Psalm 150 The Voice (VOICE)
If Psalm 150 is any indication, then the worship of the one True God ought to be full of life and energy. Consider what it must have looked and sounded like in those days: voices lifted, shouting for joy, trumpets blaring, stringed instruments playing, people dancing, pipes humming, tambourines keeping rhythm, cymbals crashing. There are times when worship ought to break out in joy. Is it possible that our worship is too quiet, too reserved, too structured?
1 Praise the Eternal!
3-4 Praise Him with the blast of trumpets high into the heavens,
This doxology not only closes Book Five, but it also closes the entire Book of Psalms. Up until now, the songs in this book have reminded us of all the reasons we should praise God. Some songs have even commanded us to praise Him. But this closing remark takes the command to praise one step further: everything alive—humans, animals, and heaven’s creatures—must praise Him. Praise is what God created us to do; it is one of our highest purposes in life. So it is no wonder that the longest book of the Bible is purely devoted to helping us do just that.
1 Samuel 17:19-32 The Voice (VOICE)
19 Saul, your brothers, and all the men of Israel are arrayed in the valley of Elah fighting against the Philistines.
The story of David and Goliath is one that has grown in popular attention, and many people who have never read the Bible know it as a simple story of the underdog defeating the favored warrior. Although there is another story of how David is noticed by the king (when he was brought to Saul’s court to play his music), in this story, David comes to the king’s attention as God’s warrior, contrasting Saul in almost every way. A mere boy, David doesn’t trust in his own strength or in armor or in fancy weapons. David places his trust in God, and his courage comes from belief that God can use him, as small as he is compared to his opponent, because God is all-powerful.
20 David rose early the next morning, left the sheep in the care of another, took the provisions, and obeyed Jesse’s instructions. David reached the camp just as the army was lining up and shouting its war cries. 21 Both Israel and the Philistines prepared to fight against each other. 22 David left the provisions with the person in charge of baggage; he ran to the front lines and shoved his way through the soldiers to greet his brothers. 23 As David talked with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, emerged again and shouted his challenge to the men of Israel. This time young David heard his words.
24 When they saw Goliath, all the Israelites were frightened and retreated from him.
Soldiers: 25 Have you seen this man who steps forward? He’s trying to taunt Israel. Our king will reward the man who kills him with wealth, a royal marriage, and freedom for his entire family from taxation and obligations in Israel.
David (asking those around him): 26 What is the reward for removing this insult from Israel by killing this man? No uncircumcised Philistine can get away with taunting the armies of the living God!
Soldiers: 27 You’ve heard what will be given to the man who kills him. We were just talking about it.
28 David’s oldest brother, Eliab, overheard this conversation and became angry with David.
Eliab: Why have you come down here? Who is watching your tiny flock in the wilderness? I’m your brother, and I know you—you’re arrogant, and your heart is evil. You’ve come to watch the battle as if it were just entertainment.
David: 29 What have I done now? I was just asking a question.
30 David ignored him and asked another soldier the same question, and the people gave him the same answer. 31 When news of David’s valiant words reached the king, Saul sent for David.
David (to Saul): 32 Don’t let anyone be frightened because of that man. I am your servant, and I will go and fight with him.
Acts 5:17-26 The Voice (VOICE)
17 Of course, this popularity elicited a response: the high priest and his affiliates in the Sadducean party were jealous, 18 so they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But that night, a messenger of the Lord opened the doors of the prison and led them to freedom.
Messenger of the Lord: 20 Go to the temple, and stand up to tell the people the whole message about this way of life from Jesus.
21 At dawn they did as they were told; they returned to their teaching in the temple.
Meanwhile the council of Jewish elders was gathering—convened by the high priest and his colleagues. They sent the temple police to the prison to have the Lord’s emissaries[a] brought for further examination; 22 but of course, the temple police soon realized they weren’t there. They returned and reported,
Temple Police: 23 The prison was secure and locked, and the guards were standing in front of the doors; but when we unlocked the doors, the cell was empty.
24 The captain of the temple police and the senior priests were completely mystified when they heard this. They had no idea what had happened. 25 Just then, someone arrived with this news:
Temple Messenger: You know those men you put in prison last night? Well, they’re free. At this moment, they’re at it again, teaching our people in the temple!
26 The temple police—this time, accompanied by their captain—rushed over to the temple and brought the emissaries[b] of the Lord to the council. They were careful not to use violence, because the people were so supportive of them that the police feared being stoned by the crowd if they were too rough.
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