Listen, people---even you far away people:
GOD called me before I was born
and since I've been born He's been saying my name.
He made my mouth like a sharp, dividing sword
and then hid me in the palm of His hand.
He made me into a polished arrow---to go straight to the heart
---then concealed me in His quiver.
He told me: You are My servant,
and My splendor will be displayed in you!
"What?" I said. "I have worked without purpose,
I've spent my strength for nothing, absolutely nothing.
But . . . it's up to the LORD to give me what I deserve,
my reward will come from my God."
And now the LORD---the same one who since my conception
has been forming me to accomplish His purposes
(to bring the chosen back to Him and gather His people to Himself)
because the LORD has seen something honorable in me
and He has been my strength
"It's only a little thing for you to serve Me in restoring My people
and bringing back the remnant of My people.
I will also make you a light for the unevangelized,
that you may carry my salvation far and near."
This is what the LORD (the Rescuer and Holiness of my life) says to me
---me who was looked down upon and stepped on:
"Respected people will respect you and the powerful will honor you.
This will be the result of the LORD's faithfulness
and because of the Holy One who has chosen you."