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?
1 Kings 19:1-15 The Voice (VOICE)
19 When Ahab arrived in Jezreel, he told Jezebel about everything that had taken place. He told her how Elijah had executed all the prophets of Baal with a sword, and she became furious. 2 Jezebel sent an urgent message to Elijah.
Jezebel’s Message: May the gods kill me and worse, if I haven’t killed you the way you killed their priests by this time tomorrow. Your end is near, Elijah.
3 Terrified, Elijah quickly ran for his life. He traveled the length of Israel in one day and finally arrived at Beersheba, the southern point of God’s territory, which is in Judah. When he arrived, he instructed his servant to remain there while he sought solitude. 4 He journeyed into the desert for one day and then decided to rest beneath the limbs of a broom tree. There he prayed that his life would be over quickly and that he would die there beneath the tree.
Elijah: I’m finished, Eternal One. Please end my life here and now, even though I have failed, and I am no better than my ancestors.
5 Elijah then laid himself down under the broom tree and entered into a deep sleep. While he was sleeping, a heavenly messenger came and touched him and gave him instructions.
Messenger: Get up, and eat.
6 Elijah looked and found a breadcake sitting over charcoal near his head. There was also a jar of water. He ate the food and drank the water, and then he lay back down.
Often the only thing growing in the desert, the small broom tree has enough substance to save Elijah. This bush, whose limbs grow straight up like a broom standing on its end, offers meager shade; but its oil-rich branches and roots make excellent fuel and charcoal; the thick roots travel deep into the ground and offer both water and fire. God provides for Elijah’s needs—nothing more, and nothing less.
7 The Eternal’s messenger visited him again, touched him, and gave him more instructions.
Heavenly Messenger: Get up, and eat. Your journey ahead is great, and you need plenty of nourishment.
8 Elijah got up and ate the food and drank the water. His body felt strong again, and he journeyed for 40 more days and 40 more nights to Horeb, God’s mountain where Moses received the Ten Directives. 9 When he arrived at Horeb, he walked into a cave and rested for the night.
Eternal One (to Elijah): Why are you here, Elijah? What is it that you desire?
Elijah: 10 As you know, all my passion has been devoted to the Eternal One, the God of heavenly armies. The Israelites have abandoned Your covenant with them, they have torn down every single one of Your altars, and they have executed by the sword all those who prophesy in Your name. I am the last remaining prophet, and they now seek to execute me as well.
Eternal One: 11 Leave this cave, and go stand on the mountainside in My presence.
The Eternal passed by him. The mighty wind separated the mountains and crumbled every stone before the Eternal. This was not a divine wind, for the Eternal was not within this wind. After the wind passed through, an earthquake shook the earth. This was not a divine quake, for the Eternal was not within this earthquake. 12-13 After the earthquake was over, there was a fire. This was not a divine fire, for the Eternal was not within this fire.
After the fire died out, there was nothing but the sound of a calm breeze. And through this breeze a gentle, quiet voice entered into Elijah’s ears. He covered his face with his cloak and went to the mouth of the cave. Suddenly, Elijah was surprised.
Eternal One: Why are you here, Elijah? What is it that you desire?
Elijah: 14 As you know, all my passion has been devoted to the Eternal God of heavenly armies. The Israelites have abandoned Your covenant with them, they have torn down every one of Your altars, and they have executed all who prophesy in Your name by the sword. I am the last remaining prophet, and they now seek to execute me as well. They won’t stop.
Eternal One: 15 Travel back the same way you traveled here, but continue north to the desert of Damascus. There, I want you to anoint Hazael as Aram’s king,
Galatians 3:23-29 The Voice (VOICE)
23 Before faith came on the scene, the law did its best to keep us in line, restraining us until the faith that was to come was fully revealed. 24 So then, the law was like a tutor, assigned to train us and point us to the Anointed, so that we will be acquitted of all wrong and made right by faith. 25 But now that true faith has come, we have no need for a tutor. 26 It is your faith in the Anointed Jesus that makes all of you children of God 27 because all of you who have been initiated into the Anointed One through the ceremonial washing of baptism[a] have put Him on. 28 It makes no difference whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a freeman, a man or a woman, because in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, you are all one. 29 Since you belong to Him and are now subject to His power, you are the descendant of Abraham and the heir of God’s glory according to the promise.
Luke 8:26-39 The Voice (VOICE)
26 When they get to the other side of the lake, in the Gerasene country opposite Galilee, 27 a man from the city is waiting for Jesus when He steps out of the boat. The man is full of demonic spirits. He’s been running around for a long time stark naked, and he’s homeless, sleeping among the dead in a cemetery. 28-29 This man has on many occasions been tied up and chained and kept under guard, but each time he has broken free and the demonic power has driven him back into remote places away from human contact. Jesus commands the demonic force to leave him. The man looks at Jesus and starts screaming. He falls down in front of Jesus.
Possessed Man (shouting): Don’t torment me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God! Why are You here?
Jesus (calmly and simply): 30 What’s your name?
Possessed Man: Battalion.
He says this because an army of demons is inside of him. 31 The demons start begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit. 32 They plead instead to enter into a herd of pigs feeding on a steep hillside near the shore. Jesus gives them permission to do so. 33 Suddenly the man is liberated from the demons, but the pigs—they stampede, squealing down the hill and into the lake where they drown themselves.
34 The pig owners see all this. They run back to their town and tell everyone in the region about it. 35 Soon a crowd rushes from the town to see what’s going on out by the lake. There they find Jesus seated to teach with the newly liberated man sitting at His feet learning in the posture of a disciple. This former madman is now properly dressed and completely sane. This frightens the people. 36 The pig owners tell them the whole story—the healing, the pigs’ mass suicide, everything.
37 The people are scared to death, and they don’t want this scary abnormality happening in their territory. They ask Jesus to leave immediately. Jesus doesn’t argue. He prepares to leave, 38 but before they embark, the newly liberated man begs to come along and join the band of disciples.
Jesus: 39 No. Go home. Tell your people this amazing story about how much God has done for you.
The man does so. In fact, he tells everyone in the whole city how much Jesus did for him that day on the shore.
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