Psalm 98 The Voice (VOICE)
1 Compose a new song, and sing it to the Eternal
This hymn invites all the people on earth and creation itself to join in singing a new song of “beautiful noise” celebrating God’s justice and victories.
4 Raise your voices; make a beautiful noise to the Eternal, all the earth.
7 Let the sea rumble and roar, and all the creatures it holds shout praise;
2 Samuel 21:1-14 The Voice (VOICE)
21 After the people had suffered from a famine for three successive years, David asked the Eternal One why the famine lingered, and the answer came that the nation was guilty for not making amends for the bloodlust of King Saul, who slaughtered the people of Gibeon. 2 (The Gibeonites were not from Israel—they were related to the Amorites. Saul tried to annihilate them in his zeal for Israel and Judah, although the people of Israel had promised to spare them during the days of Joshua.) So David called for the leaders of Gibeon.
David: 3 What can I do, what can I give you, to lift this guilt from my land so that you will honor the Eternal’s chosen people?
Gibeonite Leaders: 4 Silver and gold won’t make things right for us with Saul’s kingdom. And it is not for us to tell you who should be subject to capital punishment in Israel.
David: I will do whatever you ask.
Gibeonite Leaders: 5 Saul attacked us and tried to destroy us, to wipe us off the map of Israel. 6 Give us seven of his descendants, and we will hang them on a tree in Gibeah before the Eternal, on His mountain.
David: I will give them to you.
7 Now the king did not give them Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson and Jonathan’s son, because of the sacred oath between David and Jonathan. 8 But he did take Saul’s two sons by Rizpah (daughter of Aiah), Armoni and Mephibosheth, and the five sons of Merab (Saul’s daughter) that she had by Adriel (son of Barzillai the Meholathite). 9 David had them seized and handed them over to the Gibeonites, who executed them before the Eternal One on the mountain. All seven of them died together, in the spring of the year during the first days of the barley harvest.
10 Rizpah, Aiah’s daughter, spread out sackcloth on a rock to make a place to sit; and from the time her sons died until rain fell in late autumn, she refused to let the birds or wild animals desecrate the bodies. 11 When David heard what Saul’s concubine Rizpah had done, 12 he went and gathered the bones of Saul and Jonathan (which the people of Jabesh-gilead had stolen from the place where they were hanged in the Philistine public square in Beth-shan on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilboa). 13 He took the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son and gathered the bones of those who had been impaled in Gibeon. 14 He had Saul and Jonathan buried in the tomb of their father Kish, in Zela in the land of Benjamin. All that David commanded was done; and afterward, God answered the prayers of the people of Israel for the land.
2 Thessalonians 1:3-12 The Voice (VOICE)
3 Brothers and sisters, we cannot help but thank God for you, which is only appropriate because your faith is growing and expanding and because the love demonstrated by each and every one of you is overflowing for one another. 4 So, of course, we’ve proudly bragged about you within circles of God’s people at other churches near and far because, even in the grip of much persecution and affliction, you’ve stood firm in your faith and have persevered. 5 Your sufferings prove that God’s judgment is right! The result: your sufferings have made you worthy—worthy of the kingdom of God, which is the very reason why you are suffering in the first place! 6 It is only right that God would repay with trouble those who have troubled you 7-8 and give relief to all of you still bandaging your wounds, as well as to all the rest of us. On that day—when the clouds draw back displaying His powerful heavenly messengers in a fiery blaze, Jesus the Lord will appear from heaven dealing out perfect justice to anyone who doesn’t know God and anyone who disobeys the good news of our Lord Jesus. 9 And what’s to become of them? They’ll pay for what they’ve done; their punishment will be eternal destruction. And what’s worse? They’ll be banished from the Lord’s presence and glorious power. 10 On that day when He comes, all the saints in heaven and on earth will celebrate the glory of His power, and all who believe will stand and be amazed—this includes you because you believed us when we testified on His behalf. 11 All this is why we are constantly praying for you, so God will make you worthy of the great calling you have received from Him and will give you the power to accomplish every good intention and work of faith. 12 Then the great name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified through your lives, and you will be glorified in Him according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, our Liberating King.