God.
a garden in the wilderness
is now bestowed
dark green is the color of grace
May all men see, and hold, and think, and know
the hand of God has done this blessed thing
the Holy One of Israel has said
the hand of man has not closed on the gift
the wise may know and understand the truth.
Bring out your paltry case, the Lord God says
bring forth your reasons, tiny little men!
can your gods tell us what shall come to pass?
the former things? what they might be?
the latter things? what can your gods declare?
Show us the things that now must come to pass
that we may know that you are mighty gods!
do something, good or bad, do something here
that all of us may gape and be dismayed
beholding as we do your vaunted word.
unveil the sights
pull back the curtain
reveal the end of
your punch and judy
Behold the void! the emptiness of sin
the noisesome man who chooses wood and stone
I raise up one from north and from the east
one who shall come, and choosing my own Name
to tread you down as potters walk their clay.
Who has declared the story of the world?
from long before, that we may bow our heads?
no, there is none that shows how openness
can bring us low, amazed that we still live
no, none declares, and no one hears these words.
opening the future
is not opening cans
gods wrestle the future
and frequently lose
gods want to be God
making their heads hurt
peer in the darkness
rubbing their eyes
halt! who goes there?
The first shall say to Zion here, behold
and I will give Jerusalem the gospel now
for as I looked, there was no man to speak
there were no blessed words from counsellors
not last, not first, could even say a word.
the gospel word
is bottled up
dry potsherd scribes
cisterns that hold no water
So look, they all are smoke and vanity
their works are nothing but idolatry
their molten images are confusing wind
they pour their brass into the void
they worship that which cannot be the One.
Behold my faithful servant here, upheld
my own elect, in whom my soul delights
I place my Spirit on Him here and now
and to the nations He shall bring delights
and as my servant bring my justice down.
twelve kinds of fruit
the nations healed
Christ the tree
with justice sweet
and mercy sour
He shall not cry, and He will never shout
nor lift his voice, resounding in the street
a bruised reed shall never bend or break
and He will not put out the smoking flax
so quietly, salvation comes to earth.
He shall not fail or be discouraged then
till He sets up right judgment in the earth
and all the isles shall wait upon his law
the word is true, His word is righteousness
and He shall see the travail of His soul.
Thus speaks our God, the Lord of all the earth
for He that made the heavens stretched them out
and He that spread forth all the lines of earth
has placed the starry heavens overhead
our God gives breath to all the people here.
the sky is full
of sons of Abraham
the sky shouts
the crowded heavens typify
the crowds of heaven
So I the Lord have called in righteousness
and I will grasp your hand, to keep you safe
and give you as a light to darkened lands
your covenant will never falter then
for I the Lord decreed to make it so.
And I will open every blinded eye
and bring out captives from the prison house
as those who sit in darkness see My light
I am the Lord, who frees the captives all
my light and glory I will never share.
a man born blind
can never see
do prophets come from Galilee?
look in the law
those sitting in darkness
have seen a great light
those sitting in light
have darkness descend
Behold, the former things are come to pass
and all things new are now declared
before they come to pass I speak the word
so things unseen are not invisible
and ancient things are in my thought unsealed.
from ancient times
the word has known
what the coming word
Sing to the Lord a song revealed to us
his praise declare from all the ends of earth
all you who sail upon the briny sea
and all that live within the ocean deep
and sing, you isles, and all who dwell at sea.
Let both the desert and the cities cry
and villages that Kedar fills with men
let men upon the mountains lift their voice
let towns, and cities, filling wilderness
all cry aloud to glorify the Lord.
like the Gulf Stream
like the Sawtooth Bitteroot
praise falls like corn snow
praise grows like spring grass
Let them give glory to the Lord our God
declare His praises, islands of the sea
the Lord goes out to war, a mighty man
His praise extends to all the ends of earth
and glory goes to God who conquers all.
And as a mighty man, He stirs up jealousy
so He shall cry and roar, in battle grim
He shall prevail against His enemies
His triumph cry shall echo in the hills
and He shall hold the field when smoke has cleared.
