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Exodus 14-15The Message (MSG)

The Story and Song of Salvation

14 1-2 God spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites to turn around and make camp at Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. Camp on the shore of the sea opposite Baal Zephon.

3-4 “Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are lost; they’re confused. The wilderness has closed in on them.’ Then I’ll make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn again and he’ll chase after them. And I’ll use Pharaoh and his army to put my Glory on display. Then the Egyptians will realize that I am God.”

And that’s what happened.

5-7 When the king of Egypt was told that the people were gone, he and his servants changed their minds. They said, “What have we done, letting Israel, our slave labor, go free?” So he had his chariots harnessed up and got his army together. He took six hundred of his best chariots, with the rest of the Egyptian chariots and their drivers coming along.

8-9 God made Pharaoh king of Egypt stubborn, determined to chase the Israelites as they walked out on him without even looking back. The Egyptians gave chase and caught up with them where they had made camp by the sea—all Pharaoh’s horse-drawn chariots and their riders, all his foot soldiers there at Pi Hahiroth opposite Baal Zephon.

10-12 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw them—Egyptians! Coming at them!

They were totally afraid. They cried out in terror to God. They told Moses, “Weren’t the cemeteries large enough in Egypt so that you had to take us out here in the wilderness to die? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt? Back in Egypt didn’t we tell you this would happen? Didn’t we tell you, ‘Leave us alone here in Egypt—we’re better off as slaves in Egypt than as corpses in the wilderness.’”

13 Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again.

14 God will fight the battle for you.
    And you? You keep your mouths shut!”

15-16 God said to Moses: “Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving. Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea: Split the sea! The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground.

17-18 “Meanwhile I’ll make sure the Egyptians keep up their stubborn chase—I’ll use Pharaoh and his entire army, his chariots and horsemen, to put my Glory on display so that the Egyptians will realize that I am God.”

19-20 The angel of God that had been leading the camp of Israel now shifted and got behind them. And the Pillar of Cloud that had been in front also shifted to the rear. The Cloud was now between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel. The Cloud enshrouded one camp in darkness and flooded the other with light. The two camps didn’t come near each other all night.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and God, with a terrific east wind all night long, made the sea go back. He made the sea dry ground. The seawaters split.

22-25 The Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground with the waters a wall to the right and to the left. The Egyptians came after them in full pursuit, every horse and chariot and driver of Pharaoh racing into the middle of the sea. It was now the morning watch. God looked down from the Pillar of Fire and Cloud on the Egyptian army and threw them into a panic. He clogged the wheels of their chariots; they were stuck in the mud.

The Egyptians said, “Run from Israel! God is fighting on their side and against Egypt!”

26 God said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea and the waters will come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots, over their horsemen.”

27-28 Moses stretched his hand out over the sea: As the day broke and the Egyptians were running, the sea returned to its place as before. God dumped the Egyptians in the middle of the sea. The waters returned, drowning the chariots and riders of Pharaoh’s army that had chased after Israel into the sea. Not one of them survived.

29-31 But the Israelites walked right through the middle of the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall to the right and to the left. God delivered Israel that day from the oppression of the Egyptians. And Israel looked at the Egyptian dead, washed up on the shore of the sea, and realized the tremendous power that God brought against the Egyptians. The people were in reverent awe before God and trusted in God and his servant Moses.

15 1-8 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to God, giving voice together,

I’m singing my heart out to God—what a victory!
    He pitched horse and rider into the sea.
God is my strength, God is my song,
    and, yes! God is my salvation.
This is the kind of God I have
    and I’m telling the world!
This is the God of my father—
    I’m spreading the news far and wide!
God is a fighter,
    pure God, through and through.
Pharaoh’s chariots and army
    he dumped in the sea,
The elite of his officers
    he drowned in the Red Sea.
Wild ocean waters poured over them;
    they sank like a rock in the deep blue sea.
Your strong right hand, God, shimmers with power;
    your strong right hand shatters the enemy.
In your mighty majesty
    you smash your upstart enemies,
You let loose your hot anger
    and burn them to a crisp.
At a blast from your nostrils
    the waters piled up;
Tumbling streams dammed up,
    wild oceans curdled into a swamp.

