Psalm 59 The Voice (VOICE)
For the worship leader. A prayer[a] of David to the tune “Do Not Destroy,”[b] when Saul sent assassins to David’s house.
Psalm 59 was inspired by the time there was a plan to kill David that was thwarted by David’s wife, Michal, who was Saul’s own daughter. She warned her husband, lowered him out of a window, and then deceived her father’s officers into believing David was bedridden with illness (1 Samuel 19:11–17).
1 Rescue me! Save me, O my God, from my enemies;
3 They have staked out my life; they are going to ambush me!
6 Treacherous souls return to the city in the evening;
8 But You, O Eternal One, laugh at them;
14 Treacherous souls return to the city in the evening;
16 But me? I will sing of Your strength.
2 Kings 9:1-13 The Voice (VOICE)
9 The prophet Elisha gave instructions to one of the prophets’ disciples.
Elisha: Prepare yourself, and transport this bottle of oil to Ramoth-gilead. 2 Once you arrive, find Jehu (son of Jehoshaphat, Nimshi’s son). Ask him to leave his brothers, and then lead him into a more private chamber. 3 Anoint his head with oil from the bottle and speak these words: “This is the Eternal’s message: ‘I anoint you as Israel’s king.’” Then exit through the door quickly, and do not look back.
4 The young prophet traveled to Ramoth-gilead. 5 When he got there, the military commanders were sitting together.
Young Prophet: I have a message for you, Commander.
Jehu: We are all commanders. Which commander do you seek?
Young Prophet: You, Commander.
6 Jehu stood up, and he and the young prophet entered the house together. The young man anointed Jehu’s head with oil and spoke these words:
Young Prophet: This is the message from the Eternal, Israel’s God: “I anoint you as king over all of the Eternal’s people. You are Israel’s king. 7 The first thing I want you to do is attack your master Ahab’s house. Do this so that I may have vengeance for what Jezebel did to My prophets and to those who served Me. 8 Slaughter all of Ahab’s household, starting with King Joram. All the male members of Ahab’s house, slave or free, will be killed in Israel. 9 Ahab’s household will be like the household of Jeroboam (Nebat’s son) and the household of Baasha (Ahijah’s son)—ruined. 10 Jezebel will be devoured by dogs in the land of Jezreel. Her body will not be buried by anyone because it will be torn to pieces.”
The young prophet then opened the door and departed in haste.
11 When Jehu appeared before his master’s servants, one of the commanders questioned him.
Commander: Is everything well? What did that lunatic have to say to you?
Jehu: You should already know this man and his talk of nonsense.
Jehu’s hesitation before telling his commanders what has happened is understandable. These men are all servants of King Joram. By allowing himself to be anointed as king, Jehu commits treason against his king, who has been God’s chosen ruler. This story parallels the ascension of David to Israel’s throne: both men serve in the king’s army, are anointed in private, and are reluctant to kill the king. Just as David was the fresh start for all of Israel, Jehu is God’s fresh start in the Northern Kingdom.
Commanders: 12 We don’t believe you. Tell us what he really said!
Jehu: Very well. This is what he told me: “This is the Eternal’s message: ‘I anoint you as Israel’s king.’”
13 All the men quickly took off their coats and placed them before Jehu on the steps. They sounded the trumpet.
Commanders: Jehu is now Israel’s king!
1 Corinthians 1:18-31 The Voice (VOICE)
18 For people who are stumbling toward ruin, the message of the cross is nothing but a tall tale for fools by a fool. But for those of us who are already experiencing the reality of being rescued and made right, it is nothing short of God’s power. 19 This is why the Scripture says:
I will put an end to the wisdom of the so-called wise,
20 So now, where is the philosopher? Where is the scholar? Where is the skilled debater, the best of your time? Step up, if you dare. Hasn’t God made fools out of those who count on the wisdom of this rebellious, broken world? 21 For in God’s deep wisdom, He made it so that the world could not even begin to comprehend Him through its own style of wisdom; in fact, God took immense pleasure in rescuing people of faith through the foolishness of the message we preach. 22 It seems the Jews are always asking for signs and the Greeks are always on the prowl for wisdom. 23 But we tell a different story. We proclaim a crucified Jesus, God’s Anointed. For Jews this is scandalous, for outsiders[b] this is moronic, 24 but for those of us living out God’s call—regardless of our Jewish or Greek heritage—we know the Anointed embodies God’s dynamic power and God’s deep wisdom. 25 You can count on this: God’s foolishness will always be wiser than mere human wisdom, and God’s weakness will always be stronger than mere human strength.
The cross challenges human values because no one expects to find freedom through capital punishment. Unlike most of the thousands who faced crucifixion before and after Jesus, He was clearly not a criminal. God uses this contradiction to reveal His power and wisdom: Jesus has offered Himself to death and has been raised to life to bring liberation to others. Those who truly follow this crucified king do not seek power and authority through the normal patterns of the world; they offer themselves in loving sacrifice for others. That is where God’s transforming power is truly revealed in the church.
26 Look carefully at your call, brothers and sisters. By human standards, not many of you are deemed to be wise. Not many are considered powerful. Not many of you come from royalty, right? 27 But celebrate this: God selected the world’s foolish to bring shame upon those who think they are wise; likewise, He selected the world’s weak to bring disgrace upon those who think they are strong. 28 God selected the common and the castoff, whatever lacks status, so He could invalidate the claims of those who think those things are significant. 29 So it makes no sense for any person to boast in God’s presence. 30 Instead, credit God with your new situation: you are united with Jesus the Anointed. He is God’s wisdom for us and more. He is our righteousness and holiness and redemption. 31 As the Scripture says: “If someone wants to boast, he should boast in the Lord.”[c]
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