A Confession of National Wickedness
591 Listen! The Lord 's arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. 2 It's your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. 3 Your hands are the hands of murderers, and your fingers are filthy with sin. Your lips are full of lies, and your mouth spews corruption. 4 No one cares about being fair and honest. The people's lawsuits are based on lies. They conceive evil deeds and then give birth to sin. 5 They hatch deadly snakes and weave spiders' webs. Whoever eats their eggs will die; whoever cracks them will hatch a viper. 6 Their webs can't be made into clothing, and nothing they do is productive. All their activity is filled with sin, and violence is their trademark. 7 Their feet run to do evil, and they rush to commit murder. They think only about sinning. Misery and destruction always follow them. 8 They don't know where to find peace or what it means to be just and good. They have mapped out crooked roads, and no one who follows them knows a moment's peace.
9 So there is no justice among us, and we know nothing about right living. We look for light but find only darkness. We look for bright skies but walk in gloom. 10 We grope like the blind along a wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. Even at brightest noontime, we stumble as though it were dark. Among the living, we are like the dead. 11 We growl like hungry bears; we moan like mournful doves. We look for justice, but it never comes. We look for rescue, but it is far away from us. 12 For our sins are piled up before God and testify against us. Yes, we know what sinners we are. 13 We know we have rebelled and have denied the Lord . We have turned our backs on our God. We know how unfair and oppressive we have been, carefully planning our deceitful lies. 14 Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed. 15 Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked. The Lord looked and was displeased to find there was no justice.
16 He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him. 17 He put on righteousness as his body armor and placed the helmet of salvation on his head. He clothed himself with a robe of vengeance and wrapped himself in a cloak of divine passion. 18 He will repay his enemies for their evil deeds. His fury will fall on his foes. He will pay them back even to the ends of the earth. 19 In the west, people will respect the name of the Lord ; in the east, they will glorify him. For he will come like a raging flood tide driven by the breath of the Lord . 20 "The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins," says the Lord . 21 "And this is my covenant with them," says the Lord . "My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children's children forever. I, the Lord, have spoken!