Isaiah 14-16The Message (MSG)
Now You Are Nothing
14 1-2 But not so with Jacob. God will have compassion on Jacob. Once again he’ll choose Israel. He’ll establish them in their own country. Outsiders will be attracted and throw their lot in with Jacob. The nations among whom they lived will actually escort them back home, and then Israel will pay them back by making slaves of them, men and women alike, possessing them as slaves in God’s country, capturing those who had captured them, ruling over those who had abused them.
3-4 When God has given you time to recover from the abuse and trouble and harsh servitude that you had to endure, you can amuse yourselves by taking up this satire, a taunt against the king of Babylon:
4-6 Can you believe it? The tyrant is gone!
7-10 And now it’s over, the whole earth quietly at rest.
11 This is where your pomp and fine music led you, Babylon,
12 What a comedown this, O Babylon!
13-14 You said to yourself,
15-17 But you didn’t make it, did you?
18-20 Other kings get a decent burial,
21 Get a place ready to slaughter the sons of the wicked
22-23 “I will confront them”—Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies—“and strip Babylon of name and survivors, children and grandchildren.” God’s Decree. “I’ll make it a worthless swamp and give it as a prize to the hedgehog. And then I’ll bulldoze it out of existence.” Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
Who Could Ever Cancel Such Plans?
24-27 God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaks:
“Exactly as I planned,
28-31 In the year King Ahaz died, this Message came:
Hold it, Philistines! It’s too soon to celebrate
32 What does one say to
Poignant Cries Reverberate Through Moab
15 1-4 A Message concerning Moab:
Village Ar of Moab is in ruins,
5-9 Oh, how I grieve for Moab!
A New Government in the David Tradition
16 1-4 “Dispatch a gift of lambs,” says Moab,
4-5 “When this is all over,” Judah answers,
6-12 We’ve heard—everyone’s heard!—of Moab’s pride,
13-14 This is God’s earlier Message on Moab. God’s updated Message is, “In three years, no longer than the term of an enlisted soldier, Moab’s impressive presence will be gone, that splendid hot-air balloon will be punctured, and instead of a vigorous population, just a few shuffling bums cadging handouts.”
Ephesians 5:1-16The Message (MSG)
Wake Up from Your Sleep
5 1-2 Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.
3-4 Don’t allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed. Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that. Don’t talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn’t fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect.
5 You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them—the usual variations on idolatry—will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God.
6-7 Don’t let yourselves get taken in by religious smooth talk. God gets furious with people who are full of religious sales talk but want nothing to do with him. Don’t even hang around people like that.
8-10 You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.
11-16 Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.
Wake up from your sleep,
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!