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Psalm 37:1-17 The Voice (VOICE)

Psalm 37[a]

A song of David.

Don’t be worried with evil workers
    or envy the gains of people with all-wrong-upside-down ways.
Soon enough they will wither like grass,
    like green herbs fading in summer’s heat.

Believe in the Eternal, and do what is good—
    live in the land He provides; roam, and rest in God’s faithfulness.
Take great joy in the Eternal!
    His gifts are coming, and they are all your heart desires!

Commit your path to the Eternal; let Him direct you.
    Put your confidence in Him, and He will follow through with you.
He will spread out righteousness for you
    as a sunrise spreads radiance over the land;
    He will deliver justice for you into the light of the high sun.

Be still. Be patient. Expect the Eternal to arrive and set things right.
    Don’t get upset when you see the worldly ones rising up the ladder.
    Don’t be bothered by those who are anchored in wicked ways.

So turn from anger. Don’t rage,
    and don’t worry—these ways frame the doorway to evil.
Besides, those who act from evil motives will be cut off from the land;
    but those who wait, hoping in the Eternal, will enjoy its riches.

10 You’ll see . . . the wicked won’t know what hit them;
    you’ll blink, and they’ll be gone;
    you’ll go out looking for them, but you won’t find them.
11 But the humble-hearted will inherit the land;
    they will take pleasure in its peace and enjoy its abundance.

12 How that wicked man devises evil against God’s righteous ones!
    He grits his teeth, consumed by hate for the upright.
13 But oh, how the Lord laughs at him!
    He knows the wicked man will get his; the day is coming.

14 The wicked unsheathe their swords, pull taut their bows;
    the poor and needy are their victims,
    and evil is on the prowl to kill those with integrity, God’s beloved.
15 But their swords will bend back to pierce their own hearts—
    yes, their bows will snap in two.

16 The righteous are better off with the little God blessed them with
    than living under the curse of the wealth of the wicked.
17 Their time is short, their arms will be broken,
    but the Eternal will hold His righteous children high.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 37 A Hebrew acrostic poem
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Ruth 3:1-13 The Voice (VOICE)

Naomi (to Ruth): My child, it is my responsibility to find a husband and place of rest for you—a place where you will find rest and contentment. You have been working alongside the young women who serve Boaz. Is he not a part of our family? Early this evening, during the late afternoon wind, he will be on the threshing floor winnowing the barley.

They toss the stalks into the wind with a fork and watch the grain fall at their feet as the stalks blow away.

Bathe and perfume yourself. Put on your best dress, then go down onto the threshing floor. Be careful, though. Don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. Once he is relaxed, he will lie down to sleep. Make sure you notice where he is. Once he has lain down, go to him. Uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.

The Hebrew euphemism “to uncover the feet” is a sexual expression; but in this context, and in light of the honorable character of Boaz and Ruth, it is clear that she is simply making herself available for marriage.

Ruth: I will do everything you have told me to do.

So she went down to the threshing floor and followed through with everything her mother-in-law told her to do. Not much later, Boaz finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits. He made his way to the end of a pile of grain and lay down there to sleep. Then very quietly, Ruth snuck to where he was lying down. She uncovered his feet and lay down at his feet. Later, sometime in the middle of the night, Boaz was startled and woke up. When he rolled over and looked around, he discovered there was a woman lying at his feet!

Boaz: Who are you?

Ruth: I am your servant Ruth. Spread out the hem of your garment so that it covers your servant. You are a near relative of our family.

Boaz: 10 May the Eternal bless you, my daughter, for the loyal love you are showing now is even greater than what you showed before. You have not pursued a younger man—either a rich one or a poor one. 11 You may rest easy. You have nothing to fear, my child. I will do everything you ask. Everyone in this city agrees you are a woman of virtuous character. 12 You are right that I am in line as a near relative of your family. But I am not the only one, nor the most likely. There is another man who is more closely related to you than I am.

If ever a landowner needs to lease out his land for money, then his closest relative, called the “kinsman-redeemer,” is supposed to buy the land back for his relative. The same is true if a man has to sell his family members into indentured servitude—the kinsman-redeemer is to buy back the slave. This system reflects God’s relationship with Israel; God continually saves His people from subservience to other nations. Since both Naomi and Ruth are widows without male sons, they are left in poverty. Naomi will have to lease out her husband’s land to support them, and she may eventually have to sell herself and Ruth just to stay fed. By redeeming Elimelech’s land, marrying Ruth, and eventually giving her a son, Boaz keeps the family intact as it would have been had Elimelech or either of his sons survived.

Boaz: 13 Spend the rest of the night here. In the morning, I will give him the chance to act as your kinsman-redeemer and redeem you and your family. If he is willing to do this, good. But if he is not willing to fulfill his responsibility, then as the Eternal One lives, I promise I will redeem your family by marrying you. Now remain here until morning comes.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Ruth 4:13-22 The Voice (VOICE)

13 Then Boaz took responsibility of Ruth, and they married. After they came together, Ruth conceived by the Eternal’s provision, and later she gave birth to a son.

Women (to Naomi): 14 Praise the Eternal One. He has not abandoned you. He did not leave you without a redeeming guardian. May your offspring become famous all through Israel. 15 May this child give you a new life. May he strengthen you and provide for you in your old age. Look at your daughter-in-law, Ruth. She loves you. This one devoted daughter is better to you than seven sons would be. She is the one who gave you this child.

16 Then Naomi held the child tightly in her arms and cared for him. 17 All around her, friends cried out, “Naomi has a son!” They named the child Obed because he would provide for his grandmother. Obed grew up and became the father of Jesse. Jesse, too, became a father one day, the father of David.

18 Here is the genealogy of Perez’s family: Perez was Hezron’s father. 19 Hezron was Ram’s father. Ram was Amminadab’s father. 20 Amminadab was Nahshon’s father. Nahshon was Salmon’s[a] father. 21 Salmon was Boaz’s father. Boaz was Obed’s father. 22 Obed was Jesse’s father. And Jesse was the father of David.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:20 Most Hebrew manuscripts read, “Salma.”
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Luke 6:17-26 The Voice (VOICE)

17 The whole crowd of disciples (including the 12 now designated as His emissaries) came down together, and they stood on a level area nearby. They were joined by an even greater crowd of people who had come from across the whole region—from all of Judea, from Jerusalem, from the coastal areas of Tyre and Sidon. 18 These people came to hear Jesus teach and to be healed by Jesus of their diseases. Those who were troubled by demonic spirits were liberated.

19 Everyone wanted to touch Jesus because when they did, power emanated from Him and they were healed. 20 He looked across the faces of His disciples.

Jesus: All you who are poor, you are blessed
        for the kingdom of God belongs to you.
21     All you who are hungry now, you are blessed
        for your hunger will be satisfied.
    All you who weep now, you are blessed
        for you shall laugh!
22     When people hate you,
        when they exclude you
        and insult you
        and write you off as evil
        on account of the Son of Man, you are blessed.
23     When these things happen, rejoice! Jump for joy!
        Then you have a great reward in heaven
        For at that moment, you are experiencing what the ancient prophets did when they were similarly treated by the ancestors of your detractors.
24     All you who are rich now, you are in danger
        for you have received your comfort in full.
25     All you who are full now, you are in danger
        for you shall be hungry.
    All you who laugh now, you are in danger
        for you shall grieve and cry.
26     And when everyone speaks well of you, you are in danger
        for their ancestors spoke well of the false prophets too.

Here is Luke’s most concentrated summary of Jesus’ teachings for His followers. Here He describes what life in the kingdom of God looks like.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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