Most Relevant Verses
In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste and the high places shall be made desolate, that your altars may bear their guilt and be laid waste and made desolate, your idols may be broken and destroyed, your sun-images may be hewn down, and your handiworks may be wiped away and blotted out.
Behold, is it not by appointment of the Lord of hosts that the nations toil only to satisfy the fire [that will consume their work], and the peoples weary themselves only for emptiness, falsity, and futility?
As for us, our eyes yet failed and wasted away in looking for our worthless help. In our watching [on our watchtower] we have watched and waited expectantly for a nation [Egypt or some other one to come to our rescue] that could not save us.
And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly overthrown and [the foundations] made bare, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; the peoples shall labor in vain, and the nations [only] to satisfy the fire, and they shall be weary.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to take rest late, to eat the bread of [anxious] toil -- "for He gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep.
I will do this: I will appoint over you [sudden] terror (trembling, trouble), even consumption and fever that consume and waste the eyes and make the [physical] life pine away. You shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
The bellows blow fiercely, the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain do they continue refining, for the wicked [the dross] are not removed.
And you [plundered one], when you are made desolate, what will you do? Though you clothe yourself with scarlet, though you deck yourself with ornaments of gold, though you paint your eyelids and make them look farther apart, in vain you beautify yourself. Your lovers (allies) despise you; they seek your life.
Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them [continually recognizing their authority over you], for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account [of their trust]. [Do your part to] let them do this with gladness and not with sighing and groaning, for that would not be profitable to you [either].
In vain have I stricken your children (your people); they received no discipline (no correction). Your own sword devoured your prophets like a destroying lion.
And he shall consecrate and separate himself to the Lord for the days of his separation and shall bring a male lamb a year old for a trespass or guilt offering; but the previous days shall be void and lost, because his separation was defiled.
I went because it was specially and divinely revealed to me that I should go, and I put before them the Gospel [declaring to them that] which I preach among the Gentiles. However, [I presented the matter] privately before those of repute, [for I wanted to make certain, by thus at first confining my communication to this private conference] that I was not running or had not run in vain [guarding against being discredited either in what I was planning to do or had already done].
That is the reason that, when I could bear [the suspense] no longer, I sent that I might learn [how you were standing the strain, and the endurance of] your faith, [for I was fearful] lest somehow the tempter had tempted you and our toil [among you should prove to] be fruitless and to no purpose.
Holding out [to it] and offering [to all men] the Word of Life, so that in the day of Christ I may have something of which exultantly to rejoice and glory in that I did not run my race in vain or spend my labor to no purpose.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose].