A A A A A
Bible Book List

Isaiah 65The Message (MSG)

The People Who Bothered to Reach Out to God

65 1-7 “I’ve made myself available
    to those who haven’t bothered to ask.
I’m here, ready to be found
    by those who haven’t bothered to look.
I kept saying ‘I’m here, I’m right here’
    to a nation that ignored me.
I reached out day after day
    to a people who turned their backs on me,
People who make wrong turns,
    who insist on doing things their own way.
They get on my nerves,
    are rude to my face day after day,
Make up their own kitchen religion,
    a potluck religious stew.
They spend the night in tombs
    to get messages from the dead,
Eat forbidden foods
    and drink a witch’s brew of potions and charms.
They say, ‘Keep your distance.
    Don’t touch me. I’m holier than thou.’
These people gag me.
    I can’t stand their stench.
Look at this! Their sins are all written out—
    I have the list before me.
I’m not putting up with this any longer.
    I’ll pay them the wages
They have coming for their sins.
    And for the sins of their parents lumped in,
    a bonus.” God says so.
“Because they’ve practiced their blasphemous worship,
    mocking me at their hillside shrines,
I’ll let loose the consequences
    and pay them in full for their actions.”

8-10 God’s Message:

“But just as one bad apple doesn’t ruin the whole bushel,
    there are still plenty of good apples left.
So I’ll preserve those in Israel who obey me.
    I won’t destroy the whole nation.
I’ll bring out my true children from Jacob
    and the heirs of my mountains from Judah.
My chosen will inherit the land,
    my servants will move in.
The lush valley of Sharon in the west
    will be a pasture for flocks,
And in the east, the valley of Achor,
    a place for herds to graze.
These will be for the people
    who bothered to reach out to me, who wanted me in their lives,
    who actually bothered to look for me.

11-12 “But you who abandon me, your God,
    who forget the holy mountains,
Who hold dinners for Lady Luck
    and throw cocktail parties for Sir Fate,
Well, you asked for it. Fate it will be:
    your destiny, Death.
For when I invited you, you ignored me;
    when I spoke to you, you brushed me off.
You did the very things I exposed as evil;
    you chose what I hate.”

13-16 Therefore, this is the Message from the Master, God:

“My servants will eat,
    and you’ll go hungry;
My servants will drink,
    and you’ll go thirsty;
My servants will rejoice,
    and you’ll hang your heads.
My servants will laugh from full hearts,
    and you’ll cry out heartbroken,
    yes, wail from crushed spirits.
Your legacy to my chosen
    will be your name reduced to a cussword.
I, God, will put you to death
    and give a new name to my servants.
Then whoever prays a blessing in the land
    will use my faithful name for the blessing,
And whoever takes an oath in the land
    will use my faithful name for the oath,
Because the earlier troubles are gone and forgotten,
    banished far from my sight.

New Heavens and a New Earth

17-25 “Pay close attention now:
    I’m creating new heavens and a new earth.
All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain
    are things of the past, to be forgotten.
Look ahead with joy.
    Anticipate what I’m creating:
I’ll create Jerusalem as sheer joy,
    create my people as pure delight.
I’ll take joy in Jerusalem,
    take delight in my people:
No more sounds of weeping in the city,
    no cries of anguish;
No more babies dying in the cradle,
    or old people who don’t enjoy a full lifetime;
One-hundredth birthdays will be considered normal—
    anything less will seem like a cheat.
They’ll build houses
    and move in.
They’ll plant fields
    and eat what they grow.
No more building a house
    that some outsider takes over,
No more planting fields
    that some enemy confiscates,
For my people will be as long-lived as trees,
    my chosen ones will have satisfaction in their work.
They won’t work and have nothing come of it,
    they won’t have children snatched out from under them.
For they themselves are plantings blessed by God,
    with their children and grandchildren likewise God-blessed.
Before they call out, I’ll answer.
    Before they’ve finished speaking, I’ll have heard.
Wolf and lamb will graze the same meadow,
    lion and ox eat straw from the same trough,
    but snakes—they’ll get a diet of dirt!
Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill
    anywhere on my Holy Mountain,” says God.

