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Isaiah 63The Message (MSG)

Who Goes There?

63 The watchmen call out,
“Who goes there, marching out of Edom,
    out of Bozrah in clothes dyed red?
Name yourself, so splendidly dressed,
    advancing, bristling with power!”

“It is I: I speak what is right,
    I, mighty to save!”

“And why are your robes so red,
    your clothes dyed red like those who tread grapes?”

3-6 “I’ve been treading the winepress alone.
    No one was there to help me.
Angrily, I stomped the grapes;
    raging, I trampled the people.
Their blood spurted all over me—
    all my clothes were soaked with blood.
I was set on vengeance.
    The time for redemption had arrived.
I looked around for someone to help
    —no one.
I couldn’t believe it
    —not one volunteer.
So I went ahead and did it myself,
    fed and fueled by my rage.
I trampled the people in my anger,
    crushed them under foot in my wrath,
    soaked the earth with their lifeblood.”

All the Things God Has Done That Need Praising

7-9 I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
    all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
    his great goodness to the family of Israel—
Compassion lavished,
    love extravagant.
He said, “Without question these are my people,
    children who would never betray me.”
So he became their Savior.
    In all their troubles,
    he was troubled, too.
He didn’t send someone else to help them.
    He did it himself, in person.
Out of his own love and pity
    he redeemed them.
He rescued them and carried them along
    for a long, long time.

10 But they turned on him;
    they grieved his Holy Spirit.
So he turned on them,
    became their enemy and fought them.

11-14 Then they remembered the old days,
    the days of Moses, God’s servant:
“Where is he who brought the shepherds of his flock
    up and out of the sea?
And what happened to the One who set
    his Holy Spirit within them?
Who linked his arm with Moses’ right arm,
    divided the waters before them,
Making him famous ever after,
    and led them through the muddy abyss
    as surefooted as horses on hard, level ground?
Like a herd of cattle led to pasture,
    the Spirit of God gave them rest.”

14-19 That’s how you led your people!
    That’s how you became so famous!
Look down from heaven, look at us!
    Look out the window of your holy and magnificent house!
Whatever happened to your passion,
    your famous mighty acts,
Your heartfelt pity, your compassion?
    Why are you holding back?
You are our Father.
    Abraham and Israel are long dead.
    They wouldn’t know us from Adam.
But you’re our living Father,
    our Redeemer, famous from eternity!
Why, God, did you make us wander from your ways?
    Why did you make us cold and stubborn
    so that we no longer worshiped you in awe?
Turn back for the sake of your servants.
    You own us! We belong to you!
For a while your holy people had it good,
    but now our enemies have wrecked your holy place.
For a long time now, you’ve paid no attention to us.
    It’s like you never knew us.

The Message (MSG)

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

Isaiah 64The Message (MSG)

Can We Be Saved?

64 1-7 Oh, that you would rip open the heavens and descend,
    make the mountains shudder at your presence—
As when a forest catches fire,
    as when fire makes a pot to boil—
To shock your enemies into facing you,
    make the nations shake in their boots!
You did terrible things we never expected,
    descended and made the mountains shudder at your presence.
Since before time began
    no one has ever imagined,
No ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you
    who works for those who wait for him.
You meet those who happily do what is right,
    who keep a good memory of the way you work.
But how angry you’ve been with us!
    We’ve sinned and kept at it so long!
    Is there any hope for us? Can we be saved?
We’re all sin-infected, sin-contaminated.
    Our best efforts are grease-stained rags.
We dry up like autumn leaves—
    sin-dried, we’re blown off by the wind.
No one prays to you
    or makes the effort to reach out to you
Because you’ve turned away from us,
    left us to stew in our sins.

8-12 Still, God, you are our Father.
    We’re the clay and you’re our potter:
    All of us are what you made us.
Don’t be too angry with us, O God.
    Don’t keep a permanent account of wrongdoing.
    Keep in mind, please, we are your people—all of us.
Your holy cities are all ghost towns:
    Zion’s a ghost town,
    Jerusalem’s a field of weeds.
Our holy and beautiful Temple,
    which our ancestors filled with your praises,
Was burned down by fire,
    all our lovely parks and gardens in ruins.
In the face of all this,
    are you going to sit there unmoved, God?
Aren’t you going to say something?
    Haven’t you made us miserable long enough?

