Psalm 103:1-8 The Voice (VOICE)
A song of David.
1 O my soul, come, praise the Eternal
6 When people are crushed, wronged, enslaved, raped, murdered,
2 Chronicles 8:12-15 The Voice (VOICE)
12 So that it pleased God and followed the provisions of his father, Solomon gave burnt offerings on the Eternal’s altar, which he had built in front of the porch. 13 He did this daily (according to the commandment of Moses), weekly (on the Sabbaths), monthly (on the new moons), and at the three annual feasts (the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Booths). 14 Following the plans of his father David, Solomon assigned the temple duties to the priests, the Levites’ daily duties of praise and ministering before the priests, and the gatekeepers’ gate divisions. These plans had been laid out by David, a man who followed the True God. 15 The priests and the Levites followed all the commandments of their king, even those regarding the storehouses.
Acts 17:1-9 The Voice (VOICE)
Paul and Silas are keeping a low profile in order to advance the cause of Jesus. Paul’s first miracle in the area is to cast out an evil spirit from a girl. This sets off an unexpected chain of events bringing the men into the city court to be beaten before the crowds. This sounds like the start of a very bad day. Silas must wonder, “Paul, what were you doing? Is your aggravation with this wandering girl worth all this trouble?” But they neither fight nor despair; instead, they sing, pray to God, and love their captors. Paul and Silas demonstrate that believers are not easily distracted or depressed as long as serving God is their priority.
17 After leaving Philippi and passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, Paul and Silas came to Thessalonica. There was a Jewish synagogue there. 2-3 As he had done in other cities, Paul attended the synagogue and presented arguments, based on the Hebrew Scriptures, that the Anointed had to suffer and rise from the dead.
Paul: Who is this suffering and rising Anointed One I am proclaiming to you? He is Jesus.
He came back the next two Sabbaths—repeating the same pattern. 4 Some of the ethnically Jewish people from the synagogue were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas. Even more devout Greeks who had affiliated with Judaism came to believe—along with quite a few of the city’s leading women. 5-6 Seeing this movement growing, the unconvinced Jewish people became protective and angry. They found some ruffians hanging out in the marketplaces and convinced them to help start a riot. Soon a mob formed, and the whole city was seething with tension. The mob was going street by street, looking for Paul and Silas—who were nowhere to be found. Frustrated, when the mob came to the house of a man named Jason, now known as a believer, they grabbed him and some other believers they found there and dragged them to the city officials.
Mob: These people—they’re political agitators turning the world upside down! They’ve come here to our fine city, 7 and this man, Jason, has given them sanctuary and made his house a base for their operations. We want to expose their real intent: they are trying to overturn Caesar’s sensible decrees. They’re saying that Jesus is king, not Caesar!
8 Of course, this disturbed the crowd at large and the city officials especially, 9 so they demanded bail from Jason and the others before releasing them.