For far too long, the warrior held His peace
I have been still, and have refrained myself
but now—travailing birth!—I cry aloud
No longer still, I now destroy, devour
as once the peace I held is fully gone.
a drunken warrior rises from his sleep
and roars in search of prey
he takes the hilt in both his hands
as though to say
that God will fill his path with blood
So I lay waste to mountains and to hills
and dry up all the green and verdant fields
I make the rivers full of isles and rocks
I dry up all the pools in meadows green
I make the mountains here a smoking ruin.
And I will bring the blind unusual ways
and lead them in the paths they have not known
the darkness now is light before their eyes
and crooked things are straighted out again
the blind restored, and kept forever here.
open their eyes
and turn them away
from darkness, black darkness
to marvelous light
from the angel of light
from Satan himself
to the kingdom of God
the unusual path
They shall be turned, and shame shall fill their hearts
all those who prayed to graven wood or stone
who said to molten things, “You are our gods!”
all those who ever worshipped emptiness
will be returned, and they shall stop their mouths.
we prayed to rocks
we prayed to wood
and our own dark damnation
had settled in
until we rose
and walked away
the dungeon flamed with light
So hear, you deaf; and look, you blind, and see
who is as blind as my own darkened slave?
or who as deaf as all the preachers sent?
who is as blind as this one now ordained
and who as blind as our Lord’s servant here?
They see all things, but do not yet observe
and turn their ears, but do not hear a thing
the Lord for His own righteousness is pleased
and He will speak the law so that they hear
and show the law in glory and in strength.
scribes shuffle quietly
through the reading room
and cataloging wineskins
the wineskins of old
the skins of our fathers
that held something once
But here they are a people robbed and spoiled
and all of them are trapped and snared in holes
and locked away in prisons and in cells
for they are trapped in folly as a prey
and none delivers spoil and says, restore.
So who among this tribe will give an ear?
and who will hearken for the time to come?
who gave up Jacob for a spoil to rob?
can you not hear the judgment coming down?
will no one say that we should hear the word?
Did not the Lord give up this tribe to death
and was not He the one toward whom they sinned?
for they would not submit beneath His word
and neither were they harkening to his law
the sentence fell and so all Israel died.
a stiffened neck
a haughty heart
offends the God
who speaks the word
the only word
that can restore
And so He poured upon their heads His wrath
the strength of battle fell upon their tribes
the anger burned, set all on fire around
yet Israel refused to learn from war
and did not lay the wisdom close to heart.
But now thus says the Lord, O Jacobson
and He that formed you, Israel, speaks here
fear not: for my redemption comes to you
and I have called to you by Israel’s name
so Jacob, you are mine, from nothing made.
unless it has been forfeited
salvation never comes
When passing through the waters here below
when walking through the kindled burning fires
yet still you shall not ever drown or burn
the flame cannot rise up to take your life
the water will not overflow your soul.
chest deep in the Jordan
it did not part this time
cross over, cross over
and camp in the shade of the trees
I am the Lord your God, the Holy One
and I gave Egypt for your ransom price
and Sheba too was given over then
so for your life, I gave up mighty men
for you are precious, honored in my sight.
You must not fear, or tremble at the sound
for I am always with you, to the north
and I will bring your seed from east and west
and to the south I say, bring back my sons
my fearless daughters from the ends of earth.
the narrow gate
excludes the proud
but many will come from east and west
to sit with Abraham
So every one that answers to my name
is framed by me, this name to glorify
for this I formed him, yes, I made him here
this name brings forth the blind with eyes to see
and in my name give hearing to the deaf.
Let all the nations now be gathered here
and let the people come who can declare
what are the former things. can they not say?
let them bring forth their witnesses to speak
that they may justify and speak the truth.
You are my witnesses, the Lord God says
you are my servant chosen now and here
before and after me there is no God
that you may know and hear as servants should
so understand, you are my witnesses.
