Psalm 32 The Voice (VOICE)
A contemplative song[a] of David.
The psalms celebrate God’s forgiveness that comes through confession and repentance. Some interpreters link this psalm to David’s sin with Bathsheba after Nathan had exposed his transgression, but the king certainly had other failings. Even if we do not associate this psalm with any personal transgression by David, it serves well as a model confession for those who are painfully aware of their sin.
1 How happy is the one whose wrongs are forgiven,
3 When I refused to admit my wrongs, I was miserable,
5 When I finally saw my own lies,
6 So let all who are devoted to You
8 I will teach you and tell you the way to go and how to get there;
10 Tormented and empty are wicked and destructive people,
Jeremiah 23:30-40 The Voice (VOICE)
30 Look, this is why I oppose the prophets who steal My word from others and offer it as their own. 31 I oppose the prophets whose tongues “declare” something, as if I, the Eternal, have declared it. 32 I oppose the prophets who prophesy with lying dreams. They lead My people astray with their reckless lies. But I did not send these prophets or direct them to speak in My name, so they are of no use to My people.
This is what the Eternal declares.
Prophets stretch the meanings of words in order to instruct and challenge their audiences. Although it’s difficult to appreciate in translation, in the following passage Jeremiah uses an important Hebrew word that has a double meaning. It means “message,” as in the message from God that he is about to declare, but it also means “burden”; therefore, the “message” he receives from God—the “message” he must now declare—is a “burden” both to hear and deliver. As the message goes out of Jeremiah, others use this word to ridicule him and minimize what God is saying. In this passage, God makes it quite clear what He thinks of these mocking and sinful people.
Eternal One (to Jeremiah): 33 When someone, some prophet or some priest, asks, “What is the message the Eternal burdened you with today, Jeremiah?” Simply answer, “[You are the burden, and][a] the Eternal declares, ‘I will cast you aside.’” 34 If a prophet or priest or any of these people claim, “This is the burden of the Eternal,” let them be warned, I will punish that person and his family.
(to the people) 35 Instead of making light of My declarations, from now on you should say to your friends and family, “What is the Eternal’s answer to you?” or “What is the Eternal saying to us?” 36 Do not use the phrase “the burden of the Eternal” again. It means nothing to you. All people say they have a message from Me when they don’t. You are twisting the words of the living God, our God, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies. 37 You should say to the prophet, “What answer is the Eternal giving to you?” or “What is the Eternal saying to us?” 38 But if you keep saying, “This is the burden of the Eternal,” expect Me to declare this: “You continued to use the phrase ‘the burden of the Eternal,’ even though I warned you not to use it. 39 That is why I will forget you and cast you out of My presence, both you and the city I gave you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring endless disgrace upon you—an enduring shame that no one will forget.”
1 John 4:1-6 The Voice (VOICE)
4 My loved ones, I warn you: do not trust every spirit. Instead, examine them carefully to determine if they come from God, because the corrupt world is filled with the voices of many false prophets. 2 Here is how you know God’s Spirit: if a spirit affirms the truth that Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, has come in human flesh, then that spirit is from God. 3 If a spirit does not affirm the true nature of Jesus the Anointed, then that spirit does not come from God and is, in fact, the spirit of the antiChrist.[a] You have heard about its coming; in fact it is already active in the world. 4 My children, you have come from God and have conquered these spirits because the One who lives within you is greater than the one in this world. 5 But they are of this world, and they articulate the views of the corrupt world, which the world understands. 6 We come from God, and those who know God hear us. Whoever is not from God will not listen to us. This is the way we discern the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.