1 Look, the Lord's hand is not too weak to deliver you; his ear is not too deaf to hear you. 2 But your sinful acts have alienated you from your God; your sins have caused him to reject you and not listen to your prayers. 3 For your hands are stained with blood and your fingers with sin; your lips speak lies, your tongue utters malicious words. 4 No one is concerned about justice; no one sets forth his case truthfully. They depend on false words and tell lies; they conceive of oppression and give birth to sin. 5 They hatch the eggs of a poisonous snake and spin a spider's web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, a poisonous snake is hatched. 6 Their webs cannot be used for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are sinful; they commit violent crimes. 7 They are eager to do evil, quick to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are sinful; they crush and destroy. 8 They are unfamiliar with peace; their deeds are unjust. They use deceitful methods, and whoever deals with them is unfamiliar with peace.
9 For this reason deliverance is far from us and salvation does not reach us. We wait for light, but see only darkness; we wait for a bright light, but live in deep darkness. 10 We grope along the wall like the blind, we grope like those who cannot see; we stumble at noontime as if it were evening. Though others are strong, we are like dead men. 11 We all growl like bears, we coo mournfully like doves; we wait for deliverance, but there is none, for salvation, but it is far from us. 12 For you are aware of our many rebellious deeds, and our sins testify against us; indeed, we are aware of our rebellious deeds; we know our sins all too well. 13 We have rebelled and tried to deceive the Lord; we turned back from following our God. We stir up oppression and rebellion; we tell lies we concocted in our minds. 14 Justice is driven back; godliness stands far off. Indeed, honesty stumbles in the city square and morality is not even able to enter. 15 Honesty has disappeared; the one who tries to avoid evil is robbed. The Lord watches and is displeased, for there is no justice. 16 He sees there is no advocate; he is shocked that no one intervenes. So he takes matters into his own hands; his desire for justice drives him on. 17 He wears his desire for justice like body armor, and his desire to deliver is like a helmet on his head. He puts on the garments of vengeance and wears zeal like a robe. 18 He repays them for what they have done, dispensing angry judgment to his adversaries and punishing his enemies. He repays the coastlands. 19 In the west, people respect the Lord's reputation; in the east they recognize his splendor. For he comes like a rushing stream driven on by wind sent from the Lord. 20 "A protector comes to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their rebellious deeds," says the Lord.