He is the Lord, the only God
and there is none beside
He is the one who opens eyes
and none beside
ye blind behold your Savior come
and leap, ye lame for joy
Beside the Lord, there is no savior God
I have declared, and saved, and shown the world
that there was not a stranger god with you
you witnessed it, all that was said and done
you know that I, the Lord, am God alone.
I am, before there was a day or night
and there is none that can deliver him
when I have said that I will do my work
who can prevent what God has turned to do
eternal dwellings in the mind of God?
He goes before
and He prepares a place
a place prepared
from ancient times
Thus says the Lord, who brings redemption here
the Holy One of Israel has come
to Babylon, to bring their nobles low
to all Chaldeans, the Holy One has come
whose cry is in their ships, so says the Lord.
the naval might of mortal man
sails the seas
no pride like naval pride
oblivious to all
around and below
I am the Lord, your Holy One, and King
and I created all of Israel’s race
thus says the Lord, who makes a path at sea
who made of Israel all His covenant sons
who is the Lord and God, the holy King.
And He brings out the horse and chariot
the army and its power lies below
they shall not rise, they have been quenched as tow
they lie beneath the Lord’s great chastening rod
with all their weapons scattered in the dust.
Pharaoh’s army got
o Mary don’t you weep
Forget the former things, all things of old
behold, I do a new thing, sons of men
and now it shall spring forth; shall you not know?
a new way in the wilderness is made
and rivers flood the ancient desert here.
The beast of every field honors me
the dragons and the owls give their respect
for I give waters in the wilderness
and rivers flow where dragons build their lairs
my chosen people honor Me for drink.
This people I have formed for my own name
they shall show forth my praise forevermore
o Jacobson, you have not called that name
o Israel, you sing with wearied praise
though you were made to lift my name above.
a people made for praise
have tuned their instruments
You have not brought the sacred cattle here
nor have you honored me with sacrifice
and I with incense have not wearied you
you do not give the sacrifice of love
ascension offerings graze contentedly.
And with your coin you bought me no sweet cane
and have not offered sacrificial fat
but with iniquities you weary me
the fat is mine, and yet you thieve
and sweet cane rests upon your tongue alone.
to the one who spoke it
cane is in the field
while priests alone
reject the sweetness
But for my sake, I blot out all your sins
and will forget your great transgressions here
put me in mind, and plead with me today
declare the word; you will be justified
and for my sake, your sins be washed away.
so as to be just
and one who justifies
the sinner trusts
his vindicating God
Your father sinned, the first man stumbled, fell
and all your teachers have transgressed the law
I have defiled the princes in this place
and given Jacob over to the curse
so Israel has shamed the Temple here.
But hear, o Jacob my servant alone
and Israel, the nation I have loved
thus says the Lord who formed you in the womb
who helps you now, a chosen one
and Jesurun, the servant of the Lord.
your bishops assemble
mitres pulled down low
over the eyes
and solemnly say
in nasal holiness
that men may have their lustful way with men
For I pour water on the thirsty one
and I send floods upon the dried up ground
so I will pour my spirit on your seed
and all my blessing on your children here
the blessed flood shall quench the thirst of all.
And they shall grow, as grass beside the bank
as willows by the blessed riverside
and one shall say that he is all the Lord’s
and call himself by Jacob’s blessed stream
while others all shall grow in Israel’s name.
Thus speaks the Lord the King of Israel
and his redeemer here, the Lord of hosts
I am the first and everlasting one
beside me there can be no other God
and all my words are spoken from a throne.
words that never fall to the ground
are words that only God can speak
and at the word
the grasses grow
And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare
and set in order all the days before
since I appointed all the ancient days?
and set all things that still are yet to come
so shall they come—let them shew us their might.
So do not fear, and neither be afraid
have I not told you all the ancient tales?
