Isaiah 57:1–21 (NKJV)
57:1 The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers That the righteous is taken away from evil.
2 He shall enter into peace; They shall rest in their beds, Each one walking in his uprightness.
3 “But come here, You sons of the sorceress, You offspring of the adulterer and the harlot!
4 Whom do you ridicule? Against whom do you make a wide mouth And stick out the tongue? Are you not children of transgression, Offspring of falsehood,
5 Inflaming yourselves with gods under every green tree, Slaying the children in the valleys, Under the clefts of the rocks?
6 Among the smooth stones of the stream Is your portion; They, they, are your lot! Even to them you have poured a drink offering, You have offered a grain offering. Should I receive comfort in these?
The Lord speaks through Isaiah a lament about the condition of the righteous. Men do not honor righteousness and allow the righteous to be captured and destroyed. Yet the children of harlots and witches will not get by with the idolatry and sin. They will not get by with mocking the righteous. God will not receive their offerings.
7 “On a lofty and high mountain You have set your bed; Even there you went up To offer sacrifice.
8 Also behind the doors and their posts You have set up your remembrance; For you have uncovered yourself to those other than Me, And have gone up to them; You have enlarged your bed And made a covenant with them; You have loved their bed, Where you saw their nudity.
9 You went to the king with ointment, And increased your perfumes; You sent your messengers far off, And even descended to Sheol.
10 You are wearied in the length of your way; Yet you did not say, ‘There is no hope.’ You have found the life of your hand; Therefore you were not grieved.
God accuses his people of committing harlotry with the surrounding nations. They have chased others and loved their suitors instead of God, even chasing after the demonic.
11 “And of whom have you been afraid, or feared, That you have lied And not remembered Me, Nor taken it to your heart? Is it not because I have held My peace from of old That you do not fear Me?
12 I will declare your righteousness And your works, For they will not profit you.
13 When you cry out, Let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry them all away, A breath will take them. But he who puts his trust in Me shall possess the land, And shall inherit My holy mountain.”
Trust your idols, if you will. Believe in your manmade figures and ideas, but they will be carried away by the wind, ineffective and weak. Trusting in God is the only way to receive the blessings of God.
14 And one shall say, “Heap it up! Heap it up! Prepare the way, Take the stumbling block out of the way of My people.”
15 For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
16 For I will not contend forever, Nor will I always be angry; For the spirit would fail before Me, And the souls which I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him; I hid and was angry, And he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, And restore comforts to him And to his mourners.
19 “I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” Says the LORD, “And I will heal him.”
20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
21 “There is no peace,”
Says my God, “for the wicked.”
God here speaks of making the way clear for God’s people to move into repentance and blessing. He tells them that He lives in the heavenly place with humble people. He will not always punish people, but will restore those who are contrite. He will give them peace, but the evil will not have peace. Repent and follow God in humility. He will restore your land and your blessings. He will give you a seat at His table. It is time to return and be restored.