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Psalm 123 The Voice (VOICE)

Psalm 123

A song for those journeying to worship.

I raise my eyes to fix my gaze on You,
    for Your throne resides in the heavens.
Just as the eyes of servants
    closely watch the hand of their masters,
Just as a maid carefully observes
    the slightest gesture of her mistress,
In the same way we look to You, Eternal One,
    waiting for our God to pour out His mercy upon us.

O Eternal One, show us Your mercy. We beg You.
    We are not strangers to contempt and pain.
We have suffered more than our share
    of ridicule and contempt from self-appointed critics who live easy lives
    and pompously display their own importance.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Job 21:1 The Voice (VOICE)

21 Then Job answered Zophar.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Job 21:17-34 The Voice (VOICE)

17     Bildad claims the flame of the wicked is blown out.
        But how often is their lamp extinguished?
    How often does disaster strike them or does God give them pain
        because of His anger at what they’ve done?

Throughout the Bible, God is called by many names. One of the most frequent in the Old Testament, Shaddai, was a favorite name of God for patriarchs such as Abraham and Moses. Based on the etymology of the name, many suggest Abraham brought that epithet with him from Mesopotamia, so it is logical that Job (another patriarch from outside of Israel) could often refer to Him the same way.

El Shaddai, which translates to “God of my mountain” or possibly “God of might,” aptly describes many characteristics of God. He is strong and high above everything, just like the heights of a mountain. He is a protector, just like the rocky crags in the side of a cliff. And certainly God associates Himself with mountain ranges—having Abraham bind Isaac on Mount Moriah, giving the Israelites the law from Mount Sinai, and placing His sacred temple on Mount Zion. Whether speaking to humanity from the top of a mountain or the heights of heaven, the Lord is certainly the Highest One; no one is above Him.

18     How often are they as straw in the wind
        or the chaff separated from the grain by fierce winds?
19     It is said, “God stores away a man’s misdeeds
        and delivers them to his children.”[a]
        Let Him repay the man Himself, so the man can know it.
20     Let the wicked see his ruin with his own eyes
        as he drinks down the wrath of the Highest One.
21     After all, once he’s dead and gone and his time is up,
        what will he care for his household and family?
22     Now who dares impart knowledge to God
        since He stands as judge over the most powerful?
23     One person dies when he is fit and strong,
        completely secure and totally at peace;
24     His body[b] is vigorous and well fed;
        his bones are strong and moist.
25     Another person dies with a bitter soul,
        having never even tasted goodness.
26     But they lie down together in the same dust,
        covered by the same blanket of worms.

27     I know how your minds work, my friends,
        and how you plan to wrong me—your thoughts of retribution.
28     You will counter, “Show me!
        Where is the palatial estate?
        Where are the vaulted tents of the wicked?”
29     But I say, have you never consulted with those who travel this world?
        They can tell you the complexions of many lands.
    But you’ve never permitted their witness
        in your courts of opinion, have you?
30     Well, if you had, you’d have heard
        that when disaster strikes, the wicked are spared;
    On the day of fury,
        they are escorted safely through.
31     Who challenges them openly regarding their actions,
        and who repays them on account of all they’ve done?
32     When death finally comes and they are laid in their graves,
        guards stand watch over their tombs, fending off grave robbers.
33     Laid to rest beside the stream, clods of earth cover them kindly;
        while countless souls have gone before, all of humanity follows after.
34     So, my friends, how can you continue trying to comfort me with these empty consolations?
        So far, your answers have been only thinly veiled lies!

Footnotes:

  1. 21:19 Exodus 20:5
  2. 21:24 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

2 John The Voice (VOICE)

I, the elder, to you, a lady chosen by God along with her children. I truly love all of you and am confident that all who know the truth share in my love for you. The truth, which lives faithfully within all of us and will be with us for all eternity, is the basis for our abounding love. May grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Jesus the Anointed, the Father’s own Son, surround you and be with you always in truth and love.

I was so filled with joy to hear stories about your children walking in truth, in the very way the Father called us to live. So now, dear lady, I am asking you to live by the command that we love one another. I’m not writing to you some new commandment; it’s one we received in the beginning from our Lord. Love is defined by our obedience to His commands. This is the same command you have known about from the very beginning; you must live by it. The corrupt world is filled with liars and frauds who deny the reality that Jesus the Anointed has come into the world as a man of flesh and blood. These people are deceivers and antiChrists.[a] Ensure that you do not lose what we have worked for so that you will be fully rewarded.

Any person who drifts away and fails to live in the teachings of the Anointed One, our Liberating King, does not have God. But the person who lives in this teaching will have both the Father and the Son. 10 If any person comes to you with a teaching that does not align with the true message of Jesus, do not welcome that person into your house or greet him as you would a true brother. 11 Anyone who welcomes this person has become a partner in advancing his wicked agenda.

12 I have so much more to tell you, but I would rather meet with you personally than try to capture these sentiments by ink on paper. I hope to come and see you so that our joy will be complete.

13 The children of your chosen sister send you warm greetings.

Footnotes:

  1. Verse 7 Literally, those who oppose the Anointed One and His kingdom
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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