A A A A A
Bible Book List

Hosea 6The Message (MSG)

Gangs of Priests Assaulting Worshipers

1-3 “Come on, let’s go back to God.
    He hurt us, but he’ll heal us.
He hit us hard,
    but he’ll put us right again.
In a couple of days we’ll feel better.
    By the third day he’ll have made us brand-new,
Alive and on our feet,
    fit to face him.
We’re ready to study God,
    eager for God-knowledge.
As sure as dawn breaks,
    so sure is his daily arrival.
He comes as rain comes,
    as spring rain refreshing the ground.”

4-7 “What am I to do with you, Ephraim?
    What do I make of you, Judah?
Your declarations of love last no longer
    than morning mist and predawn dew.
That’s why I use prophets to shake you to attention,
    why my words cut you to the quick:
To wake you up to my judgment
    blazing like light.
I’m after love that lasts, not more religion.
    I want you to know God, not go to more prayer meetings.
You broke the covenant—just like Adam!
    You broke faith with me—ungrateful wretches!

8-9 “Gilead has become Crime City—
    blood on the sidewalks, blood on the streets.
It used to be robbers who mugged pedestrians.
    Now it’s gangs of priests
Assaulting worshipers on their way to Shechem.
    Nothing is sacred to them.

10 “I saw a shocking thing in the country of Israel:
    Ephraim worshiping in a religious whorehouse,
    and Israel in the mud right there with him.

11 “You’re as bad as the worst of them, Judah.
    You’ve been sowing wild oats. Now it’s harvest time.”

The Message (MSG)

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

Hosea 7The Message (MSG)

Despite All the Signs, Israel Ignores God

1-2 “Every time I gave Israel a fresh start,
    wiped the slate clean and got them going again,
Ephraim soon filled the slate with new sins,
    the treachery of Samaria written out in bold print.
Two-faced and double-tongued,
    they steal you blind, pick you clean.
It never crosses their mind
    that I keep account of their every crime.
They’re mud-spattered head to toe with the residue of sin.
    I see who they are and what they’ve done.

3-7 “They entertain the king with their evil circus,
    delight the princes with their acrobatic lies.
They’re a bunch of overheated adulterers,
    like an oven that holds its heat
From the kneading of the dough
    to the rising of the bread.
On the royal holiday the princes get drunk
    on wine and the frenzy of the mocking mob.
They’re like wood stoves,
    red-hot with lust.
Through the night their passion is banked;
    in the morning it blazes up, flames hungrily licking.
Murderous and volcanic,
    they incinerate their rulers.
Their kings fall one by one,
    and no one pays any attention to me.

8-10 “Ephraim mingles with the pagans, dissipating himself.
    Ephraim is half-baked.
Strangers suck him dry
    but he doesn’t even notice.
His hair has turned gray—
    he doesn’t notice.
Bloated by arrogance, big as a house,
    Israel’s a public disgrace.
Israel lumbers along oblivious to God,
    despite all the signs, ignoring God.

11-16 “Ephraim is bird-brained,
    mindless, clueless,
First chirping after Egypt,
    then fluttering after Assyria.
I’ll throw my net over them. I’ll clip their wings.
    I’ll teach them to mind me!
Doom! They’ve run away from home.
    Now they’re really in trouble! They’ve defied me.
And I’m supposed to help them
    while they feed me a line of lies?
Instead of crying out to me in heartfelt prayer,
    they whoop it up in bed with their whores,
Gash themselves bloody in their sex-and-religion orgies,
    but turn their backs on me.
I’m the one who gave them good minds and healthy bodies,
    and how am I repaid? With evil scheming!
They turn, but not to me—
    turn here, then there, like a weather vane.
Their rulers will be cut down, murdered—
    just deserts for their mocking blasphemies.
And the final sentence?
    Ridicule in the court of world opinion.”

The Message (MSG)

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

Hosea 8The Message (MSG)

Altars for Sinning

1-3 “Blow the trumpet! Sound the alarm!
    Vultures are circling over God’s people
Who have broken my covenant
    and defied my revelation.
Predictably, Israel cries out, ‘My God! We know you!’
    But they don’t act like it.
Israel will have nothing to do with what’s good,
    and now the enemy is after them.

4-10 “They crown kings, but without asking me.
    They set up princes but don’t let me in on it.
Instead, they make idols, using silver and gold,
    idols that will be their ruin.
Throw that gold calf-god on the trash heap, Samaria!
    I’m seething with anger against that rubbish!
How long before they shape up?
    And they’re Israelites!
A sculptor made that thing—
    it’s not God.
That Samaritan calf
    will be broken to bits.
Look at them! Planting wind-seeds,
    they’ll harvest tornadoes.
Wheat with no head
    produces no flour.
And even if it did,
    strangers would gulp it down.
Israel is swallowed up and spit out.
    Among the pagans they’re a piece of junk.
They trotted off to Assyria:
    Why, even wild donkeys stick to their own kind,
    but donkey-Ephraim goes out and pays to get lovers.
Now, because of their whoring life among the pagans,
    I’m going to gather them together and confront them.
They’re going to reap the consequences soon,
    feel what it’s like to be oppressed by the big king.

