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 25:15-29 The Voice (VOICE)
15 This is what the Eternal God of Israel said to me.
Eternal One: Take this cup from My hand and offer it to every nation where I send you. Make them drink deeply from it, for the cup is brimming with My anger. 16 When they drink, they will stumble and lose their minds because I am sending the sword against them.
17 So I took the cup from the Eternal’s hand and did just as He said—I went to the nations where He sent me and made them drink it: 18 Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, her kings and leaders drank from the cup and became a wasteland, an object of hissing, scorn, and cursing, a land of ruin; 19 then Pharaoh (king of Egypt), his advisors, his officers, and the entire nation, 20 including the foreigners living there; all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the Philistine kings in the cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and what was left of Ashdod; 21 Edom, Moab, and the Ammonites; 22 all the kings of Tyre, Sidon, and the other coastlands across the sea; 23 Dedan, Tema, Buz, and the nations who clip the corners of their hair; 24 all the kings of Arabia, the kings of the various desert nomadic tribes; 25 all the kings of Zimri, Elam, and Media; 26 all the kings of the north, both near and far. I went from one kingdom to another until every one of them on the face of the earth had drunk it. And then finally, the king of Sheshach[, that is, Babylon,][a] will drink from this cup.
27 Then He told me what to say to each of these nations and rulers.
Eternal One: This is what the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies and God of Israel, says: “Drink until you are drunk enough to vomit; stagger and fall to the ground, and rise no more because I am sending the sword against you.” 28 If they refuse to drink from the cup you offer to them, tell them, “This is what the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, says: ‘You must drink it! 29 Do you think I will bring disaster to the city that is named after Me, but let you escape? You will not go unpunished, for I am summoning a sword of judgment against all who live on the earth.’”
So declares the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.
Acts 7:44-53 The Voice (VOICE)
44 Now recall that our ancestors had a sacred tent in the wilderness, the tent God directed Moses to build according to the pattern revealed to him. 45 When Joshua led our ancestors to dispossess the nations God drove out before them, our ancestors carried this sacred tent. It remained here in the land until the time of David. 46 David found favor with God and asked Him for permission to build a permanent structure (rather than a portable tent) to honor Him. 47 It was, of course, Solomon who actually built God’s house. 48 Yet we all know the Most High God doesn’t actually dwell in structures made by human hands, as the prophet Isaiah said,
49 “Since My throne is heaven
As Stephen recounts how God has worked with the Jews in spite of their faltering fidelity, his speech up to this point sounds like any good synagogue sermon. In the stories of Abraham, Joseph, and Moses, he narrates the history of God’s work of salvation among the Jewish people in the midst of their repeated struggle with unfaithfulness and idolatry. However, it is one thing for his audience to agree that idolatry was a problem in the past and another when they are charged with the accusation of the same idolatry in the present. According to Stephen, those who reject Jesus are following the same path as the people who rejected Moses to follow idols. Such a strong message strikes a nerve, and Stephen becomes the first martyr of the church because of it.
Stephen: 51 You stubborn, stiff-necked people! Sure, you are physically Jews, but you are no different from outsiders in your hearts and ears! You are just like your ancestors, constantly fighting against the Holy Spirit. 52 Didn’t your ancestors persecute the prophets? First, they killed those prophets who predicted the coming of the Just One; and now, you have betrayed and murdered the Just One Himself! 53 Yes, you received the law as given by heavenly messengers, but you haven’t kept the law which you received.