The Message (MSG)

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

Psalm 107The Message (MSG)

107 1-3 Oh, thank God—he’s so good!
    His love never runs out.
All of you set free by God, tell the world!
    Tell how he freed you from oppression,
Then rounded you up from all over the place,
    from the four winds, from the seven seas.

4-9 Some of you wandered for years in the desert,
    looking but not finding a good place to live,
Half-starved and parched with thirst,
    staggering and stumbling, on the brink of exhaustion.
Then, in your desperate condition, you called out to God.
    He got you out in the nick of time;
He put your feet on a wonderful road
    that took you straight to a good place to live.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
He poured great draughts of water down parched throats;
    the starved and hungry got plenty to eat.

10-16 Some of you were locked in a dark cell,
    cruelly confined behind bars,
Punished for defying God’s Word,
    for turning your back on the High God’s counsel—
A hard sentence, and your hearts so heavy,
    and not a soul in sight to help.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
    he got you out in the nick of time.
He led you out of your dark, dark cell,
    broke open the jail and led you out.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
He shattered the heavy jailhouse doors,
    he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks!

17-22 Some of you were sick because you’d lived a bad life,
    your bodies feeling the effects of your sin;
You couldn’t stand the sight of food,
    so miserable you thought you’d be better off dead.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
    he got you out in the nick of time.
He spoke the word that healed you,
    that pulled you back from the brink of death.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
Offer thanksgiving sacrifices,
    tell the world what he’s done—sing it out!

23-32 Some of you set sail in big ships;
    you put to sea to do business in faraway ports.
Out at sea you saw God in action,
    saw his breathtaking ways with the ocean:
With a word he called up the wind—
    an ocean storm, towering waves!
You shot high in the sky, then the bottom dropped out;
    your hearts were stuck in your throats.
You were spun like a top, you reeled like a drunk,
    you didn’t know which end was up.
Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
    he got you out in the nick of time.
He quieted the wind down to a whisper,
    put a muzzle on all the big waves.
And you were so glad when the storm died down,
    and he led you safely back to harbor.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
Lift high your praises when the people assemble,
    shout Hallelujah when the elders meet!

33-41 God turned rivers into wasteland,
    springs of water into sunbaked mud;
Luscious orchards became alkali flats
    because of the evil of the people who lived there.
Then he changed wasteland into fresh pools of water,
    arid earth into springs of water,
Brought in the hungry and settled them there;
    they moved in—what a great place to live!
They sowed the fields, they planted vineyards,
    they reaped a bountiful harvest.
He blessed them and they prospered greatly;
    their herds of cattle never decreased.
But abuse and evil and trouble declined
    as he heaped scorn on princes and sent them away.
He gave the poor a safe place to live,
    treated their clans like well-cared-for sheep.

42-43 Good people see this and are glad;
    bad people are speechless, stopped in their tracks.
If you are really wise, you’ll think this over—
    it’s time you appreciated God’s deep love.

The Message (MSG)

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

John 2The Message (MSG)

From Water to Wine

1-3 Three days later there was a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. Jesus and his disciples were guests also. When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus’ mother told him, “They’re just about out of wine.”

Jesus said, “Is that any of our business, Mother—yours or mine? This isn’t my time. Don’t push me.”

She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.”

6-7 Six stoneware water pots were there, used by the Jews for ritual washings. Each held twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus ordered the servants, “Fill the pots with water.” And they filled them to the brim.

“Now fill your pitchers and take them to the host,” Jesus said, and they did.

9-10 When the host tasted the water that had become wine (he didn’t know what had just happened but the servants, of course, knew), he called out to the bridegroom, “Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you’ve saved the best till now!”

11 This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

12 After this he went down to Capernaum along with his mother, brothers, and disciples, and stayed several days.

Tear Down This Temple . . .

13-14 When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.

15-17 Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”

18-19 But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.”

20-22 They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.

23-25 During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn’t entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn’t need any help in seeing right through them.

The Message (MSG)

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

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