Psalm 66:1-9 The Voice (VOICE)
For the worship leader. A song.
1 Shout out to God, all the earth.
5 Come and witness the True God’s endless works.
8 Everyone, bless our True God!
Zechariah 14:10-21 The Voice (VOICE)
10 The mountainous land around Jerusalem will be turned into plains from Geba to Rimmon, south of the city. Jerusalem itself will then sit prominently in her place between Benjamin’s gate, the location of the first gate, and the corner gate; she’ll sit between Hananel’s Tower and the royal winepresses. 11 And Jerusalem will remain secure, bustling with residents, because she will never again be destined for destruction.
12 Every nation that attempts to wage war against Jerusalem will be struck with a plague. The Eternal will infect them with a disease making their flesh decay even as they stand, their eyes decay in their sockets, and their tongues decay in their mouths. 13 When that horrible day arrives, the Eternal will provoke them to panic, so that in their confusion they will grab each other for safety and then turn and attack each other. 14 Even Judah will be forced to fight in Jerusalem. And the riches of all the surrounding enemy nations will be gathered together—gold, silver, and costly clothing piled deep. 15 Then the same disease that plagues the enemy forces will infect the horses, mules, camels, donkeys—whatever domesticated animals are in their battle camps.
The day of the Eternal One is coming. It is a day of judgment when a great final battle is fought. Jerusalem and her people are under attack; and the city, it seems, falls to her enemies. But ultimately, God’s people do not fight alone. The Lord comes—commanding the army of heaven—to rescue and defend His people. Ultimately, He is crowned King over all the earth. In that day, Jerusalem is transformed and reinstated as God’s holy city; it becomes the center of the world, the source of life-giving waters. Even her enemies make pilgrimages to Jerusalem to worship and adore the one True God.
16 In days to come, all people who took up arms against Jerusalem and survived will make a choice: they will either journey to Jerusalem every year to keep the Feast of Booths and to worship the King—the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies— 17 or the families of nations will refuse the journey to Jerusalem to adore the King, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies. The rains will never come to those who refuse the journey. 18 Even the family of people known as Egypt, if they do not come up to and travel through the gates of Jerusalem to present themselves to God, the Eternal will afflict them with the same plague of drought He’ll use to crush those nations who won’t keep the Feast of Booths. 19 This is the punishment Egypt and the enemy nations can expect if they refuse the journey to keep the Feast of Booths.
20 On that day, every aspect of the land will be ritually pure. Engraved on the bells worn by horses will be the same phrase on the high priest’s turban: “Sacred to the Eternal One.” The cooking pots used in the house of the Eternal will be as sacred as those collection bowls used at the altar. 21 In fact every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be treated as sacred to the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, so that anyone who offers a sacrifice may borrow them and use them to boil the meat of the sacrifice. In that day, no merchant[a] will be found in the temple of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.
Luke 9:1-6 The Voice (VOICE)
So concludes an almost breathtaking succession of encounters between Jesus and people in need. Each story is unique; Jesus responds to each person as an individual, and there is no detectable formula to His way of treating people—except that in every case, His interactions are characterized by love and compassion.
Now Jesus takes His ministry of teaching the kingdom of God in word and deed to a new level: He sends out His disciples to do what they have seen Him do. Jesus commissions the twelve to multiply His ministry. They will go out from and then return to Jesus with reports of what they’ve experienced and learned. But it’s hard for them to get any time alone to talk. There are so many people who want time with Jesus!
9 Jesus convened a gathering of the twelve. He gave them power and authority to free people from all demonic spirits and to heal them of diseases. 2 He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3-5 These were His instructions:
6 The disciples left on their journeys from village to village. They preached the good news, and they healed the sick everywhere they went.
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