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Isaiah 62-64The Message (MSG)

Look, Your Savior Comes!

62 1-5 Regarding Zion, I can’t keep my mouth shut,
    regarding Jerusalem, I can’t hold my tongue,
Until her righteousness blazes down like the sun
    and her salvation flames up like a torch.
Foreign countries will see your righteousness,
    and world leaders your glory.
You’ll get a brand-new name
    straight from the mouth of God.
You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand,
    a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God.
No more will anyone call you Rejected,
    and your country will no more be called Ruined.
You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight),
    and your land Beulah (Married),
Because God delights in you
    and your land will be like a wedding celebration.
For as a young man marries his virgin bride,
    so your builder marries you,
And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride,
    so your God is happy with you.

6-7 I’ve posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem.
    Day and night they keep at it, praying, calling out,
    reminding God to remember.
They are to give him no peace until he does what he said,
    until he makes Jerusalem famous as the City of Praise.

8-9 God has taken a solemn oath,
    an oath he means to keep:
“Never again will I open your grain-filled barns
    to your enemies to loot and eat.
Never again will foreigners drink the wine
    that you worked so hard to produce.
No. The farmers who grow the food will eat the food
    and praise God for it.
And those who make the wine will drink the wine
    in my holy courtyards.”

10-12 Walk out of the gates. Get going!
    Get the road ready for the people.
Build the highway. Get at it!
    Clear the debris,
    hoist high a flag, a signal to all peoples!
Yes! God has broadcast to all the world:
    “Tell daughter Zion, ‘Look! Your Savior comes,
Ready to do what he said he’d do,
    prepared to complete what he promised.’”
Zion will be called new names: Holy People, God-Redeemed,
    Sought-Out, City-Not-Forsaken.

Who Goes There?

63 The watchmen call out,
“Who goes there, marching out of Edom,
    out of Bozrah in clothes dyed red?
Name yourself, so splendidly dressed,
    advancing, bristling with power!”

“It is I: I speak what is right,
    I, mighty to save!”

“And why are your robes so red,
    your clothes dyed red like those who tread grapes?”

3-6 “I’ve been treading the winepress alone.
    No one was there to help me.
Angrily, I stomped the grapes;
    raging, I trampled the people.
Their blood spurted all over me—
    all my clothes were soaked with blood.
I was set on vengeance.
    The time for redemption had arrived.
I looked around for someone to help
    —no one.
I couldn’t believe it
    —not one volunteer.
So I went ahead and did it myself,
    fed and fueled by my rage.
I trampled the people in my anger,
    crushed them under foot in my wrath,
    soaked the earth with their lifeblood.”

All the Things God Has Done That Need Praising

7-9 I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
    all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
    his great goodness to the family of Israel—
Compassion lavished,
    love extravagant.
He said, “Without question these are my people,
    children who would never betray me.”
So he became their Savior.
    In all their troubles,
    he was troubled, too.
He didn’t send someone else to help them.
    He did it himself, in person.
Out of his own love and pity
    he redeemed them.
He rescued them and carried them along
    for a long, long time.

10 But they turned on him;
    they grieved his Holy Spirit.
So he turned on them,
    became their enemy and fought them.

11-14 Then they remembered the old days,
    the days of Moses, God’s servant:
“Where is he who brought the shepherds of his flock
    up and out of the sea?
And what happened to the One who set
    his Holy Spirit within them?
Who linked his arm with Moses’ right arm,
    divided the waters before them,
Making him famous ever after,
    and led them through the muddy abyss
    as surefooted as horses on hard, level ground?
Like a herd of cattle led to pasture,
    the Spirit of God gave them rest.”

14-19 That’s how you led your people!
    That’s how you became so famous!
Look down from heaven, look at us!
    Look out the window of your holy and magnificent house!
Whatever happened to your passion,
    your famous mighty acts,
Your heartfelt pity, your compassion?
    Why are you holding back?
You are our Father.
    Abraham and Israel are long dead.
    They wouldn’t know us from Adam.
But you’re our living Father,
    our Redeemer, famous from eternity!
Why, God, did you make us wander from your ways?
    Why did you make us cold and stubborn
    so that we no longer worshiped you in awe?
Turn back for the sake of your servants.
    You own us! We belong to you!
For a while your holy people had it good,
    but now our enemies have wrecked your holy place.
For a long time now, you’ve paid no attention to us.
    It’s like you never knew us.

Can We Be Saved?

64 1-7 Oh, that you would rip open the heavens and descend,
    make the mountains shudder at your presence—
As when a forest catches fire,
    as when fire makes a pot to boil—
To shock your enemies into facing you,
    make the nations shake in their boots!
You did terrible things we never expected,
    descended and made the mountains shudder at your presence.
Since before time began
    no one has ever imagined,
No ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you
    who works for those who wait for him.
You meet those who happily do what is right,
    who keep a good memory of the way you work.
But how angry you’ve been with us!
    We’ve sinned and kept at it so long!
    Is there any hope for us? Can we be saved?
We’re all sin-infected, sin-contaminated.
    Our best efforts are grease-stained rags.
We dry up like autumn leaves—
    sin-dried, we’re blown off by the wind.
No one prays to you
    or makes the effort to reach out to you
Because you’ve turned away from us,
    left us to stew in our sins.

8-12 Still, God, you are our Father.
    We’re the clay and you’re our potter:
    All of us are what you made us.
Don’t be too angry with us, O God.
    Don’t keep a permanent account of wrongdoing.
    Keep in mind, please, we are your people—all of us.
Your holy cities are all ghost towns:
    Zion’s a ghost town,
    Jerusalem’s a field of weeds.
Our holy and beautiful Temple,
    which our ancestors filled with your praises,
Was burned down by fire,
    all our lovely parks and gardens in ruins.
In the face of all this,
    are you going to sit there unmoved, God?
Aren’t you going to say something?
    Haven’t you made us miserable long enough?

The Message (MSG)

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

1 Timothy 1The Message (MSG)

1-2 I, Paul, am an apostle on special assignment for Christ, our living hope. Under God our Savior’s command, I’m writing this to you, Timothy, my son in the faith. All the best from our God and Christ be yours!

Self-Appointed Experts on Life

3-4 On my way to the province of Macedonia, I advised you to stay in Ephesus. Well, I haven’t changed my mind. Stay right there on top of things so that the teaching stays on track. Apparently some people have been introducing fantasy stories and fanciful family trees that digress into silliness instead of pulling the people back into the center, deepening faith and obedience.

5-7 The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love—love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God. Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into cul-de-sacs of gossip. They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven’t the remotest idea of what they’re holding forth with such imposing eloquence.

8-11 It’s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say. It’s obvious, isn’t it, that the law code isn’t primarily for people who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever! They are contemptuous of this great Message I’ve been put in charge of by this great God.

12-14 I’m so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry. The only credentials I brought to it were invective and witch hunts and arrogance. But I was treated mercifully because I didn’t know what I was doing—didn’t know Who I was doing it against! Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me. And all because of Jesus.

15-19 Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off—evidence of his endless patience—to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever.

Deep honor and bright glory
    to the King of All Time—
One God, Immortal, Invisible,
    ever and always. Oh, yes!

I’m passing this work on to you, my son Timothy. The prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us for this. All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle, keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we’re in.

19-20 There are some, you know, who by relaxing their grip and thinking anything goes have made a thorough mess of their faith. Hymenaeus and Alexander are two of them. I let them wander off to Satan to be taught a lesson or two about not blaspheming.

The Message (MSG)

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

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