Psalm 42-43 The Voice (VOICE)
This second book of psalms (Psalms 42–72) has a few unique features. First, it is the only book of the five that contains psalms ascribed to the sons of Korah, a group of Levite temple singers. Second, it uses two rather obscure Hebrew terms in the superscriptions of almost half of these psalms. Maskil, which may be related to contemplation, is translated “contemplative poem” or “song” (42; 44–45; 52–55) and miktam, whose meaning is unclear, is translated “a prayer” (56–60). Third, in referring to God this second book shows a preference for the word “God” over the name “the Eternal One” that appears as “YHWH” in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Throughout the Bible, the creator and covenant God is referred to in many ways. Generally speaking, the names and titles used indicate something of His character and nature. The title “God” implies His unique majesty and power; no one is like Him. The name, translated “The Eternal One” and also “The Eternal,” is God’s covenant name revealed uniquely to Israel. As the translation suggests, the divine name implies that the one True God transcends time and yet He is “with” His people.
For the worship leader. A contemplative song[b] of the sons of Korah.
1 My soul is dry and thirsts for You, True God,
4 With a broken heart,
9 Even still, I will say to the True God, my rock and strength:
11 Why am I so overwrought,
1 Plead for me; clear my name, O God. Prove me innocent
3 O my God, shine Your light and truth
5 O my soul, why are you so overwrought?
Genesis 24:1-21 The Voice (VOICE)
24 Abraham was now very old. He had seen many years come and go. The Eternal One had blessed his life in every imaginable way. 2 One day, Abraham spoke to his oldest and most-trusted servant, the man in charge of all his affairs.
Abraham: Put your hand here underneath my thigh. 3 Swear by the Eternal One, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not arrange for my son to marry any of the Canaanite daughters here where I am living. 4 Instead promise me you will go to my own country and my own relatives to find a wife for my son Isaac.
Servant: 5 But what if the woman is not willing to follow me here to this unfamiliar land? Do you want me then to take Isaac back to your homeland?
Abraham: 6 Absolutely not! Isaac’s future is here. Do not take my son back there. 7 The Eternal One, the God of heaven, the God who led me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth long ago, the God who spoke to me and swore to me, “I am going to give this land to your future generations”—that God will send His messenger to guide and help you find a wife for my son from there. 8 If for some reason the woman is not willing to follow you, then I free you from the obligation of my oath. But you must never take my son back there!
9 The trusted servant took the oath, holding in his hand Abraham’s power to give life. He swore to do what his master required.
This solemn oath, sworn with the servant’s hand beneath Abraham’s thigh, binds the servant to carry out the request.
10 Then the servant gathered together 10 of his master’s camels and left, taking all kinds of valuable gifts from his master to give to his relatives. He traveled all the way to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11 Outside of the city, he made the camels kneel down by a well of water to rest after the long journey. It was nearly dusk, the time when all of the women were coming out to draw water from the well. 12 He said a prayer.
Servant: O Eternal One, God of my master Abraham, please make me successful today and show Your loyal love to my master Abraham. 13 You see that I am standing here by the spring as the young women of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the girl to whom I say, “Please dip your jar in the water that I may drink,” and who will reply, “Drink, and I will draw water for your camels”—let her be the one You have chosen to be a wife for Your servant Isaac. When You do this, I will know of Your loyal love for my master.
15 Before he could finish his prayer, it happened that Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel (Milcah’s and Nahor’s son—Nahor, you remember, was Abraham’s brother) approached the spring with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 She was a very beautiful girl and still a virgin. No man had ever touched her. He watched her go down to the spring, fill her jar, and come back up the hill. 17 The servant wasted no time; he ran down to meet her.
Servant: Please let me have a little water to drink from your jar.
Rebekah: 18 Drink, my lord.
She quickly lowered her jar onto her hand and tipped it for him to drink. 19 After she had finished giving him water, she offered to do more.
Rebekah: I’ll draw some water for your camels too. I’ll make sure they drink all they need.
20 She quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw more water. She continued to draw water until all of the camels had drunk their fill. 21 The man gazed at her in silence, waiting and wondering if she was the one the Eternal One intended for Isaac, the one who would make his journey a success.
Romans 2:17-29 The Voice (VOICE)
17 Listen, if you claim to be a Jew, count on the law, and boast in your relationship with God; 18 if you know His will and can determine what is essential (because you have been instructed in the law); and 19 if you stand convinced that you are chosen to be a guide to the blind, a light to those who live in darkness, 20 a teacher of foolish wanderers and children, and have in the law what is essentially the form of knowledge and truth— 21 then tell me, why don’t you practice what you preach? If you are going to sermonize against stealing, then stop stealing. 22 If you are going to teach others not to commit adultery, then be completely faithful to your spouse. If you hate idolatry, then stop robbing the temples! 23 If you pride yourself in having God’s law, then stop dishonoring God by failing to keep its teaching. 24 Here’s what it says: “Because of you, God’s reputation is slandered by those outside the covenant.”[a]
25 You see, circumcision is of value only if you keep the law’s teachings. But if you keep breaking God’s rules, you are no different than those without the mark. 26 So if an uncircumcised man abides by God’s just precepts, doesn’t that make his standing before God the same as one who is circumcised? 27 The man who is physically uncircumcised but still keeps the law, he will stand in judgment over the person who is circumcised and yet continually breaks God’s law. 28 A mark that is evident doesn’t necessarily make one a Jew, and circumcision that is evident only in the flesh is not true. 29 But the true Jew is Jewish on the inside—in secret places no one but God can see—and true circumcision involves the heart; it comes from the Spirit, not from some written code. The praise and reputation of that kind of Jew come from God, not from man.
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