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Psalm 141 The Voice (VOICE)

Psalm 141

A song of David.

O Eternal One, I call upon You.
    Come quickly!
    Listen to my voice as I call upon You!
Consider my prayer as an offering of incense that rises before You;
    when I stand with my hands outstretched pleading toward the heavens,
    consider it as an evening offering.

Guard my mouth, O Eternal One;
    control what I say.
    Keep a careful watch on every word I speak.
Don’t allow my deepest desires to steer me toward doing what is wrong
    or associating with wicked people
Or joining in their wicked works
    or tasting any of their pleasures.

Let those who do right strike me down in kindness
    and correct me in love.
Their kind correction washes over my head like pure oil;
    do not let me be foolish and refuse such compassion.
    Still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked:
Their judges will be thrown from the edges of cliffs and crushed upon the rocks below,
    and the wicked will hear my words and realize that what I said was pleasing.
Just as when a farmer plows and breaks open the earth, leaving clumps of dirt scattered along the rows,
    our bones are scattered at the mouth of the grave.

My gaze is fixed upon You, Eternal One, my Lord;
    in You I find safety and protection.
    Do not abandon me and leave me defenseless.
Protect me from the jaws of the trap my enemies have set for me
    and from the snares of those who work evil.
10 May the wicked be caught in their own nets
    while I alone escape unharmed.

The Voice (VOICE)

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

Ezekiel 39:21-40:4 The Voice (VOICE)

21 I will exhibit My glory for all the nations to see, and they will all recognize the results of My judgment. They will understand that Gog was destroyed by My own powerful hand. 22 From that day on, the people of Israel will know I am the Eternal One, 23 and all the nations will know the people of Israel were exiled because they acted wickedly and willfully turned their backs on Me. This is why I turned My back on them and allowed their enemies to do with them as they pleased. As a result, all of them fell by the sword. 24 I judged them according to their impurities and crimes, and I kept My back turned on them because they violated our covenant.

25 So this is what the Eternal Lord continued to say:

Eternal One: I am going to restore the fortunes of Jacob and have compassion upon all My people Israel, for I am eager to defend My reputation and to protect My holy name. 26 Once they are living comfortably back in their ancestral lands without anyone terrorizing them, the memory of their shame and faithlessness toward Me will fade. 27 By gathering them from the enemy nations and bringing them home, I will reveal My holiness right in the sight of all the nations. 28 After all these things take place, My people will know that I, the Eternal, am their God. Even though I banished them to exile in other lands, I gathered them and put them back in their own land. No one was left behind. 29 I will not turn My back on them ever again, for I have poured out My Spirit upon the community of Israel.

So said the Eternal Lord.

The description and measurements of the new temple are both complex and staggering. The outer walls form a square with priestly kitchens for preparing sacrifices and food on each corner. On the four sides of the temple complex, a total of thirty chambers line the perimeter wall. The actual temple and inner courtyard is a smaller version of the outer walls, three gates (east, north, and south), and outer courtyard. As Ezekiel walks in a westerly direction from the outer east gate, he ascends a set of stairs that leads to the outer courtyard where he then goes up another staircase to the inner courtyard and altar where he then finds a third staircase leading to the temple portico and the two holy and most holy chambers of the Eternal’s sanctuary.

Ezekiel’s mysterious tour guide first begins at the eastern outer gate facing the rising sun. Then he takes Ezekiel to the outer courtyard where he measures the north gate before taking him to the south gate for its measurements. They then enter the inner courtyard via its south gate. Now at the inner courtyard, they follow the same path of measuring the east and north gates. Finally, after exiting the north gate of the inner courtyard, they move to the original east gate of the outer courtyard where Ezekiel witnesses the awesome return of the Eternal’s presence.

40 During the 25th year of our exile (which was the 14th year after Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem), at the beginning of the year on the 10th day of the month, the Eternal took hold of me and brought me to the ruined city. In the visions God showed me, He carried me into the land of Israel and put me on top of a very high mountain. Southward, there was a building that looked like a city unto itself. God led me to that place, and there I saw a man whose appearance gleamed as if he were made of bronze. He stood at the structure’s gate with a linen tape for long measurements and a reed for short measurements.

The Man (to Ezekiel): Son of man, sharpen your senses! See with your eyes, and listen with your ears! Take notice of everything I am about to show you, because you are here to see what I do and to relay it all to the people of Israel.

The Voice (VOICE)

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

1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1 The Voice (VOICE)

23 There’s a slogan often quoted on matters like this: “All things are permitted.” Yes, but not all things are beneficial. “All things are permitted,” they say. Yes, but not all things build up and strengthen others in the body. 24 We should stop looking out for our own interests and instead focus on the people living and breathing around us. 25 Feel free to eat any meat sold in the market without your conscience raising questions about scruples 26 because “the earth and all that’s upon it belong to the Lord.”[a]

Paul’s instruction on this matter is clear: believers should give up their rights and freedoms for the sake of others. This is the essence of sacrifice. This is what Jesus did. This is what Paul does. Otherwise, community becomes impossible. But no state or church authority should force compliance; it must arise from a heart of love and a disposition that puts the needs of others first.

27 So if some unbelievers invite you to dinner and you want to go, feel free to eat whatever they offer you without raising questions about conscience. 28-29 But if someone says, “This is meat from the temple altar, a sacrifice to god so-and-so,” then do not eat it. Not so much because of your own conscience [because the earth and everything on it belongs to the Lord],[b] but out of consideration for the conscience of the other fellow who told you about it. So you ask, “Why should I give up my freedom to accommodate the scruples of another?” 30 or, “If I am eating with gratitude to God, why am I insulted for eating food that I have properly given thanks for?” These are good questions.

31 Whatever you do—whether you eat or drink or not—do it all to the glory of God! 32 Do not offend Jews or Greeks or any part of the church of God for that matter. 33 Consider my example: I strive to please all people in all my actions and words—but don’t think I am in this for myself—their rescued souls are the only profit.

11 So imitate me, watch my ways, follow my example, just as I, too, always seek to imitate the Anointed One.

Footnotes:

  1. 10:26 Psalm 24:1
  2. 10:28-29 Some manuscripts omit this portion.
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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