1 Samuel 13The Message (MSG)
“God Is Out Looking for Your Replacement”
13 Saul was a young man when he began as king. He was king over Israel for many years.
2 Saul conscripted enough men for three companies of soldiers. He kept two companies under his command at Micmash and in the Bethel hills. The other company was under Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. He sent the rest of the men home.
3-4 Jonathan attacked and killed the Philistine governor stationed at Geba (Gibeah). When the Philistines heard the news, they raised the alarm: “The Hebrews are in revolt!” Saul ordered the reveille trumpets blown throughout the land. The word went out all over Israel, “Saul has killed the Philistine governor—drawn first blood! The Philistines are stirred up and mad as hornets!” Summoned, the army came to Saul at Gilgal.
5 The Philistines rallied their forces to fight Israel: three companies of chariots, six companies of cavalry, and so many infantry they looked like sand on the seashore. They went up into the hills and set up camp at Micmash, east of Beth Aven.
6-7 When the Israelites saw that they were way outnumbered and in deep trouble, they ran for cover, hiding in caves and pits, ravines and brambles and cisterns—wherever. They retreated across the Jordan River, refugees fleeing to the country of Gad and Gilead. But Saul held his ground in Gilgal, his soldiers still with him but scared to death.
8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel. Samuel failed to show up at Gilgal, and the soldiers were slipping away, right and left.
9-10 So Saul took charge: “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!” He went ahead and sacrificed the burnt offering. No sooner had he done it than Samuel showed up! Saul greeted him.
11-12 Samuel said, “What on earth are you doing?”
Saul answered, “When I saw I was losing my army from under me, and that you hadn’t come when you said you would, and that the Philistines were poised at Micmash, I said, ‘The Philistines are about to come down on me in Gilgal, and I haven’t yet come before God asking for his help.’ So I took things into my own hands, and sacrificed the burnt offering.”
13-14 “That was a fool thing to do,” Samuel said to Saul. “If you had kept the appointment that your God commanded, by now God would have set a firm and lasting foundation under your kingly rule over Israel. As it is, your kingly rule is already falling to pieces. God is out looking for your replacement right now. This time he’ll do the choosing. When he finds him, he’ll appoint him leader of his people. And all because you didn’t keep your appointment with God!”
15 At that, Samuel got up and left Gilgal. What army there was left followed Saul into battle. They went into the hills from Gilgal toward Gibeah in Benjamin. Saul looked over and assessed the soldiers still with him—a mere six hundred!
Jonathan and His Armor Bearer
16-18 Saul, his son Jonathan, and the soldiers who had remained made camp at Geba (Gibeah) of Benjamin. The Philistines were camped at Micmash. Three squads of raiding parties were regularly sent out from the Philistine camp. One squadron was assigned to the Ophrah road going toward Shual country; another was assigned to the Beth Horon road; the third took the border road that rimmed the Valley of Hyenas.
19-22 There wasn’t a blacksmith to be found anywhere in Israel. The Philistines made sure of that—“Lest those Hebrews start making swords and spears.” That meant that the Israelites had to go down among the Philistines to keep their farm tools—plowshares and mattocks, axes and sickles—sharp and in good repair. They charged a silver coin for the plowshares and mattocks, and half that for the rest. So when the battle of Micmash was joined, there wasn’t a sword or spear to be found anywhere in Israel—except for Saul and his son Jonathan; they were both well-armed.
23 A patrol of Philistines took up a position at Micmash Pass.
1 Chronicles 2The Message (MSG)
The Family of Israel (Jacob)
2 1-2 Israel’s (that is, Jacob’s) sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
3-9 Judah had Er, Onan, and Shelah; their mother was Bathshua the Canaanite. Er, Judah’s firstborn, was so bad before God that God killed him. Judah also had Perez and Zerah by his daughter-in-law Tamar—a total of five sons. Perez had Hezron and Hamul; Zerah had Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Darda—five sons. Carmi had Achar, who brought doom on Israel when he violated a holy ban. Ethan’s son was Azariah. And Hezron had Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai.
10-17 Ram had Amminadab and Amminadab had Nahshon, a prominent leader in the Judah family. Nahshon had Salmon and Salmon had Boaz. Boaz had Obed and Obed had Jesse. Jesse’s firstborn was Eliab, followed by Abinadab, Shimea, Nethanel, Raddai, Ozem, and finally David; David was the seventh. Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. Zeruiah gave birth to three sons: Abishai, Joab, and Asahel; Abigail was the mother of Amasa (the father was Jether the Ishmaelite).
