Psalm 46 The Voice (VOICE)
For the worship leader. A song of the sons of Korah, a song for sopranos.[a]
This song is attributed to the sons of Korah. It praises God for His strength and protection and for Jerusalem and its temple where God uniquely dwells. It invites the world to witness a future when wars and striving will cease and all the nations know and worship the one True God.
1 God is our shelter and our strength.
4 A pure stream flows—never to be cut off—
8 Come, gaze, fix your eyes on what the Eternal can do.
2 Chronicles 18:12-22 The Voice (VOICE)
12 When the messenger who went to summon Micaiah found him, he told Micaiah of the other prophets’ unanimous blessing for the battle. The messenger asked that Micaiah agree with the other prophets and support the battle. 13 Micaiah swore by the Eternal that he would only speak what the True God told him. He would not go along with the crowd just to please Ahab.
Ahab: 14 Micaiah, should we fight Ramoth-gilead or not?
Micaiah: Go up to Ramoth-gilead. You will win because the city will be given to you.
Ahab: 15 How many times must I persuade you to tell me nothing but the truth when you claim to use the authority of the Eternal?
Micaiah: 16 I saw all Israel wandering aimlessly on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd. Then I heard the Eternal say, “These have no master. Let each of them go his own way and return to his own house in peace.”
Ahab (aside to Jehoshaphat): 17 Didn’t I tell you that he prophesies only evil about me?
The prophets often use the “bad shepherd” metaphor to demonstrate how Israelite and Judean kings do not rule their people well.
Micaiah: 18 Hear what the Eternal One says. I saw Him sitting on His throne, with the armies of heaven flanking Him, 19 asking, “Who will entice Ahab, king of Israel, to go up to Ramoth-gilead and die there?”
The heavenly soldiers were murmuring to each other 20 when a spirit stepped before the Eternal and answered, “I will entice him.”
The Eternal One questioned, “How?”
21 “I will mislead all of his prophets so that he will go to his death willingly and unaware.”
Then He said, “You will indeed entice him. Go, and do as you have said.”
22 In this way, the Eternal has deceived your prophets and proclaimed your death.
Hebrews 9:23-28 The Voice (VOICE)
In chapter 9 we are reminded that what is most real, what is most true, is the unseen reality. The writer tells us that the temple in Jerusalem, the holiest place on earth, was merely a copy or shadow of another place, the heavenly temple. Whatever took place in this shadowy temple could not change the realities of alienation from God, sin, and death.
Every year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would don his priestly garb and enter the most holy place in the temple. His task was profound, his duty dangerous: he must appear before God carrying the sins of his people. All the sins of Israel were concentrated in him as he carried the blood of the sacrifice into the divine presence. But there was another day, a Day of Atonement unlike any other, when Jesus concentrated in Himself the sins of the world, hanging on a cross not far from the temple’s holiest chamber. Indeed, for a time, He became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). But unlike the high priest, the crucified and risen Jesus entered the true temple of heaven and was ushered into the divine presence. At that moment, everything changed.
23 Since what was given in the old covenant was the earthly sketch of the heavenly reality, this was sufficient to cleanse the earthly sanctuary; but in heaven, a more perfect sacrifice was needed. 24 The Anointed One did not enter into handcrafted sacred spaces—imperfect copies of heavenly originals—but into heaven itself, where He stands in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 There He does not offer Himself over and over as a sacrifice (as the high priest on earth does when he enters the most holy place each year with blood other than his own) 26 because that would require His repeated suffering since the beginning of the world. No, He has appeared once now, at the end of the age, to put away sin forever by offering Himself as a sacrifice.
27 Just as mortals are appointed to die once and then to experience a judgment, 28 so the Anointed One, our Liberating King, was offered once in death to bear the sins of many and will appear a second time, not to deal again with sin, but to rescue those who eagerly await His return.