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The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness

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Sermon Introduction

Good Morning Church.
Please turn your Bibles to Mark chapter 1.
We will be focusing our study this morning on the first three verses.
Today’s message is about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and the lessons we can learn from the prophecies on the forerunner, John the Baptist.

Opening Prayer

Before we dive into the text, please join me in prayer.
Please join me in prayer...
Heavenly Father...
Please watch over us as we are going through this difficult time.
We, as your church, may be separated physically but we are not separated spiritually.
Heavenly Father, please guide my mouth to speak the words you desire and open the heart of those who hear your Word.
Thank you for continuing to meet our needs during this time.
We love you and praise you.
In the Name of Jesus.
Amen.

Opening Illustration

Before we get to our text...
Let us consider this...
A young lady one day was speeding through a small Georgia town.
A YOUNG lady one day was speeding through a small Georgia town. She was traveling 70 mph in a 55 mph speed zone. The police pulled her over and wrote her a ticket that would cost her $100. She didn’t have the money to pay it and ended up having to go to court over the ticket.
She was traveling 70 mph in a 55 mph speed zone.
The police pulled her over and wrote her a ticket that would cost her $100.
She didn’t have the money to pay it and ended up having to go to court over the ticket.
In the courtroom, the judge said, “You were found guilty of going 70 miles an hour in a 55 mile speed zone.
You have to pay $100.”
The young lady said, “I’m guilty, but I can’t pay it.
I don’t have $100.”
“Well, if you don’t pay the ticket, we’ll have to lock you up for the weekend.”
“I can’t pay the ticket, but I don’t want to go to jail.
Can you please just have mercy on me?”
The judge matter-of-factly replied, “I can’t change the law.
The law says that you’ve got to pay $100, or you must spend the weekend in jail.
Those are the rules, and I can’t change the rules.”
Starting to tear up she spoke in a small voice.
“Isn’t there something you can do?
I can’t pay it, but I don’t want to get locked up.
Have mercy on me.”
The judge looked down on her, pushed his chair back from the bench, zipped down his robe, and took it off.
He went over to the side, picked up his jacket, and put it on.
He walked down and stood beside the girl, reached in his wallet, and brought out a hundred-dollar bill.
He put the $100 bill on the bench, took off his jacket, then went over and picked up his robe.
He zipped his robe and got back behind his bench.
“Young lady, you’ve been found guilty of going 70 miles an hour in a 55-mile-per-hour speed zone.
The law is the law.
I can’t change it; the law says you must pay $100 or spend the weekend in jail.
Ah! But I see somebody else has already paid the price.”
God saw us speeding down the highway of sin.
He came down, died on the cross, and paid the price that you and I could not pay.
He picked up the tab, rose from the dead, and ascended to heaven.
The good news of the gospel is that a bill we could not pay has already been paid.
It has been paid by God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ.
Today, we will start our study in the Gospel of Mark and go through an account that records that very Good News.
Before we get to our text, let’s look at the background.

Background on Text

Mark is one of the of the synoptic gospels along with Matthew and Luke.
The synoptic gospels include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and in similar or sometimes identical wording.
They stand in contrast to John; whose content is largely distinct.
The Gospel of Mark was written for Roman Gentiles.
Mark is most likely the oldest of the gospels and many believe both Matthew and Luke use Mark’s account as a reference.
95% of Mark is found in Matthew’s gospel account.
Mark’s gospel is most likely an account heavily based on Peter’s eyewitness account as Mark was a disciple of Peter.
An interesting note is where each of the Gospels begin.
Matthew - Starts with a genealogy to show Jesus is a decedent of David and fits the prophecy of the Messiah.
Luke - Starts at the birth of Jesus to show he is both man and God and shows His birth fits the prophecies.
John - Starts before Creation, an eternity past to show that Jesus is God.
Mark - Starts at the beginning of Jesus’ three-year ministry and cuts right to the chase.
Unlike Matthew and Luke, Mark does not contain an account of Jesus’ birth.
So, rather than emphasizing the events leading up to Jesus’ public ministry in terms of his genealogy and family roots (as do Matthew and Luke) or in terms of its theological foundation (as does John), Mark focuses on its actual beginning.
The “beginning” is identified with the ministry of John the Baptist and with the Old Testament prophecies announcing John’s coming and making way for The Way, Jesus.
The text we are going to focus on, , will bring our attention to three points:
The Gospel
The Call
The News
Our text reads:

Reading of the Text

Mark 1:1–3 NASB95
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way; 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.’ ”

Background on Text

Mark is one of the of the synoptic gospels with Matthew and Luke
Synoptic definition: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Mark is most likely the oldest of the gospels and both Matthew and Luke use Mark’s account as a reference
Mark’s gospel is most likely an account heavily based on Peter’s eye witness account as Mark was a disciple of Peter
A great Comparison is where each of the Gospels begin
Matthew - Starts with a genealogy to show Jesus is a dependent of David and fits the prophecy of the Messiah
Luke - Starts at the birth of Jesus to show he is both man and God and also shows His birth fits the prophecies
John - Starts before Creation, an eternity past to show that Jesus is God
Mark - Starts at the beginning of Jesus’ three year ministry and cuts to the chase

The Gospel

Verse 1: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Some scholars view this as Mark’s title for his gospel.
“Gospel” is a term from political or personal reporting and correspondence, meaning “good news.”
The Greeks used this word, euangelion, for events such as the birth of an emperor or a major military victory.
Euangelion is where we get the term evangelism or evangelist.
So, the term “gospel” or “evangel” among the Romans meant “joyful tidings.”
For example, when this was used for emperor’s birthday, it was also accompanied by festival occasions for the whole world to participate in.
The reports of such festivals were called “evangels.”
A calendar inscription for an emperor from about 9 B.C., read: “the birthday of the god [little “g”] was for the world the beginning of joyful tidings which have been proclaimed on his account”.
This inscription is remarkably similar to Mark’s initial line and it clarifies the essential content of an evangel in the ancient world.
It was viewed as a historical event which introduces a new situation for the world.
In this perspective the Romans world would have understand Mark’s proclamation of Jesus the Messiah.
Beginning with the inauguration of Jesus’ public ministry, Mark announces Jesus’ coming as an event that brings about a radically new state of affairs for mankind.
Additionally, Mark’s own understanding of what constituted “joyful tidings” drew heavily on the prophetic tradition of the Old Testament.
The explicit reference to Isaiah indicates that the gospel receives its proper interpretation only in the light of the coming salvation promised in the prophetic word.
Especially in Isaiah the Hebrew terms signifying “good news” concern the announcement of future salvation, or of the time of salvation.
In the prophetic word there is a distinctively forward-looking eschatological perspective.
The messenger of joy will announce the beginning of the time of salvation and thereby introduce it.
So, Mark is telling us that the beginning of the good news is ultimately about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For Mark the introduction of Jesus is no less momentous than the creation of the world, for in Jesus a new creation is at hand.
Jesus Christ’s coming and especially the start of His mission marks a new beginning both for God’s people and, finally, for all creation.
In Mark’s understanding, the gospel is more than a set of truths, or even a set of beliefs.
It is a person, “the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The kingdom that God inaugurates is bodily present in Jesus of Nazareth.
So, from the outset Mark announces that the content of the gospel is the person of Jesus, who is the Christ and Son of God.
It is a brief confession of faith, the meaning of which will unfold only as the reader follows Mark’s presentation of Jesus in the Gospel.
The gospel of Jesus is the very teachings of Jesus and the perfect life of obedience He lived while walking the earth.
Jesus commanded us to turn one’s life away from sinfulness and worldliness and to follow His example of obedience.
The beginning often refers to the time of or before the creation of the world.
Matthew 4:17 NASB95
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
God is described as the Beginning and the End, denoting the eternity of his existence.
We can’t live in sin and have a relationship with God.
Scripture makes that very clear.
1 John 3:8 NASB95
8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.
We are all sinners.
None is perfect but Christ.
But practicing sin; that is sinning as a habit; that is the sign of those who are of the devil.
So, we are to both repent and believe in the gospel message.
Jesus Christ’s coming marks a new beginning both for God’s people and, finally, for all creation.
Mark 1:15 NASB95
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
It is imperative to realize that since Adam and Eve fell, we have all followed their footsteps and are sinners.
We are not, as some suppose, only victims.
No, we are rebels; we are traitors; we are criminals.
The gospel is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
We desperately need a Savior.
Without whom we would just be running toward a road straight to Hell.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
But Jesus is that Savior that we desperately need.
He volunteered to take our debt for all those who place their trust in Him.
For all those who place their trust in Him.
Placing that trust in Him requires the belief that Jesus came, died on the cross, was raised from the dead by His Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This belief is not just a head knowledge but a heart knowledge which means we must believe this in our heart.
That means we genuinely turn from our wicked lifestyle.
That means we surrender our desires to Him.
That means we surrender our everything to Him for we know His ways are better than our ways.
That genuine belief in Him means all our sins: past, present and future are washed away.
Now that is Good News of Jesus.
That is the Gospel.
This brings us to our next point:

