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Ezekiel 38-39 The Message (MSG)

God Against Gog

38 1-6 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, confront Gog from the country of Magog, head of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him. Say, ‘God, the Master, says: Be warned, Gog. I am against you, head of Meshech and Tubal. I’m going to turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, and drag you off with your whole army, your horses and riders in full armor—all those shields and bucklers and swords—fighting men armed to the teeth! Persia and Cush and Put will be in the ranks, also well-armed, as will Gomer and its army and Beth-togarmah out of the north with its army. Many nations will be with you!

7-9 “‘Get ready to fight, you and the whole company that’s been called out. Take charge and wait for orders. After a long time, you’ll be given your orders. In the distant future you’ll arrive at a country that has recovered from a devastating war. People from many nations will be gathered there on the mountains of Israel, for a long time now a wasteland. These people have been brought back from many countries and now live safe and secure. You’ll rise like a thunderstorm and roll in like clouds and cover the land, you and the massed troops with you.

10-12 “‘Message of God, the Master: At that time you’ll start thinking things over and cook up an evil plot. You’ll say, “I’m going to invade a country without defenses, attack an unsuspecting, carefree people going about their business—no gates to their cities, no locks on their doors. And I’m going to plunder the place, march right in and clean them out, this rebuilt country risen from the ashes, these returned exiles and their booming economy centered down at the navel of the earth.”

13 “‘Sheba and Dedan and Tarshish, traders all out to make a fast buck, will say, “So! You’ve opened a new market for plunder! You’ve brought in your troops to get rich quick!”’

14-16 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy! Tell Gog, ‘A Message from God, the Master: When my people Israel are established securely, will you make your move? Will you come down out of the far north, you and that mob of armies, charging out on your horses like a tidal wave across the land, and invade my people Israel, covering the country like a cloud? When the time’s ripe, I’ll unleash you against my land in such a way that the nations will recognize me, realize that through you, Gog, in full view of the nations, I am putting my holiness on display.

17-22 “‘A Message of God, the Master: Years ago when I spoke through my servants, the prophets of Israel, wasn’t it you I was talking about? Year after year they prophesied that I would bring you against them. And when the day comes, Gog, you will attack that land of Israel. Decree of God, the Master. My raging anger will erupt. Fueled by blazing jealousy, I tell you that then there will be an earthquake that rocks the land of Israel. Fish and birds and wild animals—even ants and beetles!—and every human being will tremble and shake before me. Mountains will disintegrate, terraces will crumble. I’ll order all-out war against you, Gog—Decree of God, the Master—Gog killing Gog on all the mountains of Israel. I’ll deluge Gog with judgment: disease and massacre, torrential rain and hail, volcanic lava pouring down on you and your mobs of troops and people.

23 “‘I’ll show you how great I am, how holy I am. I’ll make myself known all over the world. Then you’ll realize that I am God.’”

Call the Wild Animals!

39 1-5 “Son of man, prophesy against Gog. Say, ‘A Message of God, the Master: I’m against you, Gog, head of Meshech and Tubal. I’m going to turn you around and drag you out, drag you out of the far north and down on the mountains of Israel. Then I’ll knock your bow out of your left hand and your arrows from your right hand. On the mountains of Israel you’ll be slaughtered, you and all your troops and the people with you. I’ll serve you up as a meal to carrion birds and scavenging animals. You’ll be killed in the open field. I’ve given my word. Decree of God, the Master.’

“I’ll set fire to Magog and the far-off islands, where people are so seemingly secure. And they’ll realize that I am God.

“I’ll reveal my holy name among my people Israel. Never again will I let my holy name be dragged in the mud. Then the nations will realize that I, God, am The Holy in Israel.

“It’s coming! Yes, it will happen! This is the day I’ve been telling you about.

9-10 “People will come out of the cities of Israel and make a huge bonfire of the weapons of war, piling on shields large and small, bows and arrows, clubs and spears, a fire they’ll keep going for seven years. They won’t need to go into the woods to get fuel for the fire. There’ll be plenty of weapons to keep it going. They’ll strip those who stripped them. They’ll rob those who robbed them. Decree of God, the Master.

11 “At that time I’ll set aside a burial ground for Gog in Israel at Traveler’s Rest, just east of the sea. It will obstruct the route of travelers, blocking their way, the mass grave of Gog and his mob of an army. They’ll call the place Gog’s Mob.

12-16 “Israel will bury the corpses in order to clean up the land. It will take them seven months. All the people will turn out to help with the burials. It will be a big day for the people when it’s all done and I’m given my due. Men will be hired full-time for the cleanup burial operation and will go through the country looking for defiling, decomposing corpses. At the end of seven months, there’ll be an all-out final search. Anyone who sees a bone will mark the place with a stick so the buriers can get it and bury it in the mass burial site, Gog’s Mob. (A town nearby is called Mobville, or Hamonah.) That’s how they’ll clean up the land.

17-20 “Son of man, God, the Master, says: Call the birds! Call the wild animals! Call out, ‘Gather and come, gather around my sacrificial meal that I’m preparing for you on the mountains of Israel. You’ll eat meat and drink blood. You’ll eat off the bodies of great heroes and drink the blood of famous princes as if they were so many rams and lambs, goats and bulls, the choicest grain-fed animals of Bashan. At the sacrificial meal I’m fixing for you, you’ll eat fat till you’re stuffed and drink blood till you’re drunk. At the table I set for you, you’ll stuff yourselves with horses and riders, heroes and fighters of every kind.’ Decree of God, the Master.

21-24 “I’ll put my glory on display among the nations and they’ll all see the judgment I execute, see me at work handing out judgment. From that day on, Israel will realize that I am their God. And the nations will get the message that it was because of their sins that Israel went into exile. They were disloyal to me and I turned away from them. I turned them over to their enemies and they were all killed. I treated them as their polluted and sin-sated lives deserved. I turned away from them, refused to look at them.

25-29 “But now I will return Jacob back from exile, I’ll be compassionate with all the people of Israel, and I’ll be zealous for my holy name. Eventually the memory will fade, the memory of their shame over their betrayals of me when they lived securely in their own land, safe and unafraid. Once I’ve brought them back from foreign parts, gathered them in from enemy territories, I’ll use them to demonstrate my holiness with all the nations watching. Then they’ll realize for sure that I am their God, for even though I sent them off into exile, I will gather them back to their own land, leaving not one soul behind. After I’ve poured my Spirit on Israel, filled them with my life, I’ll no longer turn away. I’ll look them full in the face. Decree of God, the Master.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

James 4 The Message (MSG)

Get Serious

1-2 Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.

2-3 You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.

4-6 You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”

7-10 So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.

11-12 Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?

Nothing but a Wisp of Fog

13-15 And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”

16-17 As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Proverbs 28:7-17 The Message (MSG)

Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom;
    hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.

Get as rich as you want
    through cheating and extortion,
But eventually some friend of the poor
    is going to give it all back to them.

God has no use for the prayers
    of the people who won’t listen to him.

10 Lead good people down a wrong path
    and you’ll come to a bad end;
    do good and you’ll be rewarded for it.

11 The rich think they know it all,
    but the poor can see right through them.

12 When good people are promoted, everything is great,
    but when the bad are in charge, watch out!

13 You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it;
    you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.

14 A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life;
    a hardhearted person lives a hard life.

15 Lions roar and bears charge—
    and the wicked lord it over the poor.

16 Among leaders who lack insight, abuse abounds,
    but for one who hates corruption, the future is bright.

17 A murderer haunted by guilt
    is doomed—there’s no helping him.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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