Psalm 150 The Voice (VOICE)
If Psalm 150 is any indication, then the worship of the one True God ought to be full of life and energy. Consider what it must have looked and sounded like in those days: voices lifted, shouting for joy, trumpets blaring, stringed instruments playing, people dancing, pipes humming, tambourines keeping rhythm, cymbals crashing. There are times when worship ought to break out in joy. Is it possible that our worship is too quiet, too reserved, too structured?
1 Praise the Eternal!
3-4 Praise Him with the blast of trumpets high into the heavens,
This doxology not only closes Book Five, but it also closes the entire Book of Psalms. Up until now, the songs in this book have reminded us of all the reasons we should praise God. Some songs have even commanded us to praise Him. But this closing remark takes the command to praise one step further: everything alive—humans, animals, and heaven’s creatures—must praise Him. Praise is what God created us to do; it is one of our highest purposes in life. So it is no wonder that the longest book of the Bible is purely devoted to helping us do just that.
1 Samuel 17:32-51 The Voice (VOICE)
David (to Saul): 32 Don’t let anyone be frightened because of that man. I am your servant, and I will go and fight with him.
Saul: 33 Don’t be ridiculous—you can’t fight the Philistine. You’re only a youth, and he has been a warrior since his childhood. You lack age and experience.
David: 34 I work as a shepherd for my father. Whenever a lion or a bear has come and attacked one of my lambs, 35 I have gone after it and struck it down to rescue the lamb from the predator’s mouth; if it turned to attack me, I would take it by the chin, beat it, and kill it. 36 I have killed both a lion and a bear; and as your servant I will kill this uncircumcised Philistine, too, since he has dared to taunt the armies of the living God.
37 The Eternal One, who saved me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.
Saul: Go then, and may the Eternal One be with you!
38 So Saul outfitted David in the king’s own armor: a bronze helmet to protect his head and a coat of mail to protect his chest. 39 David strapped on Saul’s sword outside the armor and then discovered he could not move because he was not used to the restrictions of the weighty armor.
David: I’m not used to these things. How can I attack an enemy when I can’t even walk? So he removed every bit of Saul’s armor. He would fight the Philistine as he had fought those lions and bears.
40 He took his staff in his hand and went to the stream to choose five smooth stones, which he kept in a pouch in his shepherd’s bag. He had his sling ready as he approached the Philistine.
41 The Philistine, with his shield-bearer in front of him, came closer to David. 42 When he saw that David was only a healthy and handsome boy, Goliath’s eyes filled with contempt.
Goliath: 43 Am I a dog that you come to beat me with a stick?
And he cursed David, invoking the names of his Philistine gods.
Goliath: 44 Come here, and I will feed your flesh to the birds of the air and the wild animals of the fields.
David: 45 You come to me carrying a sword and spear and javelin as your weapons, but I come armed with the name of the Eternal One, the Commander of heavenly armies, the True God of the armies of Israel, the One you have insulted. 46 This very day, the Eternal One will give you into my hands. I will strike you down and cut off your head, and I will feed the birds of the air and the wild animals of the fields with the flesh of your Philistine warriors. Then all the land will know the True God is with Israel, 47 and all of those gathered here will know that the Eternal One does not save by sword and spear. The battle is the Eternal One’s, and He will give you into our hands.
48 When the Philistine stood up and approached, David ran toward the line of battle to meet him. 49 As quick as a flash, he reached into his bag, put a stone in his sling, and launched it at the Philistine, hitting him in the head. The stone sank deeply into his forehead, and the Philistine fell face-first onto the ground.
50 That was how David defeated the Philistine with only a sling and a single stone, striking him down, ending his life without a sword in his hand.
David’s victory over Goliath sets in motion the rest of the story. The army of Israel wins a great victory over the panicked Philistines after David strikes down their champion, and David is elevated in the eyes of all (and soon will become Saul’s leading general). But the seeds of the ongoing struggle between Saul and David are also sown on this day, as the people celebrate the good-looking boy’s valor and heroism, filling Saul with jealousy. Soon Saul is thinking that David has everything but the kingdom’s throne, and he turns on the boy who has saved his people. Their war destroys Saul and complicates David’s life and eventual rule.
51 Then David ran to the Philistine and stood over his lifeless body. He pulled the man’s sword from its scabbard and finished him by cutting off his head.
When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they knew they would be next, so they ran away.
Luke 24:36-40 The Voice (VOICE)
36 At that very instant, as they’re still telling the story, Jesus is there, standing among them!
Jesus: May you have peace!
You might expect them to be overjoyed, but they aren’t.
37 They’re startled and terrified; they think they’re seeing a ghost.
Jesus: 38 Why are you upset? Why are your hearts churning with questions? 39 Look—look at My hands and My feet! See that it’s Me! Come on; touch Me; see for yourselves. A ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you can see that I have!
[40 Then He shows them His hands and His feet.][a]
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