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Psalm 70-71The Message (MSG)

A David Prayer

70 1-3 God! Please hurry to my rescue!
    God, come quickly to my side!
Those who are out to get me—
    let them fall all over themselves.
Those who relish my downfall—
    send them down a blind alley.
Give them a taste of their own medicine,
    those gossips off clucking their tongues.

Let those on the hunt for you
    sing and celebrate.
Let all who love your saving way
    say over and over, “God is mighty!”

But I’ve lost it. I’m wasted.
    God—quickly, quickly!
Quick to my side, quick to my rescue!
    God, don’t lose a minute.

71 1-3 I run for dear life to God,
    I’ll never live to regret it.
Do what you do so well:
    get me out of this mess and up on my feet.
Put your ear to the ground and listen,
    give me space for salvation.
Be a guest room where I can retreat;
    you said your door was always open!
You’re my salvation—my vast, granite fortress.

4-7 My God, free me from the grip of Wicked,
    from the clutch of Bad and Bully.
You keep me going when times are tough—
    my bedrock, God, since my childhood.
I’ve hung on you from the day of my birth,
    the day you took me from the cradle;
    I’ll never run out of praise.
Many gasp in alarm when they see me,
    but you take me in stride.

8-11 Just as each day brims with your beauty,
    my mouth brims with praise.
But don’t turn me out to pasture when I’m old
    or put me on the shelf when I can’t pull my weight.
My enemies are talking behind my back,
    watching for their chance to knife me.
The gossip is: “God has abandoned him.
    Pounce on him now; no one will help him.”

12-16 God, don’t just watch from the sidelines.
    Come on! Run to my side!
My accusers—make them lose face.
    Those out to get me—make them look
Like idiots, while I stretch out, reaching for you,
    and daily add praise to praise.
I’ll write the book on your righteousness,
    talk up your salvation the livelong day,
    never run out of good things to write or say.
I come in the power of the Lord God,
    I post signs marking his right-of-way.

17-24 You got me when I was an unformed youth,
    God, and taught me everything I know.
Now I’m telling the world your wonders;
    I’ll keep at it until I’m old and gray.
God, don’t walk off and leave me
    until I get out the news
Of your strong right arm to this world,
    news of your power to the world yet to come,
Your famous and righteous
    ways, O God.
God, you’ve done it all!
    Who is quite like you?
You, who made me stare trouble in the face,
    Turn me around;
Now let me look life in the face.
    I’ve been to the bottom;
Bring me up, streaming with honors;
    turn to me, be tender to me,
And I’ll take up the lute and thank you
    to the tune of your faithfulness, God.
I’ll make music for you on a harp,
    Holy One of Israel.
When I open up in song to you,
    I let out lungsful of praise,
    my rescued life a song.
All day long I’m chanting
    about you and your righteous ways,
While those who tried to do me in
    slink off looking ashamed.

The Message (MSG)

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

Romans 8:22-39The Message (MSG)

22-25 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

29-30 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

The Message (MSG)

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

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