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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 43:1-12 The Voice (VOICE)

43 Then the man whose appearance was like bronze led me to the gate that faced the east. There, I witnessed the glory of the God of Israel storming from the east. His voice thundered like a great waterfall. The entire earth reflected His shining glory.

Just as God’s glorious presence departs Jerusalem for Babylon in the east (Ezekiel 10), so He returns with spectacular fullness to the eastern gate of a restored temple.

The vision I saw then was just like the vision I saw when He arrived to destroy the city and was kindred to the vision I had near the Chebar Canal. I fell on my face to the ground. The glory of the Eternal entered the temple by the east gate, and the Spirit picked me up and brought me to the inner courtyard so I could watch as the Eternal’s glory filled the temple.

While the man stood beside me, I heard a voice addressing me from inside the temple.

Eternal One: Son of man, this temple is the home of My throne on earth and the place where I’ll rest My feet. I will dwell here among My people Israel forever. Never again will the Israelites or their kings desecrate My holy name. Never again will they prostitute themselves by worshiping false gods or erecting monuments to their dead kings. They defiled My name and committed disgusting acts right next to My sacred space by putting their thresholds and doorposts right next to Mine with only a wall separating Me from their idols. This is why I consumed them in My wrath. Now it’s time for the people to change—to put away their whoring and the monuments to their dead kings. If they do that, then I will dwell among them forever.

10 Son of man, go to the people of Israel, and give them a detailed description of the temple you have seen so that they will feel ashamed of their abhorrent living. Give them some time to study the plan. 11 If they express shame for all they have done, explain to them the temple design, the structure, the complex’s entrances and exits, its rules and regulations. Write it down so that everyone can see the design and the regulations and be sure to follow the specifications and rules when the time comes. 12 Now here is My directive concerning the temple: the mountaintop and everything around the temple must be regarded as sacred ground. Pay strict attention to this directive concerning the temple.

The Voice (VOICE)

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

Matthew 23:37-24:14 The Voice (VOICE)

37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem. You kill the prophets whom God gives you; you stone those God sends you. I have longed to gather your children the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you refuse to be gathered. 38 Surely you can see that God has already removed His blessing from the house of Israel. 39 I tell you this: you will not see Me again until you say, with the psalmist, “Anyone who comes in the name of the Eternal One will be blessed.”[a]

24 Jesus left the temple. As He was walking away, His disciples came up to Him and asked what He thought about the temple buildings.

Jesus: Look around you. All of it will become rubble. I tell you this: not one stone will be left standing.

Later, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately.

Disciples: We don’t understand Your predictions. Tell us, when will these things happen: When will the temple be destroyed? What will be the sign that You are returning? How will we know that the end of the age is upon us?

In this, the last of the five major sermons, Jesus focuses on prophetic and apocalyptic themes of judgment and the end times. The disciples have been listening to the prophetic judgment Jesus has issued on the religious leaders. They have images of collapsing temple buildings, of prophets pursued from town to town, of floggings, and of blood-soaked garments. They can imagine themselves blood-soaked. When will this all happen, and what does it mean?

Jesus: Take care that you are not deceived. For many will come in My name claiming they are the Anointed One, and many poor souls will be taken in. You will hear of wars, and you will hear rumors of wars, but you should not panic. It is inevitable, this violent breaking apart of the sinful world, but remember, the wars are not the end. The end is still unfolding. Nations will do battle with nations, and kingdoms will fight neighboring kingdoms, and there will be famines and earthquakes. But these are not the end. These are the birth pangs, the beginning. The end is still unfolding.

They will hand you over to your enemies, who will torture you and then kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me. 10 And many who have followed Me and claimed to love Me and sought God’s kingdom will turn away—they will abandon the faith and betray and hate one another. 11-12 The love that they had for one another will grow cold because few will obey the law. False prophets will appear, many will be taken in by them, and the only thing that will grow is wickedness. There will be no end to the increase of wickedness. 13 But those who do not waver from our path and do not follow those false prophets—those among you will be saved. 14 And this good news of God’s kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, a testimony to all people and all nations. Then, beloved, the end, the consummation of all things, will come.

Footnotes:

  1. 23:39 Psalm 118:26
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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