Psalm 23 The Voice (VOICE)
A song of David.
Psalm 23 is the best known and most beloved psalm in the collection. Surprisingly, it casts humanity as sheep—stupid, helpless sheep. But the long-lasting appeal of Psalm 23 is a direct result of that casting because the imagery is both soothing and accessible.
When he was a boy, King David was a shepherd watching his father’s flocks in the hills around Bethlehem. In those days, too, it was common to refer to kings in the Near East as shepherds; but not all shepherd-kings cared for their sheep. Though David tried to shepherd his people well, he knew the truth: the Eternal is the true Shepherd.
In John 10:11 Jesus makes a bold claim. He declares that He is the good shepherd. Immediately His disciples detected the resonance of Psalm 23 in His words. Those of us who follow Jesus today come to know Him as that gentle but strong shepherd who guides us through life if we will follow Him.
1 The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always.
4 Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,
5 You spread out a table before me,
Acts 9:36-43 The Voice (VOICE)
36 In a nearby coastal city, Joppa, there lived a disciple whose Aramaic name was Tabitha, or Dorcas in Greek. She was a good woman—devotedly doing good and giving to the poor. 37 While Peter was in Lydda, she fell sick and died. Her fellow disciples washed her body and laid her in an upstairs room. 38 They had heard Peter was nearby, so two of them went with an urgent message, “Please come to Joppa as soon as possible.”
39 Peter went with them and immediately entered the room where the corpse had been placed. It was quite a scene—the widows of the community were crowded in the room, weeping, showing the various items of clothing that Dorcas had made for them.
40 Peter asked them to leave the room; then he got on his knees. He prayed for a while and then turned to her body.
Peter: Tabitha, get up!
She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. 41 Giving her his hand, Peter lifted her up. Then he called in the other disciples—including the widows—and reintroduced them to their beloved friend. 42 The news of this miracle spread throughout the city, and many believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time as the guest of Simon, a tanner by profession.
Revelation 7:9-17 The Voice (VOICE)
9 After I heard about these who would be sealed, I looked and saw a huge crowd of people, which no one could even begin to count, representing every nation and tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and waving palm branches. 10 They cried out with one loud voice.
Crowd: Salvation comes only from our God, who sits upon the throne, and from the Lamb.
John hears that 144,000 people out of Israel are destined to be sealed, but then he turns to see an innumerable multitude from every people group in the world. What he sees reveals the truth of what he hears: the number “144,000” is not an exact count of who will be saved but is a symbolic number (12 x 12 x 1000). “Twelve” is a number that signifies all the people of God, from both the Old and New Testaments. In reality, between the sixth and seventh seal, there is an interlude, an opportunity for people from every nation to enter into the people of God, to receive God’s mark, and to take their places among the redeemed.
11 All the heavenly messengers stood up, encircling the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell prostrate before the throne and worshiped God.
12 Heavenly Messengers, Elders, and Living Creatures: Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom
One of the Elders (to me): 13 Who are these people clothed in white robes, and where have they come from?
John: 14 Sir, surely you know the answer to your own questions.
One of the Elders: These are coming from the time of great suffering and affliction. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, cleansing them pure white.
15 Responding out of a heart filled with praise, they congregate before the throne of God
John 10:22-30 The Voice (VOICE)
22-23 It was winter and time for the Festival of Dedication.[a] While in Jerusalem, Jesus was walking through the temple in an area known as Solomon’s porch, 24 and Jews gathered around Him.
Jews: How long are You going to keep us guessing? If You are God’s Anointed, the Liberating King, announce it clearly.
Jesus: 25 I have told you, and you do not believe. The works I am doing in My Father’s name tell the truth about Me. You do not listen; 26 you lack faith because you are not My sheep. 27 My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me. 28 I give them a life that is unceasing, and death will not have the last word. Nothing or no one can steal them from My hand. 29 My Father has given the flock to Me, and He is superior to all beings and things. No one is powerful enough to snatch the flock from My Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.
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