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 9:14-26 The Voice (VOICE)
14 Jehu (son of Jehoshaphat, Nimshi’s son) began plotting against Joram. The entire community of Israel with Joram was defending Ramoth-gilead against Hazael (Aram’s king); but if you remember, 15 King Joram had gone to Jezreel to wait for his injuries to heal—the injuries the Arameans had given him while he was fighting against Aram’s king, Hazael.
Jehu: If you really want me to be king, then do not let anyone leave this city to spread this news in Jezreel.
16 Jehu took a chariot to Jezreel, where Joram was resting. As you may recall, Ahaziah (Judah’s king) was there visiting Joram. 17 The watchman was up on the watchtower in Jezreel, and he saw Jehu and his followers approaching.
Watchman: There is a large group of people approaching.
Joram: Summon a horseman to go out to the group and ask them, “Do you come in peace?”
18 A horseman went out and spoke to Jehu and his followers.
Horseman: The king asks, “Do you come in peace?”
Jehu: Peace? What do you know about peace? Get behind me, and follow.
The watchman immediately went and updated Joram about the situation.
Watchman: The horseman went out to them, but he did not come back.
19 Joram summoned another horseman.
Second Horseman: The king asks, “Do you come in peace?”
Jehu: Peace? What do you know about peace? Get behind me, and follow.
20 The watchman then went and updated Joram about the situation again.
Watchman: The second horseman went out to them, but he did not come back either. Their force and speed is as fierce as the crazy driving of Jehu (Nimshi’s son).
Joram: 21 Prepare my chariot.
So they prepared his chariot; and he and Ahaziah (Judah’s king) went out together, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu’s caravan on Naboth the Jezreelite’s land.
Joram (face-to-face with Jehu): 22 Do you come in peace, Jehu?
Jehu: Peace? What do you know about peace when the promiscuity and witchcraft of your mother, Jezebel, are too vast to measure!
23 Joram quickly realized that Jehu intended to attack, so he immediately turned his chariot around, quickly rode away, and yelled out to Ahaziah.
Joram: We’ve been betrayed, Ahaziah! Quickly, ride away!
24 But Jehu pulled his bowstring back as far as he could. He released an arrow that struck Joram between his shoulder blades, piercing straight through his heart. Joram fell over in his chariot.
Jehu (to his officer, Bidkar): 25 Pick up his body, and throw him into the field of Naboth the Jezreelite on the eastern slope of the Jezreel hill. I have just remembered that while you and I were riding after his father, Ahab, the Eternal revealed a prophecy concerning him: 26 “I have seen the past and witnessed Naboth’s blood and that of his sons as well. I will one day pay you back in this land,” spoke the Eternal. So go now, pick up Joram’s body, and throw him into Naboth’s field, just as He has said.
Ephesians 2:11-22 The Voice (VOICE)
The relationship between faith and works is often misunderstood. Some think that salvation is God’s reward for good deeds. If that’s true, then it can’t possibly be a gift. If it were a reward, then heaven would be a place where people might compare notes on what they did to make it through the gates. But Paul is confident in the truth of the gospel. The truth is that salvation is God’s gift through Jesus. Grace and faith make salvation real in us. When we are transformed by grace, then we become His new creation and begin to live out the good works He has planned for us. Works, then, aren’t the cause of salvation; they are its result. To put it another way, works aren’t the means of salvation; they are its presence.
11 So never forget how you used to be. Those of you born as outsiders to Israel were outcasts, branded “the uncircumcised” by those who bore the sign of the covenant in their flesh, a sign made with human hands. 12 You had absolutely no connection to the Anointed; you were strangers, separated from God’s people. You were aliens to the covenant they had with God; you were hopelessly stranded without God in a fractured world. 13 But now, because of Jesus the Anointed and His sacrifice, all of that has changed. God gathered you who were so far away and brought you near to Him by the royal blood of the Anointed, our Liberating King.
14 He is the embodiment of our peace, sent once and for all to take down the great barrier of hatred and hostility that has divided us so that we can be one. 15 He offered His body on the sacrificial altar to bring an end to the law’s ordinances and dictations that separated Jews from the outside nations. His desire was to create in His body one new humanity from the two opposing groups, thus creating peace. 16 Effectively the cross becomes God’s means to kill off the hostility once and for all so that He is able to reconcile them both to God in this one new body.
17 The Great Preacher of peace and love came for you, and His voice found those of you who were near and those who were far away. 18 By Him both have access to the Father in one Spirit. 19 And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household. 20 You are being built on a solid foundation: the message of the prophets and the voices of God’s chosen emissaries[a] with Jesus, the Anointed Himself, the precious cornerstone. 21 The building is joined together stone by stone—all of us chosen and sealed in Him, rising up to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In Him you are being built together, creating a sacred dwelling place among you where God can live in the Spirit.
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