The Message (MSG)

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

Isaiah 66The Message (MSG)

Living Worship to God

66 1-2 God’s Message:

“Heaven’s my throne,
    earth is my footstool.
What sort of house could you build for me?
    What holiday spot reserve for me?
I made all this! I own all this!”
    God’s Decree.
“But there is something I’m looking for:
    a person simple and plain,
    reverently responsive to what I say.

3-4 “Your acts of worship
    are acts of sin:
Your sacrificial slaughter of the ox
    is no different from murdering the neighbor;
Your offerings for worship,
    no different from dumping pig’s blood on the altar;
Your presentation of memorial gifts,
    no different from honoring a no-god idol.
You choose self-serving worship,
    you delight in self-centered worship—disgusting!
Well, I choose to expose your nonsense
    and let you realize your worst fears,
Because when I invited you, you ignored me;
    when I spoke to you, you brushed me off.
You did the very things I exposed as evil,
    you chose what I hate.”

But listen to what God has to say
    to you who reverently respond to his Word:
“Your own families hate you
    and turn you out because of me.
They taunt you, ‘Let us see God’s glory!
    If God’s so great, why aren’t you happy?’
But they’re the ones
    who are going to end up shamed.”

Rumbles of thunder from the city!
    A voice out of the Temple!
God’s voice,
    handing out judgment to his enemies:

7-9 “Before she went into labor,
    she had the baby.
Before the birth pangs hit,
    she delivered a son.
Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?
    Has anyone seen anything like this?
A country born in a day?
    A nation born in a flash?
But Zion was barely in labor
    when she had her babies!
Do I open the womb
    and not deliver the baby?
Do I, the One who delivers babies,
    shut the womb?

10-11 “Rejoice, Jerusalem,
    and all who love her, celebrate!
And all you who have shed tears over her,
    join in the happy singing.
You newborns can satisfy yourselves
    at her nurturing breasts.
Yes, delight yourselves and drink your fill
    at her ample bosom.”

12-13 God’s Message:

“I’ll pour robust well-being into her like a river,
    the glory of nations like a river in flood.
You’ll nurse at her breasts,
    nestle in her bosom,
    and be bounced on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
    so I’ll comfort you.
    You will be comforted in Jerusalem.”

14-16 You’ll see all this and burst with joy
    —you’ll feel ten feet tall—
As it becomes apparent that God is on your side
    and against his enemies.
For God arrives like wildfire
    and his chariots like a tornado,
A furious outburst of anger,
    a rebuke fierce and fiery.
For it’s by fire that God brings judgment,
    a death sentence on the human race.
Many, oh so many,
    are under God’s sentence of death:

17 “All who enter the sacred groves for initiation in those unholy rituals that climaxed in that foul and obscene meal of pigs and mice will eat together and then die together.” God’s Decree.

18-21 “I know everything they’ve ever done or thought. I’m going to come and then gather everyone—all nations, all languages. They’ll come and see my glory. I’ll set up a station at the center. I’ll send the survivors of judgment all over the world: Spain and Africa, Turkey and Greece, and the far-off islands that have never heard of me, who know nothing of what I’ve done nor who I am. I’ll send them out as missionaries to preach my glory among the nations. They’ll return with all your long-lost brothers and sisters from all over the world. They’ll bring them back and offer them in living worship to God. They’ll bring them on horses and wagons and carts, on mules and camels, straight to my holy mountain Jerusalem,” says God. “They’ll present them just as Israelites present their offerings in a ceremonial vessel in the Temple of God. I’ll even take some of them and make them priests and Levites,” says God.

22-23 “For just as the new heavens and new earth
    that I am making will stand firm before me”
        God’s Decree—
“So will your children
    and your reputation stand firm.
Month after month and week by week,
    everyone will come to worship me,” God says.