11-14 “Ephraim has built a lot of altars,
    and then uses them for sinning.
    Can you believe it? Altars for sinning!
I write out my revelation for them in detail
    and they pretend they can’t read it.
They offer sacrifices to me
    and then they feast on the meat.
    God is not pleased!
I’m fed up—I’ll keep remembering their guilt.
    I’ll punish their sins
    and send them back to Egypt.
Israel has forgotten his Maker
    and gotten busy making palaces.
    Judah has gone in for a lot of fortress cities.
I’m sending fire on their cities
    to burn down their fortifications.”

The Message (MSG)

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

Hosea 9The Message (MSG)

Starved for God

1-6 Don’t waste your life in wild orgies, Israel.
    Don’t party away your life with the heathen.
You walk away from your God at the drop of a hat
    and like a whore sell yourself promiscuously
    at every sex-and-religion party on the street.
All that party food won’t fill you up.
    You’ll end up hungrier than ever.
At this rate you’ll not last long in God’s land:
    Some of you are going to end up bankrupt in Egypt.
    Some of you will be disillusioned in Assyria.
As refugees in Egypt and Assyria,
    you won’t have much chance to worship God
Sentenced to rations of bread and water,
    and your souls polluted by the spirit-dirty air.
You’ll be starved for God,
    exiled from God’s own country.
Will you be homesick for the old Holy Days?
    Will you miss festival worship of God?
Be warned! When you escape from the frying pan of disaster,
    you’ll fall into the fire of Egypt.
    Egypt will give you a fine funeral!
What use will all your god-inspired silver be then
    as you eke out a living in a field of weeds?

7-9 Time’s up. Doom’s at the doorstep.
    It’s payday!
Did Israel bluster, “The prophet is crazy!
    The ‘man of the Spirit’ is nuts!”?
Think again. Because of your great guilt,
    you’re in big trouble.
The prophet is looking out for Ephraim,
    working under God’s orders.
But everyone is trying to trip him up.
    He’s hated right in God’s house, of all places.
The people are going from bad to worse,
    rivaling that ancient and unspeakable crime at Gibeah.
God’s keeping track of their guilt.
    He’ll make them pay for their sins.

They Took to Sin Like a Pig to Filth

10-13 “Long ago when I came upon Israel,
    it was like finding grapes out in the desert.
When I found your ancestors, it was like finding
    a fig tree bearing fruit for the first time.
But when they arrived at Baal-peor, that pagan shrine,
    they took to sin like a pig to filth,
    wallowing in the mud with their newfound friends.
Ephraim is fickle and scattered, like a flock of blackbirds,
    their beauty dissipated in confusion and clamor,
Frenetic and noisy, frigid and barren,
    and nothing to show for it—neither conception nor childbirth.
Even if they did give birth, I’d declare them
    unfit parents and take away their children!
Yes indeed—a black day for them
    when I turn my back and walk off!
I see Ephraim letting his children run wild.
    He might just as well take them and kill them outright!”

14 Give it to them, God! But what?
    Give them a dried-up womb and shriveled breasts.

15-16 “All their evil came out into the open
    at the pagan shrine at Gilgal. Oh, how I hated them there!
Because of their evil practices,
    I’ll kick them off my land.
I’m wasting no more love on them.
    Their leaders are a bunch of rebellious adolescents.
Ephraim is hit hard—
    roots withered, no more fruit.
Even if by some miracle they had children,
    the dear babies wouldn’t live—I’d make sure of that!”

17 My God has washed his hands of them.
    They wouldn’t listen.
They’re doomed to be wanderers,
    vagabonds among the godless nations.

The Message (MSG)

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

Hebrews 3The Message (MSG)

The Centerpiece of All We Believe

1-6 So, my dear Christian friends, companions in following this call to the heights, take a good hard look at Jesus. He’s the centerpiece of everything we believe, faithful in everything God gave him to do. Moses was also faithful, but Jesus gets far more honor. A builder is more valuable than a building any day. Every house has a builder, but the Builder behind them all is God. Moses did a good job in God’s house, but it was all servant work, getting things ready for what was to come. Christ as Son is in charge of the house.

6-11 Now, if we can only keep a firm grip on this bold confidence, we’re the house! That’s why the Holy Spirit says,

Today, please listen;
    don’t turn a deaf ear as in “the bitter uprising,”
    that time of wilderness testing!
Even though they watched me at work for forty years,
    your ancestors refused to let me do it my way;
    over and over they tried my patience.
And I was provoked, oh, so provoked!
    I said, “They’ll never keep their minds on God;
    they refuse to walk down my road.”
Exasperated, I vowed,
    “They’ll never get where they’re going,
    never be able to sit down and rest.”

12-14 So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it’s still God’s Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul.

These words keep ringing in our ears:

Today, please listen;
    don’t turn a deaf ear as in the bitter uprising.

15-19 For who were the people who turned a deaf ear? Weren’t they the very ones Moses led out of Egypt? And who was God provoked with for forty years? Wasn’t it those who turned a deaf ear and ended up corpses in the wilderness? And when he swore that they’d never get where they were going, wasn’t he talking to the ones who turned a deaf ear? They never got there because they never listened, never believed.

The Message (MSG)

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

Bible Gateway Recommends

The Message of Christmas 20 pack
The Message of Christmas 20 pack
Retail: $19.99
Our Price: $15.99Save: $4.00 (20%)Buy Now
The Message Deluxe Gift Bible, Brown/Saddle Tan Leather-Look
The Message Deluxe Gift Bible, Brown/Saddle Tan Leather-Look
Retail: $15.99
Our Price: $12.49Save: $3.50 (22%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
Buy Now
  Back

1 of 1

You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes