Psalm 1 The Voice (VOICE)
Book One (Psalms 1–41) is attributed almost entirely to David; all but four of the psalms (1–2; 10; 33) are ascribed to him. In Hebrew Psalm 10 is a continuation of Psalm 9 because it was composed as an acrostic poem. Likewise, many Hebrew manuscripts combine Psalm 33 with 32. Only later are these divided into separate psalms. Psalm 1 sets the stage for the entire collection by explaining that the study of the Word of God is the foundation of a meaningful, prosperous life.
1 God’s blessings follow you and await you at every turn:
4 For those who focus on sin, the story is different.
Deuteronomy 29:2-20 The Voice (VOICE)
Moses (summoning all of Israel): 2 You saw with your own eyes what the Eternal did in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and his whole country. 3 You saw with your own eyes how He tested them with the great plagues He sent against them and the amazing signs and wonders He did to demonstrate His reality and power. 4 But to this day, He hasn’t given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear.
Spiritual insensitivity is its own punishment. It’s not that the Lord doesn’t want the people to be able to see and understand how His great works disclose His character and purposes, it’s just that such insights are only available to those who will humbly acknowledge and obey Him in response. Spiritual perception is a special gift from God, and it isn’t given to those who stubbornly resist. Instead, they are allowed to continue having eyes that don’t see, ears that don’t hear, and minds that don’t understand.
Eternal One: 5 I’ve led you through the wilderness for 40 years. The clothes on your back and the sandals on your feet haven’t worn out. 6 You haven’t had bread to eat or wine or strong drink to consume, but I’ve fed you each day with manna so you’d know that I, the Eternal, am your God who protects you and provides for you.
Moses: 7 When we arrived here in the territory east of the Jordan, Sihon the king of Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan attacked us, but we defeated them in battle. 8 We took their land and gave it to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half of Joseph’s children—the tribe of the Manassites—as their families’ perpetual land. 9 If you carefully obey all the terms of this covenant, then you’ll be successful in everything you do.
10 You’re all standing here today in the presence of the Eternal your God: your leaders, your tribes, your elders, and your representatives, all you men of Israel, 11 with your children and wives, and even the foreigners who are living with you and working for you—who chop your wood and draw your water— 12 you’re all standing here to take an oath and become part of the covenant He is making with you today. 13 He’ll establish you as His people; and He’ll become your God, just as He told you He would, and just as He promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
14 But I’m not making this covenant only with you who are here taking this oath; 15 it’s with you who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Eternal our God, and also with those who aren’t with us here today.
16 You know what life was like in the land of Egypt, and you saw how other nations lived when you traveled through their territories. 17 You saw the detestable things they had with them, their idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold. 18 There could be a man or a woman among you, or even a whole clan or tribe, that might be willfully turning away from the Eternal this very day to go worship the gods of those nations! They’d be like a root that would bear bitter, poisonous fruit among you. 19 Even when they hear the words of the covenant oath, they’ll exult, “We can keep going our own way, and we’ll be just fine!” They will end up destroying everything in the country. 20 He will never forgive them; He’ll be furious with jealousy, and they will be struck with all the curses written in this book. He will wipe away every trace of them under heaven.
Matthew 10:34-42 The Voice (VOICE)
34 Do not imagine that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 I have come to turn men against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, and daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law. 36 You will find you have enemies even in your own household.[a] 37 If you love your father or mother more than you love Me, then you are not worthy of Me. If you love your son or daughter more than you love Me, then you are not worthy of Me. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow Me on the narrow road, then you are not worthy of Me. 39 To find your life, you must lose your life—and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Jesus calls His disciples to a radical commitment. Those who truly follow Jesus must be willing to follow Him to the point of death, just as He will later die for His commitment to God and others. Thus, whether they die literally or figuratively, His followers give up their lives for Him.
Jesus: 40 Anyone who welcomes you welcomes Me, and anyone who welcomes Me welcomes the One who sent Me. 41 Anyone who welcomes a prophet and surrenders to his prophecy will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who welcomes a righteous person and conforms to the righteousness that surrounds him and proceeds from him will receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And anyone who has given so much as a cup of cold water to one of the little ones, because he is My disciple, I tell you, that person will be well rewarded.