Is there another God? not even one
you are my witnesses to all I said
and will not fear because my word is sure.
fear not the angel from the Scriptures said
but angels on the flannelgraph
have not presented
that peculiar temptation
Those men who carve their gods are vanity
and their delights will never profit them
they testify to their own impotence
they do not see the truth, they do not know
that they may be ashamed of all their lies.
the image forms
around the god
and those who worship blocks of wood
will turn themselves
by slow degrees
to blockheads on their knees
Who is the man who makes a god for all?
with molten bronze who makes this vanity?
behold his friends with shame all bow their heads
these are the men! who made these things?
let them stand up, and fear, and be ashamed.
The smithy with his tongs works in the coals
and fashions gods with hammer and with toil
he works it with the strength of both his arms
and afterwards is faint from making gods
he hungers and he thirsts; the work is great.
the sweat pours down
the smithy’s back
creative agony is great
look in the forge!
behold your god
is it done yet?
And too, the carpenter holds out his rule
he marks the line; he shaves it down with planes
he marks the place with compass, and with point
and makes the figure—the beauty of a man
that it may dwell inside the workman’s house.
He takes down cedars, takes down cypress, oak,
which he himself has long since shrewdly grown
among the forest trees which he did plant
he took an ash, the rain has nourished it
and now he logs these trees to form his gods.
But part he takes to burn to warm himself
he kindles it, and heats the coals for bread
but with the rest he makes a mighty god
he burns up part with fire, and cooks his meat
he warms himself beside that glowing fire.
byproducts of deity
shouldn’t go to waste
why not burn the other end?
what do we do when we sweep the shop?
The scrap he takes and fashions him a god
a graven block; and in devotion falls
he worships it, and prays to this his god
and calls out for a great deliverance
and seeks salvation from the lumber pile.
They have not known, they have not understood
they shut their eyes so that they cannot see
they close their hearts and do not comprehend
with eyes tight shut they cannot see their wood
the wood they burned; they do not understand.
In darkness they do not consider this
they burned up part, they baked their bread on coals
they roasted meat, and ate their dinner up
this residue that burned, is that their god?
should men fall down before a wooden log?
think for a moment
you made it out of wood
concentric rings tell you
the age of your god
He feeds on ash, he turned aside to lies
and cannot extricate his mortal soul
for is there not a lie in his right hand?
when men pursue false gods they always die
and eat the ashes of their wooden gods.
O Jacob, Israel, remember this!
you are my servant, formed by me alone
and not forgotten as my servant now
once formed, I blotted out your many sins
in thickened clouds, recall, return to me.
you cannot bring this wooden thing to life
but I can turn your wooden heart to flesh
your god cannot speak or sing
but you will do what all your gods cannot
So sing, you heavens, sing what God has done
and shout, you lower parts of all the earth
as heaven and earth enclose the triumph psalm
so sing, you mountains, every tree within
the Lord redeems, and glorifies himself.
So says the Lord, who now redeems your soul
who formed you from your mother’s covering womb
the Lord who makes all things with His right hand
who knit the heavens as He knit your bones
who stretched the heavens out, redeeming earth.
The Lord comes down, He frustrates lying tongues
He turns diviners mad; they mutter more
the Lord alone is wise, the Lord is good
He turns the wise men back upon themselves
He makes the wise men fools; their wisdom lies.
and all coagulate
their knowledge clots
forming the scab
the learned scab
This God alone confirms His servant’s words
and does what all His angels said would be
who says to Albion, you shall be full
and Judah’s cities shall be built again
and so confirmed, our God will raise the ruins.
His word is spoken to the farthest deep
oceans be dry, and all your rivers spent
and says to Cyrus, shepherd of His hand
you shall obey just as the ocean did
His word rebuilds your stones, Jerusalem.
God spoke to nothing
and nothing ceased to be
the oceans dry
at His command
and water flows uphill
So speaks our God to his anointed christ
to Cyrus, right and royal hand of God
is held by God to bring the nations down
so God will loose the loins of fearful kings
and river gates are left so christ may come.
the river dry
the river stopped
the river gates
are guarded by dullards
And God will go, and make the crooked straight
and break in pieces all the gates of brass
and cut in two the bars of iron there
and God will give the treasures of the dark
the hidden wealth, for God has gone before.
For Jacob is my servant, for his sake
and Israel my elect, are called by name
not knowing me, although I named you both
I am the Lord, and there is no one else
no God beside the one who girded you.
our God can do
what wooden gods cannot
our God ascends
and stoops beneath
and opens armories
That all may know from risings of the sun
and from the west, that there is none beside
I am the Lord, and there is no one else
I bring the night, and peace, and evil too
I form the light. I, God, do all these things.
Drop down, you heavens, here from far above
and let the blackened skies rain righteousness
let earth receive and bring salvation’s growth
let righteousness grow as a mingled crop
For I the Lord created all that rains.
Woe to the one who strives to fight his God!
let shattered pots contend with shattered pots
does clay talk back and taunt the potter’s hands?
what’s that? what now? this has no fashioned hands!
do men to parents say, what have you done?
when evil lurks
when calamity falls
I the Lord have done these things
you want a god of pleasant things?
go carve your wood
be sure to make it pretty
Thus says the Lord, and Israel’s holy one
come ask of me those things still yet to come
concerning all my sons, and all my work
I made the earth, and man upon the earth
And with my hands I spread the heavenly host.
I raised him up in solemn righteousness
and so shall I direct his righteous ways
he is the one to build my city here
as he directs, he lets my captives go
for righteousness, and never for reward.
the earth was made
and once was not
the one who spoke the galaxies
contends with you
Thus says the Lord, with Egypt’s labor done
and merchandise from Ethiopia’s land
and Sabeans too, those giant men of all
shall come to you, and bring their precious gifts
Thus says the Lord, they come in chains to you.
He shall see
the travail of His soul
He shall be satisfied
with captives in his train
They come, they fall, they fall upon their knees
and make petitions spreading out their hands
and sure the living God is in you here
You are the God who hides Himself in light
O Savior God, who lifts up those who fall.
Their shame is full, and all their hearts perplexed
and so their heads will bow, confusion rules
all those who fashion wood and stone for gods
but Israel is saved, salvation comes
and never is ashamed, and never ends.
petition the darkness
created by sin
the holiness thunders
spread out your hands
So hear the voice of God who made the earth
our God Himself has formed the heavens above
He did not speak this world and word in vain
He formed it to be filled with tribes of men
I am the Lord; and there is none beside.
I do not whisper darkened secrets here
I do not say to Jacob, seek in vain
for I the Lord speak righteousness and good
I only speak what goodness says is right
my words are plain, as holiness is plain.
Assemble then, and come, draw near to Me
you refugees, escaped from heathen night
they have no knowledge when they worship wood
and pray to gods that cannot hear or save
assemble now, and worship truth and light.
to the darkened all things are dark
the filthy find filth everywhere
the light has come
the truth descends
on those with opened eyes
Speak out the word, and bring these idols near
yes, bring them now into their council rooms
who has declared all this from ancient time?
who has foretold all this from Eden’s day?
have I not done this, says the only Lord?
There is no God beside the Lord and God
a Savior just and right, with none beside
look unto Me, be saved, all ends of earth
I am your Lord and God, and no one else
I swear these words by My own name, as Lord.
God has no opposite
a man might ask
why he could not be born
and still make sense
why was he not God?
for there is none beside
The word is from my mouth in righteousness
and shall not fall, return, or stagger here
all knees will bow and tongues will finally swear
and surely, now, someone will standing say
in God I have my righteousness and strength.
and under earth
all knees will bow
and tongues will swear
to the glory
of God the Father
And to our God all nations will submit
and all who hate His name will be ashamed
in God the Lord shall Israel’s seed be just
and glory that His name is honored now
that all the tribes have taken to the yoke.