The Family of Caleb
18-24 Caleb son of Hezron had children by his wife Azubah and also by Jerioth. Azubah’s sons were Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. After Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who gave birth to Hur. Hur had Uri and Uri had Bezalel. Some time later Hezron married the daughter of Makir the father of Gilead; he was sixty years old when he married her; she gave birth to Segub. Then Segub had Jair who owned twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead. Geshur and Aram captured the nomadic villages of Jair and Kenath and their satellite settlements—sixty towns. These all belonged to Makir the father of Gilead. After the death of Hezron, Caleb married Ephrathah the wife of his father Hezron; she then gave birth to Ashhur the father of Tekoa.
The Family of Jerahmeel
25-26 The sons of Jerahmeel, Hezron’s firstborn: Ram his firstborn, followed by Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. Jerahmeel had another wife whose name was Atarah; she gave birth to Onam.
27 The sons of Ram, Jerahmeel’s firstborn: Maaz, Jamin, and Eker.
28-29 The sons of Onam: Shammai and Jada.
The sons of Shammai: Nadab and Abishur. Abishur’s wife was Abihail; she gave birth to Ahban and Molid.
30 Nadab had Seled and Appaim. Seled died leaving no sons.
31 Appaim had Ishi; Ishi had Sheshan; and Sheshan had Ahlai.
32 Jada, Shammai’s brother, had Jether and Jonathan. Jether died leaving no sons.
33 Jonathan had Peleth and Zaza.
This is the family tree of the sons of Jerahmeel.
34-41 Sheshan had no sons, only daughters. But Sheshan had an Egyptian servant, Jarha. Sheshan married his daughter to Jarha and she gave birth to Attai. Attai had Nathan, Nathan had Zabad, Zabad had Ephlal, Ephlal had Obed, Obed had Jehu, Jehu had Azariah, Azariah had Helez, Helez had Eleasah, Eleasah had Sismai, Sismai had Shallum, Shallum had Jekamiah, and Jekamiah had Elishama.
42 Jerahmeel’s brother Caleb had a son, his firstborn, named Mesha; Mesha had Ziph; Ziph’s son was Mareshah the father of Hebron.
43-44 The sons of Hebron: Korah, Tappuah, Rekem, and Shema. Shema had Raham the father of Jorkeam; Rekem had Shammai.
45 Shammai’s son was Maon and Maon was the father of Beth Zur.
46 Caleb’s concubine Ephah gave birth to Haran, Moza, and Gazez; Haran had Gazez.
47 The sons of Jahdai: Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah, and Shaaph.
48-50 Another concubine of Caleb, Maacah, gave birth to Sheber and Tirhanah. She also bore Shaaph the father of Madmannah and Sheva the father of Macbenah and Gibea. Caleb’s daughter was Acsah. These made up the Caleb branch of the family tree.
50-51 The sons of Hur, Ephrathah’s firstborn: Shobal who had Kiriath Jearim, Salma who had Bethlehem, and Hareph father of Beth Gader.
52-53 The family of Shobal, father of Kiriath Jearim: Haroeh, half of the population of Manahath, the families of Kiriath Jearim, the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites, and the Mishraites. The Zorathites and Eshtaolites also came from this line.
54-55 The sons of Salma: Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth Beth Joab, half of the Manahathites, the Zorites, and the families of Sopherim who lived at Jabez—the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and the Sucathites. They made up the Kenites who came from Hammath the father of the house of Recab.
1 Chronicles 3The Message (MSG)
The Family of David
3 1-3 These are the sons that David had while he lived at Hebron:
His firstborn was Amnon by Ahinoam of Jezreel;
second, Daniel by Abigail of Carmel;
third, Absalom born of Maacah, daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
fourth, Adonijah born of Haggith;
fifth, Shephatiah born of Abital;
sixth, Ithream born of his wife Eglah.
4-9 He had these six sons while he was in Hebron; he was king there for seven years and six months.
He went on to be king in Jerusalem for another thirty-three years. These are the sons he had in Jerusalem: first Shammua, then Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon. Bathsheba daughter of Ammiel was the mother of these four. And then there were another nine sons: Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, Eliphelet—David’s sons, plus Tamar their sister. There were other sons by his concubines.
