Isaiah 28-29 The Message (MSG)
God Will Speak in Baby Talk
28 1-4 Doom to the pretentious drunks of Ephraim,
5-6 At that time, God-of-the-Angel-Armies will be
7-8 These also, the priest and prophet, stagger from drink,
9-10 “Is that so? And who do you think you are to teach us?
11-12 But that’s exactly how you will be addressed.
13 So God will start over with the simple basics
14-15 Now listen to God’s Message, you scoffers,
The Meaning of the Stone
16-17 But the Master, God, has something to say to this:
“Watch closely. I’m laying a foundation in Zion,
18-22 “Then you’ll see that your precious life insurance policy
23-26 Listen to me now.
27-29 And at the harvest, the delicate herbs and spices,
Blind Yourselves So That You See Nothing
29 1-4 Doom, Ariel, Ariel,
5-8 But it will be your enemies who are beaten to dust,
9-10 Drug yourselves so you feel nothing.
You Have Everything Backward
11-12 What you’ve been shown here is somewhat like a letter in a sealed envelope. If you give it to someone who can read and tell her, “Read this,” she’ll say, “I can’t. The envelope is sealed.” And if you give it to someone who can’t read and tell him, “Read this,” he’ll say, “I can’t read.”
13-14 The Master said:
“These people make a big show of saying the right thing,
15-16 Doom to you! You pretend to have the inside track.
17-21 And then before you know it,
22-24 And finally this, God’s Message for the family of Jacob,
Philippians 3 The Message (MSG)
To Know Him Personally
3 And that’s about it, friends. Be glad in God!
I don’t mind repeating what I have written in earlier letters, and I hope you don’t mind hearing it again. Better safe than sorry—so here goes.
2-6 Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them. The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials. You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.
7-9 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.
10-11 I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.
Focused on the Goal
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.
20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.