Bel bows his head, and humbled Nebo stoops
their idols were upon the straining beasts
your carriages were loading down those beasts
the weary beasts that pulled your idols hard
but all their strength could not deliver them.
when a god goes in the ditch
it takes a mighty team
to pull him out
So hearken unto me, as Jacob’s house
and all the remnant of the Israelites
were borne by God from deep within the womb
and to your graying heads I am your God
I carry you, and bear you now, so hear.
To whom will all you foolish men compare
your Lord, and make an equal to your God
they lavish gold, their gold from bags
and weigh me with their greasy silver coins
and hire a smith to make their lofty god.
They bow themselves, they lift him up and walk
they set him on his sovereign shelf to rule
they walk about and set him in his place
and there he stands, and there the god remains
so cry to him, and make your deaf god hear.
the silver is as deaf as wood
the gold is dumb like stone
the idols did what idols could
but God is God alone
Remember this, and stand like common men
bring this to mind, transgressing sons of earth
remember all the former things of old
for I am God, and there is no one else
I am the Lord , and there is none like me.
And from the first I will declare the end
from ancient times the things that are not done
my counsel stands, and I will do my will
and now the word, I call a ravenous bird
the eastern man who executes my word.
the word is said
bring this to mind
o man made out of earth
happened now and here
So I have spoken all my sovereign word
I bring to pass all that my purpose calls
then I will also do what pleases me
so hearken to that word, stout evil ones
I bring my righteousness without delay.
your necks are stiff
your foreheads hard
but stiffen them more
and brace yourself
Salvation comes, and cannot be far off
I do not wait to save my servants now
salvation stands, and Zion’s glory comes
the hand that saves will bring deliverance
and no delay will keep us languishing here.
Come down, come down, and sit in dust
o virgin daughter Babylon
sit on the ground; no throne there now
o daughter of the lost Chaldean race
left there in dust, your delicacy gone.
is not salvation there
my people called
means others left
the enemies of God brought low
his mercy is forever
The millstones take, and grind the remnant meal
and bare your head, your leg, and thigh
pass through the dried out riverbed
your shameful nakedness uncovered here
I take my vengeance, taking all your food.
the judgments of God
are not pattycake
and flattened empires
if they still had a voice
Our Savior Lord, His name is Lord of hosts
the Holy One of Israel below
sit silently, and in the darkness hide
unholy daughter of Chaldean tribes
unsaved, you shall no longer be the queen.
The Lord was angry with His people here
polluted His inheritance in wrath
and gave them to the imperial hand
so then in wrath you showed no mercy there
upon the ancient neck you laid the yoke.
the zeal of God for holiness
is such that
He pollutes His holy people
when they degrade His name
And so you said, a lady I shall be
and so you would not lay these things to heart
nor did you think to view the latter end
and living carelessly with pleasures filled
within your heart, you said there’s no one else.
And thought you would not as a widow sit
that you would never see your children lost
but these two things shall come to you at once
the loss of children, widowhood bereft
you shall be desolate in sorceries.
You trusted in your wickedness and said
none sees me here, and no one knows my art
your blackened wisdom has perverted you
and you have said within your heart, I am
and there is no one else beside me now.
who takes the name
the only name?
the only one?
And therefore evil shall befall you here
and you will never know from whence it came
great mischief shall befall you in the way
though you cry out, you will not put it off
when desolation comes and you don’t know.
Stand now with your enchantments blackened here
with multitudes of sorceries and spells
in which you labored from your godless youth
see if you profit with your muttered charms
if you prevail with empty witchcraft now.
and like Medea you have come
to find the loss of everything
when first you thought to speak the words
the words that only God can speak
And are you weary then? do counsels fit?
astrologers, and peerers into deeps
stargazers all, with monthly fortunes told
may now stand up, and save you from His wrath
stand up and give you all the strength you need.
when men will not
turn to their God
they turn the opposite way
and worship dark and crawling things
and look for guidance deep within
the entrails of a goat
Behold, they shall be stubble in the fire
the fire will burn, and they will not escape
they shall not get away from ravenous flames
and there shall not be cinders left to warm
or fires left to spare the desolate.
