Psalm 27 The Voice (VOICE)
A song of David.
1 The Eternal is my light amidst my darkness
The psalms provide us with a way to think about and pray through the various threats we face. Our enemies today may not be the same as in biblical times, but they are no less real. Consider the threats on the horizon. Some may be national. Others may be more personal. Still they come to surround us and destroy us if they could only get the chance. The reality is there are times when our enemies appear to have the upper hand and our cause is lost. But wait and listen to the psalm! All is not lost because, ultimately, God is our light and salvation. The darkness will lift, and our Savior will come. He will settle all scores, and we will live in the beauty of His presence.
2 When my enemies advanced
3 When the armies of the enemy surround me,
4 I am pleading with the Eternal for this one thing,
5 His house is my shelter and secret retreat.
6 God lifts me high above those with thoughts
Don’t give up on me in anger at Your servant.
11 O Eternal, show me Your way,
13 I will move past my enemies with this one, sure hope:
14 Please answer me: Don’t give up.
Genesis 15:1-12 The Voice (VOICE)
15 Some time passed. One day, the word of the Eternal One came to Abram through a vision—a kind of waking dream.
Eternal One: Do not be afraid, Abram. I am always your shield and protector. Your reward for loyalty and trust will be immense.
Abram: 2 Eternal Lord, what could You possibly give to me that would make that much of a difference in my life? After all, I am still childless, and Eliezer of Damascus stands to inherit all I own.[a] 3 Since You have not given me the gift of children, my only heir will be one of the servants born in my household.
4 Immediately the word of the Eternal One came to him.
Eternal One: No, Abram, this man will not be your heir. No one but your very own child will be an heir for you.
5 God took him outside to show him something.
Eternal One: Look up at the stars, and try to count them all if you can. There are too many to count! Your descendants will be as many as the stars.[b]
6 Abram believed God and trusted in His promises, so God counted it to his favor as righteousness.[c]
Eternal One (to Abram): 7 I am the Eternal One. Remember, I am the One who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to give you this land to possess and to pass on to your descendants.
Abram: 8 But Eternal Lord, how am I supposed to know I really will possess it?
Eternal One: 9 Bring to Me the following: a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.
10 Abram brought God all of these animals and cut them in two, laying each half next to the other, making two rows. Only the birds were not cut in two. 11 And when any birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, Abram swatted them away.
12 As the sun was setting in the west, Abram fell into a deep sleep. A terrifying darkness descended upon him.
Genesis 15:17-18 The Voice (VOICE)
17 When the sun had gone down and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch passed between the halves of the animal carcasses. 18 With this ritual and on this day, the Eternal One made a covenant with Abram.
This ritual may sound strange, but it is a common way of making agreements between parties in Abram’s day. The exact meaning is unclear, but the various elements and actions point to one undeniable fact: Abram and the Lord are entering into a relationship that has serious and long-lasting consequences. God’s covenant with Abram changes not only Abram’s future but the future of the world itself.
Eternal One: I make a solemn promise to give this land to your descendants—from the river of Egypt to the great Euphrates River,
Philippians 3:17-4:1 The Voice (VOICE)
17 Imitate me, brothers and sisters, and look around to those already following the example we have set. 18 I have warned you before (and now say again through my tears) that we have many enemies—people who reject the cross of the Anointed. 19 They are ruled by their bellies, their glory comes by shame, and their minds are fixed on the things of this world. They are doomed. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, exiles on earth waiting eagerly for a Liberator, our Lord Jesus the Anointed, to come and 21 transform these humble, earthly bodies into the form of His glorious body by the same power that brings all things under His control.
4 For this reason, brothers and sisters, my joy and crown whom I dearly love, I cannot wait to see you again. Continue to stand firm in the Lord, and follow my instructions in this letter, beloved.
Luke 13:31-35 The Voice (VOICE)
Jesus’ response shows that the Jewish people will be surprised by who enters the kingdom of God. It will not be just the Jews but people from all around the world—east and west, north and south. And they will also be surprised by who does not enter the kingdom, since some Jews will be on the outside looking in.
31 Right then some Pharisees came and warned Him.
Pharisees: You’d better get out of here because Herod is plotting Your murder.
Jesus: 32 You can give that sly fox this message: “Watch as I cast out demons and perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I’ll reach My destination. 33 But for today and tomorrow and the next day, I have to continue My journey, for no prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.”
34 O Jerusalem! O Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and you stone the messengers who are sent to you. How often I wanted to gather in your children as a hen gathers in her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing to come to Me. 35 Look now, your house is abandoned and empty. You won’t see Me until you welcome Me with the words of the psalms, “Anyone who comes in the name of the Eternal One will be blessed!”[a]
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