Ezekiel 27-29The Message (MSG)
Tyre, Gateway to the Sea
27 1-9 God’s Message came to me: “You, son of man, raise a funeral song over Tyre. Tell Tyre, gateway to the sea, merchant to the world, trader among the far-off islands, ‘This is what God, the Master, says:
“‘You boast, Tyre:
10-11 “‘Your army was composed of soldiers
12 “‘Tarshish carried on business with you because of your great wealth. They worked for you, trading in silver, iron, tin, and lead for your products.
13 “‘Greece, Tubal, and Meshech did business with you, trading slaves and bronze for your products.
14 “‘Beth-togarmah traded work horses, war horses, and mules for your products.
15 “‘The people of Rhodes did business with you. Many far-off islands traded with you in ivory and ebony.
16 “‘Edom did business with you because of all your goods. They traded for your products with agate, purple textiles, embroidered cloth, fine linen, coral, and rubies.
17 “‘Judah and Israel did business with you. They traded for your products with premium wheat, millet, honey, oil, and balm.
18 “‘Damascus, attracted by your vast array of products and well-stocked warehouses, carried on business with you, trading in wine from Helbon and wool from Zahar.
19 “‘Danites and Greeks from Uzal traded with you, using wrought iron, cinnamon, and spices.
20 “‘Dedan traded with you for saddle blankets.
21 “‘Arabia and all the Bedouin sheiks of Kedar traded lambs, rams, and goats with you.
22 “‘Traders from Sheba and Raamah in South Arabia carried on business with you in premium spices, precious stones, and gold.
23-24 “‘Haran, Canneh, and Eden from the east in Assyria and Media traded with you, bringing elegant clothes, dyed textiles, and elaborate carpets to your bazaars.
25 “‘The great Tarshish ships were your freighters, importing and exporting. Oh, it was big business for you, trafficking the seaways!
26-32 “‘Your sailors row mightily,
33-36 “‘As you crisscrossed the seas with your products,
The Money Has Gone to Your Head
28 1-5 God’s Message came to me, “Son of man, tell the prince of Tyre, ‘This is what God, the Master, says:
“‘Your heart is proud,
6-11 “‘Therefore, God, the Master, says:
“‘Because you’re acting like a god,
11-19 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, raise a funeral song over the king of Tyre. Tell him, A Message from God, the Master:
“You had everything going for you.
20-23 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, confront Sidon. Preach against it. Say, ‘Message from God, the Master:
“‘Look! I’m against you, Sidon.
24 “No longer will Israel have to put up with
25-26 God, the Master, says, “When I gather Israel from the peoples among whom they’ve been scattered and put my holiness on display among them with all the nations looking on, then they’ll live in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. They’ll live there in safety. They’ll build houses. They’ll plant vineyards, living in safety. Meanwhile, I’ll bring judgment on all the neighbors who have treated them with such contempt. And they’ll realize that I am God.”
Never a World Power Again
29 1-6 In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day, God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, confront Pharaoh king of Egypt. Preach against him and all the Egyptians. Tell him, ‘God, the Master, says:
“‘Watch yourself, Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
6-9 “‘Because you’ve been a flimsy reed crutch to Israel so that when they gripped you, you splintered and cut their hand, and when they leaned on you, you broke and sent them sprawling—Message of God, the Master—I’ll bring war against you, do away with people and animals alike, and turn the country into an empty desert so they’ll realize that I am God.
9-11 “‘Because you said, “It’s my Nile. I made it. It’s all mine,” therefore I am against you and your rivers. I’ll reduce Egypt to an empty, desolate wasteland all the way from Migdol in the north to Syene and the border of Ethiopia in the south. Not a human will be seen in it, nor will an animal move through it. It’ll be just empty desert, empty for forty years.
12 “‘I’ll make Egypt the most desolate of all desolations. For forty years I’ll make her cities the most wasted of all wasted cities. I’ll scatter Egyptians to the four winds, send them off every which way into exile.
13-16 “‘But,’ says God, the Master, ‘that’s not the end of it. After the forty years, I’ll gather up the Egyptians from all the places where they’ve been scattered. I’ll put things back together again for Egypt. I’ll bring her back to Pathros where she got her start long ago. There she’ll start over again from scratch. She’ll take her place at the bottom of the ladder and there she’ll stay, never to climb that ladder again, never to be a world power again. Never again will Israel be tempted to rely on Egypt. All she’ll be to Israel is a reminder of old sin. Then Egypt will realize that I am God, the Master.’”
17-18 In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, has worn out his army against Tyre. They’ve worked their fingers to the bone and have nothing to show for it.
19-20 “Therefore, God, the Master, says, ‘I’m giving Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He’ll haul away its wealth, pick the place clean. He’ll pay his army with Egyptian plunder. He’s been working for me all these years without pay. This is his pay: Egypt. Decree of God, the Master.
21 “‘And then I’ll stir up fresh hope in Israel—the dawn of deliverance!—and I’ll give you, Ezekiel, bold and confident words to speak. And they’ll realize that I am God.’”
1 Peter 3The Message (MSG)
Cultivate Inner Beauty
3 1-4 The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.
4-6 Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as “my dear husband.” You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated.
7 The same goes for you husbands: Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground.
Suffering for Doing Good
8-12 Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
Whoever wants to embrace life
13-18 If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.
19-22 He went and proclaimed God’s salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgment because they wouldn’t listen. You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience. Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies. He’s standing right alongside God, and what he says goes.