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Psalm 123-125The Message (MSG)

A Pilgrim Song

123 1-4 I look to you, heaven-dwelling God,
    look up to you for help.
Like servants, alert to their master’s commands,
    like a maiden attending her lady,
We’re watching and waiting, holding our breath,
    awaiting your word of mercy.
Mercy, God, mercy!
    We’ve been kicked around long enough,
Kicked in the teeth by complacent rich men,
    kicked when we’re down by arrogant brutes.

A Pilgrim Song of David

124 1-5 If God hadn’t been for us
    —all together now, Israel, sing out!—
If God hadn’t been for us
    when everyone went against us,
We would have been swallowed alive
    by their violent anger,
Swept away by the flood of rage,
    drowned in the torrent;
We would have lost our lives
    in the wild, raging water.

Oh, blessed be God!
    He didn’t go off and leave us.
He didn’t abandon us defenseless,
    helpless as a rabbit in a pack of snarling dogs.

We’ve flown free from their fangs,
    free of their traps, free as a bird.
Their grip is broken;
    we’re free as a bird in flight.

God’s strong name is our help,
    the same God who made heaven and earth.

A Pilgrim Song

125 1-5 Those who trust in God
    are like Zion Mountain:
Nothing can move it, a rock-solid mountain
    you can always depend on.
Mountains encircle Jerusalem,
    and God encircles his people—
    always has and always will.
The fist of the wicked
    will never violate
What is due the righteous,
    provoking wrongful violence.
Be good to your good people, God,
    to those whose hearts are right!
God will round up the backsliders,
    corral them with the incorrigibles.
Peace over Israel!

The Message (MSG)

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

1 Corinthians 10:1-18The Message (MSG)

10 1-5 Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God’s fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ. But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.

6-10 The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—“First the people partied, then they threw a dance.” We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them.

11-12 These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

14 So, my very dear friends, when you see people reducing God to something they can use or control, get out of their company as fast as you can.

15-18 I assume I’m addressing believers now who are mature. Draw your own conclusions: When we drink the cup of blessing, aren’t we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn’t it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don’t we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ? Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness—Christ doesn’t become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don’t reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is. That’s basically what happened even in old Israel—those who ate the sacrifices offered on God’s altar entered into God’s action at the altar.

The Message (MSG)

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

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