Psalm 68-69The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm
68 1-4 Up with God!
5-6 Father of orphans,
7-10 God, when you took the lead with your people,
11-14 The Lord gave the word;
15-16 You huge mountains, Bashan mountains,
17-18 The chariots of God, twice ten thousand,
19-23 Blessed be the Lord—
24-31 See God on parade
32-34 Sing, O kings of the earth!
35 A terrible beauty, O God,
A David Psalm
69 God, God, save me!
2 Quicksand under me, swamp water over me;
3 I’m hoarse from calling for help,
4 I’ve got more enemies than hairs on my head;
What I never stole
5 God, you know every sin I’ve committed;
6 Don’t let those who look to you in hope
Don’t let those out looking for you
7 Because of you I look like an idiot,
8 My brothers shun me like a bum off the street;
9 I love you more than I can say.
10 When I poured myself out in prayer and fasting,
11 When I put on a sad face,
12 Now drunks and gluttons
13 And me? I pray.
God, answer in love!
14 Rescue me from the swamp,
Pull me out of the clutch of the enemy;
15 Don’t let the swamp be my grave, the Black Hole
16 Now answer me, God, because you love me;
17 Don’t look the other way; your servant can’t take it.
18 Come close, God; get me out of here.
19 You know how they kick me around—
20 I’m broken by their taunts,
I looked in vain for one friendly face. Not one.
21 They put poison in my soup,
22 Let their supper be bait in a trap that snaps shut;
23 Make them become blind as bats,
24 Let them know what you think of them,
25 Burn down their houses,
26 They gossiped about the one you disciplined,
27 Pile on the guilt,
28 Strike their names from the list of the living;
29 I’m hurt and in pain;
30 Let me shout God’s name with a praising song,
31 For God, this is better than oxen on the altar,
32 The poor in spirit see and are glad—
33 For God listens to the poor,
34 You heavens, praise him; praise him, earth;
35 For God is out to help Zion,
Guess who will live there—
36 No, the children of his servants will get it,
Romans 8:1-21The Message (MSG)
The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms
8 1-2 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
3-4 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.
The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.
5-8 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.
9-11 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!
12-14 So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!
18-21 That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.