The enemy spoke,
        “I’ll pursue, I’ll hunt them down,
    I’ll divide up the plunder,
        I’ll glut myself on them;
    I’ll pull out my sword,
        my fist will send them reeling.”

10-11 You blew with all your might
        and the sea covered them.
    They sank like a lead weight
        in the majestic waters.
    Who compares with you
        among gods, O God?
    Who compares with you in power,
        in holy majesty,
    In awesome praises,
        wonder-working God?

12-13 You stretched out your right hand
        and the Earth swallowed them up.
    But the people you redeemed,
        you led in merciful love;
    You guided them under your protection
        to your holy pasture.

14-18 When people heard, they were scared;
        Philistines writhed and trembled;
    Yes, even the head men in Edom were shaken,
        and the big bosses in Moab.
    Everybody in Canaan
        panicked and fell faint.
    Dread and terror
        sent them reeling.
    Before your brandished right arm
        they were struck dumb like a stone,
    Until your people crossed over and entered, O God,
        until the people you made crossed over and entered.
    You brought them and planted them
        on the mountain of your heritage,
    The place where you live,
        the place you made,
    Your sanctuary, Master,
        that you established with your own hands.
    Let God rule
        forever, for eternity!

19 Yes, Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and riders went into the sea and God turned the waters back on them; but the Israelites walked on dry land right through the middle of the sea.

20-21 Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine, and all the women followed her with tambourines, dancing. Miriam led them in singing,

Sing to God
    what a victory!
He pitched horse and rider
    into the sea!

Traveling Through the Wilderness

22-24 Moses led Israel from the Red Sea on to the Wilderness of Shur. They traveled for three days through the wilderness without finding any water. They got to Marah, but they couldn’t drink the water at Marah; it was bitter. That’s why they called the place Marah (Bitter). And the people complained to Moses, “So what are we supposed to drink?”

25 So Moses cried out in prayer to God. God pointed him to a stick of wood. Moses threw it into the water and the water turned sweet.

26 That’s the place where God set up rules and procedures; that’s where he started testing them.

God said, “If you listen, listen obediently to how God tells you to live in his presence, obeying his commandments and keeping all his laws, then I won’t strike you with all the diseases that I inflicted on the Egyptians; I am God your healer.”

27 They came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. They set up camp there by the water.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Matthew 17The Message (MSG)

Sunlight Poured from His Face

17 1-3 Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him.

Peter broke in, “Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?”

While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.”

6-8 When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus.

Coming down the mountain, Jesus swore them to secrecy. “Don’t breathe a word of what you’ve seen. After the Son of Man is raised from the dead, you are free to talk.”

10 The disciples, meanwhile, were asking questions. “Why do the religion scholars say that Elijah has to come first?”

11-13 Jesus answered, “Elijah does come and get everything ready. I’m telling you, Elijah has already come but they didn’t know him when they saw him. They treated him like dirt, the same way they are about to treat the Son of Man.” That’s when the disciples realized that all along he had been talking about John the Baptizer.

With a Mere Kernel of Faith

14-16 At the bottom of the mountain, they were met by a crowd of waiting people. As they approached, a man came out of the crowd and fell to his knees begging, “Master, have mercy on my son. He goes out of his mind and suffers terribly, falling into seizures. Frequently he is pitched into the fire, other times into the river. I brought him to your disciples, but they could do nothing for him.”

17-18 Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” He ordered the afflicting demon out—and it was out, gone. From that moment on the boy was well.

19 When the disciples had Jesus off to themselves, they asked, “Why couldn’t we throw it out?”

20 “Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”

22-23 As they were regrouping in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed to some people who want nothing to do with God. They will murder him—and three days later he will be raised alive.” The disciples felt terrible.

24 When they arrived at Capernaum, the tax men came to Peter and asked, “Does your teacher pay taxes?”

25 Peter said, “Of course.”

But as soon as they were in the house, Jesus confronted him. “Simon, what do you think? When a king levies taxes, who pays—his children or his subjects?”

26-27 He answered, “His subjects.”

Jesus said, “Then the children get off free, right? But so we don’t upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth and you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for both of us.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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