The Call

Verse 2: As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY;
“BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU,
WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY;
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way;
Mark’s quote is from three Old Testament passages, which probably explains the reading “the Prophets” found in some manuscripts.
Verses 2 and 3 both quote Isaiah and Malachi and echo Exodus.
Verses 2 and 3 both cite Isaiah and Malachi.
It was a common practice when citing multiple sources to just identify the most well know of those sources instead of listing all of them.
Mark and other biblical writers simply did not employ the technical precision of modern research we see today.
Simply put, it was not necessary for their purpose.
So, this verse contains an allusion to which reads:
Malachi 3:1 NASB95
1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.
This verse is also an echo to :
Exodus 23:20 NASB95
20 “Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.
Note the the word “angel” can also translate to mean “messenger.”
The references from Exodus and Malachi serve to interpret the text from Isaiah which is found in the following verse.
Important to note here too is that allusions and quotations from Isaiah are dominate the gospel of Mark and we will see this as we continue our study on this Gospel.
Thus, even though Malachi is cited first before Isaiah, it functions to explain Isaiah.
Mark is concerned throughout his gospel with the second exodus prophesied by .
In Isaiah “the Lord” was God the Father, but in Mark’s quotation it is Jesus.
Isaiah 40–54 NASB95
1 “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. 2 “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the Lord’s hand Double for all her sins.” 3 A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. 4 “Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; 5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 6 A voice says, “Call out.” Then he answered, “What shall I call out?” All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. 9 Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; Lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” 10 Behold, the Lord God will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him. 11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes. 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, And marked off the heavens by the span, And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, And weighed the mountains in a balance And the hills in a pair of scales? 13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or as His counselor has informed Him? 14 With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge And informed Him of the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust. 16 Even Lebanon is not enough to burn, Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering. 17 All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless. 18 To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him? 19 As for the idol, a craftsman casts it, A goldsmith plates it with gold, And a silversmith fashions chains of silver. 20 He who is too impoverished for such an offering Selects a tree that does not rot; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To prepare an idol that will not totter. 21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. 23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. 24 Scarcely have they been planted, Scarcely have they been sown, Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, But He merely blows on them, and they wither, And the storm carries them away like stubble. 25 “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing. 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. 29 He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. 30 Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, 31 Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. 1 “Coastlands, listen to Me in silence, And let the peoples gain new strength; Let them come forward, then let them speak; Let us come together for judgment. 2 “Who has aroused one from the east Whom He calls in righteousness to His feet? He delivers up nations before him And subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, As the wind-driven chaff with his bow. 3 “He pursues them, passing on in safety, By a way he had not been traversing with his feet. 4 “Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’ ” 5 The coastlands have seen and are afraid; The ends of the earth tremble; They have drawn near and have come. 6 Each one helps his neighbor And says to his brother, “Be strong!” 7 So the craftsman encourages the smelter, And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, Saying of the soldering, “It is good”; And he fastens it with nails, So that it will not totter. 8 “But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend, 9 You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. 10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 11 “Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. 12 “You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent. 13 “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ 14 “Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15 “Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff. 16 “You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the Lord, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel. 17 “The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the Lord, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them. 18 “I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water. 19 “I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress, 20 That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the Lord has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it. 21 “Present your case,” the Lord says. “Bring forward your strong arguments, The King of Jacob says. 22 Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us what is coming; 23 Declare the things that are going to come afterward, That we may know that you are gods; Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together. 24 Behold, you are of no account, And your work amounts to nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination. 25 “I have aroused one from the north, and he has come; From the rising of the sun he will call on My name; And he will come upon rulers as upon mortar, Even as the potter treads clay.” 26 Who has declared this from the beginning, that we might know? Or from former times, that we may say, “He is right!”? Surely there was no one who declared, Surely there was no one who proclaimed, Surely there was no one who heard your words. 27 “Formerly I said to Zion, ‘Behold, here they are.’ And to Jerusalem, ‘I will give a messenger of good news.’ 28 “But when I look, there is no one, And there is no counselor among them Who, if I ask, can give an answer. 29 “Behold, all of them are false; Their works are worthless, Their molten images are wind and emptiness. 1 “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 “He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. 3 “A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. 4 “He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.” 5 Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it, 6 “I am the Lord, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, 7 To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison. 8 “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images. 9 “Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things; Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.” 