10-14 In the next generation Solomon had Rehoboam, who had Abijah, who had Asa, who had Jehoshaphat, who had Jehoram, who had Ahaziah, who had Joash, who had Amaziah, who had Azariah, who had Jotham, who had Ahaz, who had Hezekiah, who had Manasseh, who had Amon, who had Josiah.
15 Josiah’s firstborn was Johanan, followed by Jehoiakim, then Zedekiah, and finally Shallum.
16 Jehoiakim’s sons were Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) and Zedekiah.
17-18 The sons of Jeconiah born while he was captive in Babylon: Shealtiel, Malkiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah.
19-20 Pedaiah had Zerubbabel and Shimei; Zerubbabel had Meshullam and Hananiah. Shelomith was their sister. And then five more—Hashubah, Ohel, Berekiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-Hesed.
21 Hananiah’s sons were Pelatiah and Jeshaiah. There were also sons of Rephaiah, sons of Arnan, sons of Obadiah, and sons of Shecaniah.
22 Shecaniah had Shemaiah who in his turn had Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah, and Shaphat—six of them.
23 Neariah had three sons: Elioenai, Hizkiah, and Azrikam.
24 And Elioenai had seven sons: Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah, and Anani.
2 Corinthians 12The Message (MSG)
Strength from Weakness
12 1-5 You’ve forced me to talk this way, and I do it against my better judgment. But now that we’re at it, I may as well bring up the matter of visions and revelations that God gave me. For instance, I know a man who, fourteen years ago, was seized by Christ and swept in ecstasy to the heights of heaven. I really don’t know if this took place in the body or out of it; only God knows. I also know that this man was hijacked into paradise—again, whether in or out of the body, I don’t know; God knows. There he heard the unspeakable spoken, but was forbidden to tell what he heard. This is the man I want to talk about. But about myself, I’m not saying another word apart from the humiliations.
6 If I had a mind to brag a little, I could probably do it without looking ridiculous, and I’d still be speaking plain truth all the way. But I’ll spare you. I don’t want anyone imagining me as anything other than the fool you’d encounter if you saw me on the street or heard me talk.
7-10 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
11-13 Well, now I’ve done it! I’ve made a complete fool of myself by going on like this. But it’s not all my fault; you put me up to it. You should have been doing this for me, sticking up for me and commending me instead of making me do it for myself. You know from personal experience that even if I’m a nobody, a nothing, I wasn’t second-rate compared to those big-shot apostles you’re so taken with. All the signs that mark a true apostle were in evidence while I was with you through both good times and bad: signs of portent, signs of wonder, signs of power. Did you get less of me or of God than any of the other churches? The only thing you got less of was less responsibility for my upkeep. Well, I’m sorry. Forgive me for depriving you.
14-15 Everything is in readiness now for this, my third visit to you. But don’t worry about it; you won’t have to put yourselves out. I’ll be no more of a bother to you this time than on the other visits. I have no interest in what you have—only in you. Children shouldn’t have to look out for their parents; parents look out for the children. I’d be most happy to empty my pockets, even mortgage my life, for your good. So how does it happen that the more I love you, the less I’m loved?
16-18 And why is it that I keep coming across these whiffs of gossip about how my self-support was a front behind which I worked an elaborate scam? Where’s the evidence? Did I cheat or trick you through anyone I sent? I asked Titus to visit, and sent some brothers along. Did they swindle you out of anything? And haven’t we always been just as aboveboard, just as honest?
19 I hope you don’t think that all along we’ve been making our defense before you, the jury. You’re not the jury; God is the jury—God revealed in Christ—and we make our case before him. And we’ve gone to all the trouble of supporting ourselves so that we won’t be in the way or get in the way of your growing up.
20-21 I do admit that I have fears that when I come you’ll disappoint me and I’ll disappoint you, and in frustration with each other everything will fall to pieces—quarrels, jealousy, flaring tempers, taking sides, angry words, vicious rumors, swelled heads, and general bedlam. I don’t look forward to a second humiliation by God among you, compounded by hot tears over that crowd that keeps sinning over and over in the same old ways, who refuse to turn away from the pigsty of evil, sexual disorder, and indecency in which they wallow.