Psalm 100 The Voice (VOICE)
A song of thanks.
Psalm 100 is one of the best known and most loved psalms. This hymn of thanksgiving invites the whole world to come to God’s temple in Jerusalem and enter its sacred spaces with unbridled joy and hearts filled with gratitude. And why should we? The psalm provides the answer. Not only has God created us—a gracious act of love in and of itself—but He has made us His own people. He has chosen us and loved us. As with Psalm 23, God’s people are cast in the role as sheep living well in His pasture.
The psalm ends on a high note of confidence and hope. At all times—but perhaps more in times of difficulty—we need to be reminded of what is true. Regardless of what seems to be happening around us, the Eternal is good; His love and faithfulness will endure forever.
1 Raise your voices;
3 Know this: the Eternal One Himself is the True God.
4 Go through His gates, giving thanks;
5 Because the Eternal is good,
Ezekiel 45:1-9 The Voice (VOICE)
45 Eternal One: When you divide the land among the people to determine inheritance, you must set aside a plot of land for the Eternal as His sacred ground. It is to be 8⅓ miles long and 6⅔ miles[a] wide; every bit of it will be regarded as holy. 2 Within this sacred ground, designate a 875-foot square for the temple. Leave a strip of land 87½ feet wide around the perimeter of the temple. 3 And from these sacred grounds allot a section of land 8⅓ miles long by 3⅓ miles wide to place the sanctuary, which will contain the most holy place. 4 These sacred lands will be set apart for the priests who serve in the sanctuary and draw near to the Eternal. They will build their homes there, not far from the holy precincts of the sanctuary. 5 As for the other half of the sacred ground—an area of 8⅓ miles long and 3⅓ miles wide—it will be designated for the Levites who serve in the temple. They will live there and possess those cities. 6 Next to this sacred land, you are to set aside a strip of land 8⅓ miles long and 1⅔ miles wide to build a city. This will be common land that belongs to all the people of Israel. 7 The prince is to have possession of the land on either side of the sacred grounds and the common property of the city. His land will run westward from the west side and eastward from the east side occupying an area equal to one of the tribal inheritances. 8 This will be the prince’s own section of land in Israel. Never again will My princes rob and oppress My people. Then they are to divide the rest of the land between the tribes of Israel.
Ezekiel’s vision of the land of Israel once the Jews return from exile has several significant features: each tribe receives a similar allotment of land, the rulers are given property of their own (so the tribes don’t have to support them), the temple is situated in the exact center of the country, and the priests and Levites all live around the temple itself (instead of being scattered among the tribes). These changes in the nation’s political and social structure reflect many of the changes that take place during the exile.
Eternal One (to the princes of Israel): 9 That’s enough tyranny, you princes of Israel! Stop your abuse and persecutions! Do the right thing; choose to be just in your actions. Stop cheating and depriving My people of their land. I, the Eternal Lord, insist!
Acts 9:32-35 The Voice (VOICE)
32 Peter hadn’t been idle during all this time. He was having a number of amazing experiences of his own, traveling from group to group and visiting the various communities of believers. Once he came to a town called Lydda, a border town between Samaria and Judea, and met with God’s special people there. 33 He visited a man named Aeneas. This poor fellow had been paralyzed for eight years, unable to leave his bed.
Peter: 34 Aeneas, Jesus the Anointed heals you. Get up! Now you can make your own bed!
And immediately—he got up! 35 All the local residents—both of Lydda and nearby Sharon—saw Aeneas healthy and strong again, so they turned to the Lord.
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