10 Sing to the Lord a new song, Sing His praise from the end of the earth! You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it. You islands, and those who dwell on them. 11 Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voices, The settlements where Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing aloud, Let them shout for joy from the tops of the mountains. 12 Let them give glory to the Lord And declare His praise in the coastlands. 13 The Lord will go forth like a warrior, He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry. He will prevail against His enemies. 14 “I have kept silent for a long time, I have kept still and restrained Myself. Now like a woman in labor I will groan, I will both gasp and pant. 15 “I will lay waste the mountains and hills And wither all their vegetation; I will make the rivers into coastlands And dry up the ponds. 16 “I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone.” 17 They will be turned back and be utterly put to shame, Who trust in idols, Who say to molten images, “You are our gods.” 18 Hear, you deaf! And look, you blind, that you may see. 19 Who is blind but My servant, Or so deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is so blind as he that is at peace with Me, Or so blind as the servant of the Lord? 20 You have seen many things, but you do not observe them; Your ears are open, but none hears. 21 The Lord was pleased for His righteousness’ sake To make the law great and glorious. 22 But this is a people plundered and despoiled; All of them are trapped in caves, Or are hidden away in prisons; They have become a prey with none to deliver them, And a spoil, with none to say, “Give them back!” 23 Who among you will give ear to this? Who will give heed and listen hereafter? 24 Who gave Jacob up for spoil, and Israel to plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned, And in whose ways they were not willing to walk, And whose law they did not obey? 25 So He poured out on him the heat of His anger And the fierceness of battle; And it set him aflame all around, Yet he did not recognize it; And it burned him, but he paid no attention. 1 But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! 2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. 3 “For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. 4 “Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. 5 “Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west. 6 “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth, 7 Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” 8 Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes, And the deaf, even though they have ears. 9 All the nations have gathered together So that the peoples may be assembled. Who among them can declare this And proclaim to us the former things? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified, Or let them hear and say, “It is true.” 10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. 11 “I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me. 12 “It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And I am God. 13 “Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?” 14 Thus says the Lord your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “For your sake I have sent to Babylon, And will bring them all down as fugitives, Even the Chaldeans, into the ships in which they rejoice. 15 “I am the Lord, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.” 16 Thus says the Lord, Who makes a way through the sea And a path through the mighty waters, 17 Who brings forth the chariot and the horse, The army and the mighty man (They will lie down together and not rise again; They have been quenched and extinguished like a wick): 18 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. 19 “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. 20 “The beasts of the field will glorify Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My chosen people. 21 “The people whom I formed for Myself Will declare My praise. 22 “Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob; But you have become weary of Me, O Israel. 23 “You have not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offerings, Nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, Nor wearied you with incense. 24 “You have bought Me not sweet cane with money, Nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices; Rather you have burdened Me with your sins, You have wearied Me with your iniquities. 25 “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins. 26 “Put Me in remembrance, let us argue our case together; State your cause, that you may be proved right. 27 “Your first forefather sinned, And your spokesmen have transgressed against Me. 28 “So I will pollute the princes of the sanctuary, And I will consign Jacob to the ban and Israel to revilement. 1 “But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, And Israel, whom I have chosen: 2 Thus says the Lord who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you, ‘Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen. 3 ‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants; 4 And they will spring up among the grass Like poplars by streams of water.’ 5 “This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’; And that one will call on the name of Jacob; And another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the Lord,’ And will name Israel’s name with honor. 6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. 7 ‘Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. 8 ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’ ” 9 Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. 10 Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? 11 Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame. 12 The man shapes iron into a cutting tool and does his work over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. He also gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary. 13 Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house. 14 Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. 15 Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17 But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god.” 18 They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend. 19 No one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire and also have baked bread over its coals. I roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” 21 “Remember these things, O Jacob, And Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant, O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me. 22 “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” 23 Shout for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done it! Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it; For the Lord has redeemed Jacob And in Israel He shows forth His glory. 24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone, 25 Causing the omens of boasters to fail, Making fools out of diviners, Causing wise men to draw back And turning their knowledge into foolishness, 26 Confirming the word of His servant And performing the purpose of His messengers. It is I who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited!’ And of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built.’ And I will raise up her ruins again. 27 It is I who says to the depth of the sea, ‘Be dried up!’ And I will make your rivers dry. 28 It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.’ And he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ And of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’ ” 1 Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed, Whom I have taken by the right hand, To subdue nations before him And to loose the loins of kings; To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: 2 “I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars. 3 “I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden wealth of secret places, So that you may know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. 4 “For the sake of Jacob My servant, And Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor Though you have not known Me. 5 “I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; 6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, 7 The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these. 8 “Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the Lord, have created it. 9 “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker— An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’? 10 “Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ Or to a woman, ‘To what are you giving birth?’ ” 11 Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: “Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons, And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands. 12 “It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands And I ordained all their host. 13 “I have aroused him in righteousness And I will make all his ways smooth; He will build My city and will let My exiles go free, Without any payment or reward,” says the Lord of hosts. 14 Thus says the Lord, “The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush And the Sabeans, men of stature, Will come over to you and will be yours; They will walk behind you, they will come over in chains And will bow down to you; They will make supplication to you: ‘Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God.’ ” 15 Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! 16 They will be put to shame and even humiliated, all of them; The manufacturers of idols will go away together in humiliation. 17 Israel has been saved by the Lord With an everlasting salvation; You will not be put to shame or humiliated To all eternity. 18 For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), “I am the Lord, and there is none else. 19 “I have not spoken in secret, In some dark land; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in a waste place’; I, the Lord, speak righteousness, Declaring things that are upright. 20 “Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; They have no knowledge, Who carry about their wooden idol And pray to a god who cannot save. 21 “Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. 22 “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. 23 “I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. 24 “They will say of Me, ‘Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength.’ Men will come to Him, And all who were angry at Him will be put to shame. 25 “In the Lord all the offspring of Israel Will be justified and will glory.” 1 Bel has bowed down, Nebo stoops over; Their images are consigned to the beasts and the cattle. The things that you carry are burdensome, A load for the weary beast. 2 They stooped over, they have bowed down together; They could not rescue the burden, But have themselves gone into captivity. 3 “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, You who have been borne by Me from birth And have been carried from the womb; 4 Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you. 5 “To whom would you liken Me And make Me equal and compare Me, That we would be alike? 6 “Those who lavish gold from the purse And weigh silver on the scale Hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god; They bow down, indeed they worship it. 7 “They lift it upon the shoulder and carry it; They set it in its place and it stands there. It does not move from its place. Though one may cry to it, it cannot answer; It cannot deliver him from his distress. 8 “Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you transgressors. 9 “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; 11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it. 12 “Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded, Who are far from righteousness. 13 “I bring near My righteousness, it is not far off; And My salvation will not delay. And I will grant salvation in Zion, And My glory for Israel. 1 “Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no longer be called tender and delicate. 2 “Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, strip off the skirt, Uncover the leg, cross the rivers. 3 “Your nakedness will be uncovered, Your shame also will be exposed; I will take vengeance and will not spare a man.” 4 Our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel. 5 “Sit silently, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans, For you will no longer be called The queen of kingdoms. 6 “I was angry with My people, I profaned My heritage And gave them into your hand. You did not show mercy to them, On the aged you made your yoke very heavy. 7 “Yet you said, ‘I will be a queen forever.’ These things you did not consider Nor remember the outcome of them. 8 “Now, then, hear this, you sensual one, Who dwells securely, Who says in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me. I will not sit as a widow, Nor know loss of children.’ 9 “But these two things will come on you suddenly in one day: Loss of children and widowhood. They will come on you in full measure In spite of your many sorceries, In spite of the great power of your spells. 10 “You felt secure in your wickedness and said, ‘No one sees me,’ Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; For you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’ 11 “But evil will come on you Which you will not know how to charm away; And disaster will fall on you For which you cannot atone; And destruction about which you do not know Will come on you suddenly. 12 “Stand fast now in your spells And in your many sorceries With which you have labored from your youth; Perhaps you will be able to profit, Perhaps you may cause trembling. 13 “You are wearied with your many counsels; Let now the astrologers, Those who prophesy by the stars, Those who predict by the new moons, Stand up and save you from what will come upon you. 14 “Behold, they have become like stubble, Fire burns them; They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame; There will be no coal to warm by Nor a fire to sit before! 15 “So have those become to you with whom you have labored, Who have trafficked with you from your youth; Each has wandered in his own way; There is none to save you. 1 “Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are named Israel And who came forth from the loins of Judah, Who swear by the name of the Lord And invoke the God of Israel, But not in truth nor in righteousness. 2 “For they call themselves after the holy city And lean on the God of Israel; The Lord of hosts is His name. 3 “I declared the former things long ago And they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. 4 “Because I know that you are obstinate, And your neck is an iron sinew And your forehead bronze, 5 Therefore I declared them to you long ago, Before they took place I proclaimed them to you, So that you would not say, ‘My idol has done them, And my graven image and my molten image have commanded them.’ 6 “You have heard; look at all this. And you, will you not declare it? I proclaim to you new things from this time, Even hidden things which you have not known. 7 “They are created now and not long ago; And before today you have not heard them, So that you will not say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’ 8 “You have not heard, you have not known. Even from long ago your ear has not been open, Because I knew that you would deal very treacherously; And you have been called a rebel from birth. 9 “For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, And for My praise I restrain it for you, In order not to cut you off. 10 “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. 