And those with whom you worked and labored hard
shall drift away and none will hear your call
your merchants, from your toiling greedy youth
shall wander off and to his quarter go
for all their work, none brings a saving work.
with all his getting
get things clean
and where is the profit
in gaining the world
when losing your soul
was in the fine print?
Hear this, o Jacob’s house, who lie through oaths
those called by God with Israel’s holy name
you are come forth from Judah’s waters now
but swear the holy name, Jehovah’s name
you mention God, but not in truth at all.
The holy city is the name they hold
and stay themselves upon their holy God
the Lord of hosts is His almighty name
I have declared the former things of old
and from my holy mouth, they came to pass.
Because I knew that you are obstinate
the sinews in your neck are iron-bound
your forehead brass and all your head is brass
I knew that you would never take the yoke
the easy yoke for those who labor hard.
all who labor long and hard
all who are heavy-laden
come and take
the easy yoke
the yoke that crushes
all proud necks
From the beginning I declared to you
before it came to pass I showed it plain
lest you should ever say, with prideful heart
my idol’s arm hath done this wonderous thing
my molten god has now commanded this.
What you have seen, can you not then declare?
I showed you hidden things from ancient times
those hidden things, that you had never known
they are created now, and not from old
lest you pretend that you had somehow known.
blind idols sit upon the shelf
and claim to see all distant things
the ancient things
all future things
and cannot even see
the God who grew the wood
that shapes them now
two summers back
before they were divine
You did not know, you never heard the truth
but still I knew your treacherous sinful heart
and how you turned aside from truth at birth
for my name’s sake, my wrath will be deferred
and for my praise I will not cut you not off.
for God’s name’s sake
and not for ours
never for ours
why should it be
I have refined, but not like silver’s dross
your furnace of affliction was my choice
for my own sake, for my own name, I saved
for why should my own name polluted be?
I will not give my saving glory cloud.
So hearken to my word, my sons, my called
I am the Lord; the first, and so the last
my hands have laid the earth’s foundations deep
my right hand spans the starry heavenly host
and when I call, they all stand up in ranks.
the sons of Abrahame
assemble in the skies
they all stand up
and fall in
for the celestial muster
Assemble now, and hear, who else declares?
The Lord has loved His own and will provide
his pleasure here on Babylon struck down
I, yet even I, with this decree
I brought him here, and I will bless his way.
Come unto me, and hear the spoken word
I have not spoken secretly of this—
from ancient times, and there am I the Lord
and now the Spirit Lord has spoken out
and God has sent His Word to speak His Word.
So speaks the Lord, your great redeemer Lord
the Holy One of Israel is here
I am the Lord your God who teaches gain
who leads you in the way you ought to go
Redemption speaks, your Lord has spoken it.
have not been done in a corner
the word is not
an esoteric thing
the word made flesh
the word made plain
the word is made for everyman
O that you thought to listen to commands!
then would your peace have been a river run
your righteousness as waves far out at sea
your seed would be like Abram’s blessed sand
your seed obedient stones along the shore.
His name will never be destroyed from me
Go out of Babylon, and flee away
and with a voice of song declare His praise
and as you go declare to ends of the earth
say that the Lord has Jacob now redeemed.
the depth of the sin
and the greatness of grace
to bring about
the surrender of one
They did not thirst, though, in the wilderness
He made the waters flow from riven rock
He did it all for them; that Rock was Christ
but all the wicked do is pant for thirst.
they have no peace, so says the Lord of hosts.
Christ before them
Christ within them
Christ the Rock to quench their thirst
Christ the bread from heaven above them
Christ the rod that split the sea
Jesus Christ the only Savior
Jesu Lord the risen one
we have the bread
we have the wine
we have the cup of blessing here
we have their dire and fierce ensamples
we have the Scripture speaking plain
receive the word
receive it plain
with faith in God
with faith in Christ
may we not have their unbelief
there is no peace for unbelief
but at the right hand of the Savior
peace and pleasure flow forever