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!
Leviticus 23:26-41 The Voice (VOICE)
26 The Eternal One spoke to Moses regarding the Day of Atonement.
Eternal One: 27 The tenth day of the seventh month is set aside as the Day of Atonement. On that day, you must call together the people for a sacred assembly, humble and discipline yourselves by fasting, and bring a fire-offering to Me. 28 Refrain from doing any work on the Day of Atonement, for it is to be a day when you make offerings before Me, your God, that cover your sins. 29 If anyone does not humble and discipline himself on this day, he must be cut off from the community. 30 If anyone from your community works on this day, I will destroy him from the midst of the community. 31 You must not do any of the work you normally do. This directive stands for all time throughout your generations regardless of where you live. 32 This is to be a Sabbath Day, a day of complete rest, a day when you humble and discipline yourselves. When the ninth day of the month arrives, you are to honor this Sabbath from dusk till dusk.
Sin causes damage in ways we do not easily recognize. It damages our relationship with God, other people, and the rest of creation. But we should not forget that sin damages us too. We are damaged goods. The Day of Atonement provides the people of Israel with a regular opportunity to recognize how broken and flawed they are, to repent and turn to God, and to seek His healing and forgiveness.
33 The Eternal One said to Moses.
Eternal One: 34 Go, talk with the Israelites and tell them that when the fifteenth day of the seventh month arrives, they must celebrate the Feast of Booths to Me for seven days.
The Feast of Booths takes place after the fall harvest is in and the people can take some time off. In this feast, God’s people are called to remember how He provided for them, particularly how He provided for them when they wandered in the desert, living in tents or booths, for 40 years.
Eternal One: 35 The first day is to be a day devoted to sacred assembly, so refrain from doing any ordinary work. 36 Then for seven days, I want you to bring a fire-offering to Me. When the eighth day arrives, hold another sacred assembly and bring another fire-offering to Me. This is to be a festive gathering, and no one is allowed to do any of their normal work.
37 So these are the feasts that I have appointed. At these times, you are to call the people together for a sacred assembly and bring fire-offerings to Me—burnt offerings, grain offerings, sacrifices, and drink offerings—each day will have its own offering. 38 These feasts and their offerings are in addition to My Sabbaths and other prescribed offerings, offerings accompanying a vow or a freewill offering.
39 When the fifteenth day of the seventh month arrives, after you have harvested the crops from the land, I want you to celebrate this feast of booths for seven days. Observe a day of complete rest on the first day and the eighth day. 40-41 On the first day, gather some branches from the beautiful trees in the area: palm fronds, limbs thick with leaves, and branches from the river willow. Celebrate and feast before Me, your God, for seven days. This directive stands for all time throughout your generations; celebrate it every year in the seventh month.
Revelation 19:1-8 The Voice (VOICE)
19 The scene changed. After this, I heard the great sound of a multitude echoing in heaven.
Multitude: Praise the Lord!
3 Again praise spilled from heaven.
Multitude: Praise the Lord!
4 And the twenty-four elders and four living creatures fell on their faces and worshiped God who reigns on the throne.
Four Living Creatures and 24 Elders: Amen, Praise the Lord!
5 A Voice from the Throne: Give praise to our God,
6 And I heard what seemed to be an immense crowd speaking with one voice—it was like the sound of a roaring waterfall, like the sound of clashing thunder.
Multitude (in unison): Praise the Lord!
The church that suffered and remained pure is now prepared for a time of glorious celebration. As Israel has been the bride of God, now the church—the bride of the Anointed One—will be intimately united with the Lamb. God and His people are about to become one. The marriage feast has been arranged at great expense, and the festivities are about to begin. But before the wedding, some things need to be put in order.
8 She had been given the finest linens to wear,
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