Psalm 39 The Voice (VOICE)
For the worship leader, Jeduthun.[a] A song of David.
1 I promised, “I’ll be careful on life’s journey
4 “Eternal One, let me understand my end
6 In truth, each of us journeys through life like a shadow.
7 In light of all this, Lord, what am I really waiting for?
11 You discipline us for our sins.
12 Hear me, O Eternal One;
Jeremiah 11:1-17 The Voice (VOICE)
11 The word of the Eternal came to Jeremiah.
Eternal One: 2 Tell the people of Judah, and specifically those who live in Jerusalem, to hear the terms of our covenant. 3 Tell them this is what the Eternal, the God of Israel, has to say: “Cursed is anyone who ignores the terms of this covenant. 4 All of this was laid out for your ancestors long ago when I first delivered them from slavery, rescued them from the fire of Egypt. I told them, ‘Hear My voice, and do all that I command you. This way you will be My people, and I will be your God.’ 5 I wanted nothing more than to keep My promise and to bless your ancestors with a land flowing with milk and honey—the land of promise on which you stand today.”
Jeremiah: Yes, O Eternal One! Let it be.
Eternal One (to Jeremiah): 6 Now it is time to announce My message in the villages of Judah and on the streets of My city, Jerusalem. I want them to hear this: “Listen to the words of this covenant, and start doing what it says. 7 I sternly warned your ancestors when I rescued them from Egypt, and I’ve repeated that warning many times, even today, saying, ‘Listen to My voice, and do as I say.’ 8 But they didn’t listen, and they didn’t obey Me. Instead, they deliberately chased their own dark desires, ignoring Me at every turn. So I enforced the terms of our covenant, including the curses that came from refusing to do that which I had commanded them.”
9 The people of Jerusalem and all of Judah conspire against Me. 10 They have gone back to the sins of their ancestors, who long ago ignored My words. They have chased after other gods and worshiped them. Do you not see how both the house of Israel and the house of Judah have violated the covenant I made with their ancestors? 11 This is why I, the Eternal, declare that I will bring disaster upon these rebellious people. And they will not escape what awaits them. They will beg for My help, but I won’t listen to them. 12 Let the citizens of Judah and Jerusalem run to their precious gods for help. Let them burn incense and pray to their detestable images when trouble comes. Those impotent idols will not be able to save them, no matter how many they have to choose from! 13 For you have as many gods as there are towns, people of Judah—as many altars to burn incense to Baal as there are streets in Jerusalem. 14 Don’t pray for these people, Jeremiah. Don’t bother making any pleas for them, for that time has passed. I will not listen when they call out to Me in their time of trouble.
15 What right does My beloved have coming into My temple, having done such vile things with so many? Do you really think that animal sacrifice is going to make this all go away? Will you then be able to rejoice? 16 The Eternal once proclaimed you a lush olive tree, full of beautiful fruit. But all that has changed. With the roar of a violent storm, He will now strike that tree—leaving it battered, broken, and burned. 17 Now the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, has decreed disaster against you, the same tree He planted—all because of the evil done by the people of Israel and Judah, all because they provoked Me by worshiping and sacrificing to Baal.
Romans 2:1-11 The Voice (VOICE)
Paul sounds a sober warning. God’s wrath is here; it is not some far-off future event. Paul says that God’s wrath is already at work in the world in what is effectively God’s “hands-off” policy. God, he says, steps aside and gives us over to idolatry, sexual sins, and depraved minds. Human sin and depravity are both its cause and effect. You see, we are not only punished for our sins, but we are punished by our sins. If God’s salvation consists essentially of His presence with us, then His wrath consists of His absence or separation from us. The bad news is this: God’s wrath is real. Without the good news of Jesus, no hope exists.
2 So you can see there are no excuses for any of us. If your eyes shift their focus from yourselves to others—to judge how they are doing—you have already condemned yourselves! You don’t realize that you are pointing your fingers at others for the exact things you do as well. 2 There’s no doubt that the judgment of God will justly fall upon hypocrites who practice such things. 3 Here’s what is happening: you attack and criticize others and then turn around to commit the same offenses yourselves! Do you think you will somehow dodge God’s judgment? 4 Do you take the kindness of God for granted? Do you see His patience and tolerance as signs that He is a pushover when it comes to sin? How could you not know that His kindness is guiding our hearts to turn away from distractions and habitual sin to walk a new path?[a]
5 But because your heart is obstinate and shameless, you’re storing up wrath that will count against you. On the day of His choosing, God’s wrath and judgment will be unleashed to make things right. 6 As it goes, everyone will receive what his actions in life have cultivated. 7 Whoever has labored diligently and patiently to do what is right—seeking glory, honor, and immortality—God will grant him endless joy in life eternal. 8 But selfish individuals who make trouble, resist the truth, or sell out to wickedness will meet a very different fate—they will find fury and indignation as the fruit of living in the wrong. 9 Suffering and pain await everyone whose life is marked by evil living (first for the Jew, and next for the non-Jew). 10 But if you do what is right, you will receive glory, admiration, and peace (again, first for the Jew, then for the non-Jew). 11 God has no favorites.
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