Ezekiel 30-32The Message (MSG)
Egypt on Fire
30 1-5 God, the Master, spoke to me: “Son of man, preach. Give them the Message of God, the Master. Wail:
6-8 “‘God says:
“‘Egypt’s allies will fall
9 “‘When that happens, I’ll send out messengers by ship to sound the alarm among the easygoing Ethiopians. They’ll be terrorized. Egypt’s doomed! Judgment’s coming!
10-12 “‘God, the Master, says:
“‘I’ll put a stop to Egypt’s arrogance.
13-19 “‘And now this is what God, the Master, says:
“‘I’ll smash all the no-god idols;
20 In the eleventh year, on the seventh day of the first month, God’s Message came to me:
21 “Son of man, I’ve broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And look! It hasn’t been set. No splint has been put on it so the bones can knit and heal, so he can use a sword again.
22-26 “Therefore, God, the Master, says, I am dead set against Pharaoh king of Egypt and will go ahead and break his other arm—both arms broken! There’s no way he’ll ever swing a sword again. I’ll scatter Egyptians all over the world. I’ll make the arms of the king of Babylon strong and put my sword in his hand, but I’ll break the arms of Pharaoh and he’ll groan like one who is mortally wounded. I’ll make the arms of the king of Babylon strong, but the arms of Pharaoh shall go limp. The Egyptians will realize that I am God when I place my sword in the hand of the king of Babylon. He’ll wield it against Egypt and I’ll scatter Egyptians all over the world. Then they’ll realize that I am God.”
The Funeral of the Big Tree
31 1-9 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the third month, God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt, that pompous old goat:
“‘Who do you, astride the world,
10-13 Therefore, God, the Master, says, “‘Because it skyscrapered upward, piercing the clouds, swaggering and proud of its stature, I turned it over to a world-famous leader to call its evil to account. I’d had enough. Outsiders, unbelievably brutal, felled it across the mountain ranges. Its branches were strewn through all the valleys, its leafy boughs clogging all the streams and rivers. Because its shade was gone, everybody walked off. No longer a tree—just a log. On that dead log birds perch. Wild animals burrow under it.
14 “‘That marks the end of the “big tree” nations. No more trees nourished from the great deep, no more cloud-piercing trees, no more earthborn trees taking over. They’re all slated for death—back to earth, right along with men and women, for whom it’s “dust to dust.”
15-17 “‘The Message of God, the Master: On the day of the funeral of the Big Tree, I threw the great deep into mourning. I stopped the flow of its rivers, held back great seas, and wrapped the Lebanon mountains in black. All the trees of the forest fainted and fell. I made the whole world quake when it crashed, and threw it into the underworld to take its place with all else that gets buried. All the trees of Eden and the finest and best trees of Lebanon, well-watered, were relieved—they had descended to the underworld with it—along with everyone who had lived in its shade and all who had been killed.
18 “‘Which of the trees of Eden came anywhere close to you in splendor and size? But you’re slated to be cut down to take your place in the underworld with the trees of Eden, to be a dead log stacked with all the other dead logs, among the other uncircumcised who are dead and buried.
“‘This means Pharaoh, the pompous old goat.
“‘Decree of God, the Master.’”
A Cloud Across the Sun
32 1-2 In the twelfth year, on the first day of the twelfth month, God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, sing a funeral lament over Pharaoh king of Egypt. Tell him:
“‘You think you’re a young lion
3-10 “‘God, the Master, says:
“‘I’m going to throw my net over you
To Lay Your Pride Low
11-15 “‘God, the Master, says:
“‘The sword of the king of Babylon
16 “This is a funeral song. Chant it.
17-19 In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth day of the first month, God’s Message came to me:
“Son of man, lament over Egypt’s pompous ways.
20-21 “She’ll be dumped in with those killed in battle. The sword is bared. Drag her off in all her proud pomp! All the big men and their helpers down among the dead and buried will greet them: ‘Welcome to the grave of the heathen! Join the ranks of the victims of war!’
22-23 “Assyria is there and its congregation, the whole nation a cemetery. Their graves are in the deepest part of the underworld, a congregation of graves, all killed in battle, these people who terrorized the land of the living.
24-25 “Elam is there in all her pride, a cemetery—all killed in battle, dumped in her heathen grave with the dead and buried, these people who terrorized the land of the living. They carry their shame with them, along with the others in the grave. They turned Elam into a resort for the pompous dead, landscaped with heathen graves, slaughtered in battle. They once terrorized the land of the living. Now they carry their shame down with the others in deep earth. They’re in the section set aside for the slain in battle.
26-27 “Meshech-tubal is there in all her pride, a cemetery in uncircumcised ground, dumped in with those slaughtered in battle—just deserts for terrorizing the land of the living. Now they carry their shame down with the others in deep earth. They’re in the section set aside for the slain. They’re segregated from the heroes, the old-time giants who entered the grave in full battle dress, their swords placed under their heads and their shields covering their bones, those heroes who spread terror through the land of the living.
28 “And you, Egypt, will be dumped in a heathen grave, along with all the rest, in the section set aside for the slain.
29 “Edom is there, with her kings and princes. In spite of her vaunted greatness, she is dumped in a heathen grave with the others headed for the grave.
30 “The princes of the north are there, the whole lot of them, and all the Sidonians who carry their shame to their graves—all that terror they spread with their brute power!—dumped in unhallowed ground with those killed in battle, carrying their shame with the others headed for deep earth.
31 “Pharaoh will see them all and, pompous old goat that he is, take comfort in the company he’ll keep—Pharaoh and his slaughtered army. Decree of God, the Master.
32 “I used him to spread terror in the land of the living and now I’m dumping him in heathen ground with those killed by the sword—Pharaoh and all his pomp. Decree of God, the Master.”
1 Peter 4The Message (MSG)
Learn to Think Like Him
4 1-2 Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.
3-5 You’ve already put in your time in that God-ignorant way of life, partying night after night, a drunken and profligate life. Now it’s time to be done with it for good. Of course, your old friends don’t understand why you don’t join in with the old gang anymore. But you don’t have to give an account to them. They’re the ones who will be called on the carpet—and before God himself.
6 Listen to the Message. It was preached to those believers who are now dead, and yet even though they died (just as all people must), they will still get in on the life that God has given in Jesus.
7-11 Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!
Glory Just Around the Corner
12-13 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
14-16 If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they’re on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that’s a different matter. But if it’s because you’re a Christian, don’t give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!
17-19 It’s judgment time for God’s own family. We’re first in line. If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s Message!
If good people barely make it,
So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it.