Psalm 53 The Voice (VOICE)
1 The foolish are convinced deep down that there is no God.
2 From heaven the one True God examines the earth
3 All have turned back to their wicked ways; they’ve become totally perverse.
4 Do the wicked relish their ignorance,
5 They trembled with great fear,
6 Oh, that the liberation of Israel would come out of Zion!
2 Kings 4:1-7 The Voice (VOICE)
4 The wife of one of the prophets’ disciples pleaded with Elisha.
Woman: My husband who served you is now dead. He greatly feared the Eternal. You yourself know this to be true. The creditor is now trying to take away my only two children and make them into slaves.
Elisha: 2 What is it that you want me to do? Do you have anything of worth in your house?
Woman: I don’t really have much of anything. The only thing I have in my house that might be of any worth is a jar of oil.
Elisha: 3 Borrow as many large empty containers as you can. Ask neighbors for anything they can give to you. Be sure to collect a lot of them. 4 Then enclose yourself in a room with only you and your sons. Pour oil into as many of the containers as you can. Set aside the full ones.
5 The widow went away from Elisha and enclosed herself in a room with her sons. One at a time, her sons held a container before her, and she poured. 6 Soon all of the containers were filled.
Woman: Bring me another container.
Son: There aren’t any left.
It was then that the oil ran out. 7 The widow then went back to Elisha, the man of God.
Elisha: Now go sell the oil, and pay the creditor what you owe. Then your children won’t be made into slaves, and you and your sons can live on the remaining money.
Luke 9:10-17 The Voice (VOICE)
10 The emissaries[a] whom Jesus had sent out returned, and Jesus took them away from the crowds for a time of retreat in a city called Bethsaida. They gave Jesus a full report of their accomplishments and experiences. 11 But soon the crowds discovered where they were and pursued Him. Jesus didn’t turn them away; He welcomed them, spoke of the kingdom of God to them, and brought health to those who needed healing.
12 Picture what happened while in Bethsaida, where Jesus and His disciples were spending time with the crowds:
The sun is low in the sky, and soon it will be dusk. The twelve come to Jesus with advice.
Disciples: Send the crowd away so they can find lodging and food in the nearby villages and countryside. We’re out here in the middle of nowhere.
Jesus: 13-14 No. You give them something to eat.
Disciples: Are You kidding? There are at least 5,000 men here, not to mention women and children. All we have are five loaves and two fish. The only way we could provide for them would be to go to a nearby city and buy cartloads of food. That would cost a small fortune.
Jesus: Just do this: organize them in little communities of about 50 people each and have them sit down.
15 They do what Jesus says, and soon groups of 50 are scattered across the landscape.
16 Then Jesus takes the five loaves and two fish, and He looks up to heaven. He praises God for the food, takes each item, and breaks it into fragments. Then He gives fragments to the twelve disciples and tells them to distribute the food to the crowd.
17 Everyone eats. Everyone is satisfied. Nobody goes away hungry. In fact, when the disciples recover the leftovers, they have 12 baskets full of broken pieces.
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