11 “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another. 12 “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last. 13 “Surely My hand founded the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call to them, they stand together. 14 “Assemble, all of you, and listen! Who among them has declared these things? The Lord loves him; he will carry out His good pleasure on Babylon, And His arm will be against the Chaldeans. 15 “I, even I, have spoken; indeed I have called him, I have brought him, and He will make his ways successful. 16 “Come near to Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.” 17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go. 18 “If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea. 19 “Your descendants would have been like the sand, And your offspring like its grains; Their name would never be cut off or destroyed from My presence.” 20 Go forth from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans! Declare with the sound of joyful shouting, proclaim this, Send it out to the end of the earth; Say, “The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob.” 21 They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts. He made the water flow out of the rock for them; He split the rock and the water gushed forth. 22 “There is no peace for the wicked,” says the Lord. 1 Listen to Me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named Me. 2 He has made My mouth like a sharp sword, In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me; And He has also made Me a select arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver. 3 He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel, In Whom I will show My glory.” 4 But I said, “I have toiled in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity; Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord, And My reward with My God.” 5 And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the Lord, And My God is My strength), 6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” 7 Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, To the despised One, To the One abhorred by the nation, To the Servant of rulers, “Kings will see and arise, Princes will also bow down, Because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.” 8 Thus says the Lord, “In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages; 9 Saying to those who are bound, ‘Go forth,’ To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ Along the roads they will feed, And their pasture will be on all bare heights. 10 “They will not hunger or thirst, Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; For He who has compassion on them will lead them And will guide them to springs of water. 11 “I will make all My mountains a road, And My highways will be raised up. 12 “Behold, these will come from afar; And lo, these will come from the north and from the west, And these from the land of Sinim.” 13 Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people And will have compassion on His afflicted. 14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me.” 15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. 16 “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. 17 “Your builders hurry; Your destroyers and devastators Will depart from you. 18 “Lift up your eyes and look around; All of them gather together, they come to you. As I live,” declares the Lord, “You will surely put on all of them as jewels and bind them on as a bride. 19 “For your waste and desolate places and your destroyed land— Surely now you will be too cramped for the inhabitants, And those who swallowed you will be far away. 20 “The children of whom you were bereaved will yet say in your ears, ‘The place is too cramped for me; Make room for me that I may live here. 21 “Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has begotten these for me, Since I have been bereaved of my children And am barren, an exile and a wanderer? And who has reared these? Behold, I was left alone; From where did these come?’ ” 22 Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations And set up My standard to the peoples; And they will bring your sons in their bosom, And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders. 23 “Kings will be your guardians, And their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth And lick the dust of your feet; And you will know that I am the Lord; Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame. 24 “Can the prey be taken from the mighty man, Or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?” 25 Surely, thus says the Lord, “Even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away, And the prey of the tyrant will be rescued; For I will contend with the one who contends with you, And I will save your sons. 26 “I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh, And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine; And all flesh will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” 1 Thus says the Lord, “Where is the certificate of divorce By which I have sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? Behold, you were sold for your iniquities, And for your transgressions your mother was sent away. 2 “Why was there no man when I came? When I called, why was there none to answer? Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke, I make the rivers a wilderness; Their fish stink for lack of water And die of thirst. 3 “I clothe the heavens with blackness And make sackcloth their covering.” 4 The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. 5 The Lord God has opened My ear; And I was not disobedient Nor did I turn back. 6 I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting. 7 For the Lord God helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed. 8 He who vindicates Me is near; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand up to each other; Who has a case against Me? Let him draw near to Me. 9 Behold, the Lord God helps Me; Who is he who condemns Me? Behold, they will all wear out like a garment; The moth will eat them. 10 Who is among you that fears the Lord, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. 11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire, Who encircle yourselves with firebrands, Walk in the light of your fire And among the brands you have set ablaze. This you will have from My hand: You will lie down in torment. 1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, Who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn And to the quarry from which you were dug. 2 “Look to Abraham your father And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; When he was but one I called him, Then I blessed him and multiplied him.” 3 Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places. And her wilderness He will make like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the Lord; Joy and gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and sound of a melody. 4 “Pay attention to Me, O My people, And give ear to Me, O My nation; For a law will go forth from Me, And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples. 5 “My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, And My arms will judge the peoples; The coastlands will wait for Me, And for My arm they will wait expectantly. 6 “Lift up your eyes to the sky, Then look to the earth beneath; For the sky will vanish like smoke, And the earth will wear out like a garment And its inhabitants will die in like manner; But My salvation will be forever, And My righteousness will not wane. 7 “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, A people in whose heart is My law; Do not fear the reproach of man, Nor be dismayed at their revilings. 8 “For the moth will eat them like a garment, And the grub will eat them like wool. But My righteousness will be forever, And My salvation to all generations.” 9 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, Who pierced the dragon? 10 Was it not You who dried up the sea, The waters of the great deep; Who made the depths of the sea a pathway For the redeemed to cross over? 11 So the ransomed of the Lord will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, And everlasting joy will be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away. 12 “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies And of the son of man who is made like grass, 13 That you have forgotten the Lord your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens And laid the foundations of the earth, That you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor, As he makes ready to destroy? But where is the fury of the oppressor? 14 “The exile will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon, nor will his bread be lacking. 15 “For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the Lord of hosts is His name). 16 “I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’ ” 17 Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk from the Lord’s hand the cup of His anger; The chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs. 18 There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne, Nor is there one to take her by the hand among all the sons she has reared. 19 These two things have befallen you; Who will mourn for you? The devastation and destruction, famine and sword; How shall I comfort you? 20 Your sons have fainted, They lie helpless at the head of every street, Like an antelope in a net, Full of the wrath of the Lord, The rebuke of your God. 21 Therefore, please hear this, you afflicted, Who are drunk, but not with wine: 22 Thus says your Lord, the Lord, even your God Who contends for His people, “Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling, The chalice of My anger; You will never drink it again. 23 “I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, Who have said to you, ‘Lie down that we may walk over you. You have even made your back like the ground And like the street for those who walk over it. 1 Awake, awake, Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; For the uncircumcised and the unclean Will no longer come into you. 2 Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; Loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. 3 For thus says the Lord, “You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money.” 4 For thus says the Lord God, “My people went down at the first into Egypt to reside there; then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 “Now therefore, what do I have here,” declares the Lord, “seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?” Again the Lord declares, “Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. 6 “Therefore My people shall know My name; therefore in that day I am the one who is speaking, ‘Here I am.’ ” 7 How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, They shout joyfully together; For they will see with their own eyes When the Lord restores Zion. 9 Break forth, shout joyfully together, You waste places of Jerusalem; For the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The Lord has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God. 11 Depart, depart, go out from there, Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of the Lord. 12 But you will not go out in haste, Nor will you go as fugitives; For the Lord will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard. 13 Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. 14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men. 15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand. 1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? 9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. 10 But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors. 1 “Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous Than the sons of the married woman,” says the Lord. 2 “Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; Lengthen your cords And strengthen your pegs. 3 “For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will possess nations And will resettle the desolate cities. 4 “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. 5 “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. 6 “For the Lord has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” Says your God. 7 “For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you. 8 “In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the Lord your Redeemer. 9 “For this is like the days of Noah to Me, When I swore that the waters of Noah Would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you Nor will I rebuke you. 10 “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the Lord who has compassion on you. 11 “O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, Behold, I will set your stones in antimony, And your foundations I will lay in sapphires. 12 “Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies, And your gates of crystal, And your entire wall of precious stones. 13 “All your sons will be taught of the Lord; And the well-being of your sons will be great. 14 “In righteousness you will be established; You will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; And from terror, for it will not come near you. 15 “If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me. Whoever assails you will fall because of you. 16 “Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals And brings out a weapon for its work; And I have created the destroyer to ruin. 17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.
Isaiah has “for our God,” but Mark substitutes “for Him,” i.e., Jesus.
Jesus and the New Testament writers under the direction of the Holy Spirit often revealed how the Old Testament text applied it to their own present situation.
The “messenger” from Malachi’s account refers to Elijah but here “My messenger” refers to John who was a type of Elijah.
Given that almost certainly identifies John as the Elijah-like person who precedes Christ in his suffering, we. Also John’s preaching of repentance in v. 4 (cf. ; ) and the description of him in v. 6 (cf. ) recall Elijah.
Here, “The Lord” refers to Jesus and “My messenger” refers to John.
It is often assumed that Elijah, whom Mark here identifies with John the Baptizer, would be the forerunner of the Messiah.
But in pre-Christian Jewish texts preserved in the Old Testament and intertestamental literature Elijah prefigures not the Messiah but the appearance of God himself.
This fact considerably elevates the importance of this Old Testament quotation.
John was the divinely-promised messenger, sent to prepare the way for Jesus.
In ancient times, a king’s envoys would travel ahead of him, making sure the roads were safe and fit for him to travel on, as well as announcing his arrival.
What we see in this passage is applicable to us today.
You see, God calls and sends out his people into the world.
All believers are called to share the good news of the gospel, though some are specially commissioned by God, confirmed by the church and compelled by the gospel message to missionary service.
As believers, we are not left alone to complete this essential task.
The ability for us to have the boldness to share the gospel in this hostel world is found in the promise of and the power in the Holy Spirit
Acts 1:8 NASB95
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
We should look to the example of the Prophet Isaiah who showed great courage and willingness to serve when he said:
Isaiah 6:8 NASB95
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
This leads to our final point:

The News

Verse 3: THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.’ ”
‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD,
MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.’ ”
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This verse is a citation of :
Isaiah 40:3 NASB95
3 A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
is quoted by all four Gospels with reference to John the Baptist as the forerunner of Jesus (; ; ; ).
In the quotation, several of the pronouns and “the way for the LORD” refer to God the Father.
Isaiah has “for our God,” but Mark substitutes “for Him,” i.e., Jesus.
Mark, however, applies these texts with reference to Jesus.
In the quotation, several of the pronouns and “the way for the LORD” refer to God. Mark, however, applies these texts with reference to Jesus. This indicates that the Baptizer is not simply the herald of the Messiah but of God himself, appearing in Jesus of Nazareth.
This indicates that John the Baaptist is not simply the herald of the Messiah but of God himself, appearing in Jesus of Nazareth.
So, this is the groundwork that will define and characterize Jesus’ bearing throughout the Gospel of Mark, in which Jesus unpretentiously but authoritatively unites His way with the Father’s way, His work with the Father’s work, His person with the Father’s person.
The gospel is understandable only as the completion of something that God began in the history of Israel.
This excludes the possibility of Christians either dismissing or diminishing the importance of the Old Testament, or of attempting to “purge” the gospel of its Jewish origins and context.
You can not unhitch yourself from the Old Testament and claim to follow the teachings in the New Testament.
Additionally, this verse has embodied what it means to evangelize.
Evangelism focuses on the proclaiming of the good news of the coming of the kingdom of God in Christ, including the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Both Old and New Testaments instruct believers to spread this vital good news.
Psalm 96:2–3 NASB95
2 Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. 3 Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
Malachi 3:1 NASB95
1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.
Matthew 28:19 NASB95
19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
The preaching and teaching of the gospel should overtake us and drive us to share this Good News.
1 Corinthians 9:16 NASB95
16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
This spreading of the Gospel is a huge responsibility and blessing.
Isaiah 52:7 NASB95
7 How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Romans 10:14–15 NASB95
14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
Romans 10:13–15 NASB95
13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
Romans 10:15 NASB95
15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”