24 “And then they’ll go out and look at what happened
    to those who rebelled against me. Corpses!
Maggots endlessly eating away on them,
    an endless supply of fuel for fires.
Everyone who sees what’s happened
    and smells the stench retches.”

The Message (MSG)

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

Psalm 62The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

62 1-2 God, the one and only—
    I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I need comes from him,
    so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,
    breathing room for my soul,
An impregnable castle:
    I’m set for life.

3-4 How long will you gang up on me?
    How long will you run with the bullies?
There’s nothing to you, any of you—
    rotten floorboards, worm-eaten rafters,
Anthills plotting to bring down mountains,
    far gone in make-believe.
You talk a good line,
    but every “blessing” breathes a curse.

5-6 God, the one and only—
    I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I hope for comes from him,
    so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,
    breathing room for my soul,
An impregnable castle:
    I’m set for life.

7-8 My help and glory are in God
    —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—
So trust him absolutely, people;
    lay your lives on the line for him.
    God is a safe place to be.

Man as such is smoke,
    woman as such, a mirage.
Put them together, they’re nothing;
    two times nothing is nothing.

10 And a windfall, if it comes—
    don’t make too much of it.

11 God said this once and for all;
    how many times
Have I heard it repeated?
    “Strength comes
Straight from God.”

12 Love to you, Lord God!
    You pay a fair wage for a good day’s work!

The Message (MSG)

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

John 3The Message (MSG)

Born from Above

1-2 There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. Late one night he visited Jesus and said, “Rabbi, we all know you’re a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren’t in on it.”

Jesus said, “You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.”

“How can anyone,” said Nicodemus, “be born who has already been born and grown up? You can’t re-enter your mother’s womb and be born again. What are you saying with this ‘born-from-above’ talk?”

5-6 Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.

7-8 “So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”

Nicodemus asked, “What do you mean by this? How does this happen?”

10-12 Jesus said, “You’re a respected teacher of Israel and you don’t know these basics? Listen carefully. I’m speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don’t believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can’t see, the things of God?

13-15 “No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.

16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

19-21 “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”

The Bridegroom’s Friend

22-26 After this conversation, Jesus went on with his disciples into the Judean countryside and relaxed with them there. He was also baptizing. At the same time, John was baptizing over at Aenon near Salim, where water was abundant. This was before John was thrown into jail. John’s disciples got into an argument with the establishment Jews over the nature of baptism. They came to John and said, “Rabbi, you know the one who was with you on the other side of the Jordan? The one you authorized with your witness? Well, he’s now competing with us. He’s baptizing, too, and everyone’s going to him instead of us.”

27-29 John answered, “It’s not possible for a person to succeed—I’m talking about eternal success—without heaven’s help. You yourselves were there when I made it public that I was not the Messiah but simply the one sent ahead of him to get things ready. The one who gets the bride is, by definition, the bridegroom. And the bridegroom’s friend, his ‘best man’—that’s me—in place at his side where he can hear every word, is genuinely happy. How could he be jealous when he knows that the wedding is finished and the marriage is off to a good start?

29-30 “That’s why my cup is running over. This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.

31-33 “The One who comes from above is head and shoulders over other messengers from God. The earthborn is earthbound and speaks earth language; the heavenborn is in a league of his own. He sets out the evidence of what he saw and heard in heaven. No one wants to deal with these facts. But anyone who examines this evidence will come to stake his life on this: that God himself is the truth.

34-36 “The One that God sent speaks God’s words. And don’t think he rations out the Spirit in bits and pieces. The Father loves the Son extravagantly. He turned everything over to him so he could give it away—a lavish distribution of gifts. That is why whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever! And that is also why the person who avoids and distrusts the Son is in the dark and doesn’t see life. All he experiences of God is darkness, and an angry darkness at that.”

The Message (MSG)

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

Bible Gateway Recommends

  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