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Jeremiah 45The Message (MSG)

God’s Piling On the Pain

45 This is what Jeremiah told Baruch one day in the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign as he was taking dictation from the prophet:

2-3 “These are the words of God, the God of Israel, to you, Baruch. You say, ‘These are bad times for me! It’s one thing after another. God is piling on the pain. I’m worn out and there’s no end in sight.’

4-5 “But God says, ‘Look around. What I’ve built I’m about to wreck, and what I’ve planted I’m about to rip up. And I’m doing it everywhere—all over the whole earth! So forget about making any big plans for yourself. Things are going to get worse before they get better. But don’t worry. I’ll keep you alive through the whole business.’”

The Message (MSG)

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

Jeremiah 46The Message (MSG)

You Vainly Collect Medicines

46 God’s Messages through the prophet Jeremiah regarding the godless nations.

2-5 The Message to Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt at the time it was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon while camped at Carchemish on the Euphrates River in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah:

“‘Present arms!
    March to the front!
Harness the horses!
    Up in the saddles!
Battle formation! Helmets on,
    spears sharpened, armor in place!’
But what’s this I see?
    They’re scared out of their wits!
They break ranks and run for cover.
    Their soldiers panic.
They run this way and that,
    stampeding blindly.
It’s total chaos, total confusion, danger everywhere!”
    God’s Decree.

“The swiftest runners won’t get away,
    the strongest soldiers won’t escape.
In the north country, along the River Euphrates,
    they’ll stagger, stumble, and fall.

7-9 “Who is this like the Nile in flood?
    like its streams torrential?
Why, it’s Egypt like the Nile in flood,
    like its streams torrential,
Saying, ‘I’ll take over the world.
    I’ll wipe out cities and peoples.’
Run, horses!
    Roll, chariots!
Advance, soldiers
    from Cush and Put with your shields,
Soldiers from Lud,
    experts with bow and arrow.

10 “But it’s not your day. It’s the Master’s, me, God-of-the-Angel-Armies—
    the day when I have it out with my enemies,
The day when Sword puts an end to my enemies,
    when Sword exacts vengeance.
I, the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    will pile them on an altar—a huge sacrifice!—
In the great north country,
    along the mighty Euphrates.

11-12 “Oh, virgin Daughter Egypt,
    climb into the mountains of Gilead, get healing balm.
You will vainly collect medicines,
    for nothing will be able to cure what ails you.
The whole world will hear your anguished cries.
    Your wails fill the earth,
As soldier falls against soldier
    and they all go down in a heap.”

Egypt’s Army Slithers Like a Snake

13 The Message that God gave to the prophet Jeremiah when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon was on his way to attack Egypt:

14 “Tell Egypt, alert Migdol,
    post warnings in Noph and Tahpanhes:
‘Wake up! Be prepared!
    War’s coming!’

15-19 “Why will your bull-god Apis run off?
    Because God will drive him off.
Your ragtag army will fall to pieces.
    The word is passing through the ranks,
‘Let’s get out of here while we still can.
    Let’s head for home and save our skins.’
When they get home they’ll nickname Pharaoh
    ‘Big-Talk-Bad-Luck.’
As sure as I am the living God”
    —the King’s Decree, God-of-the-Angel-Armies is his name—
“A conqueror is coming: like Tabor, singular among mountains;
    like Carmel, jutting up from the sea!
So pack your bags for exile,
    you coddled daughters of Egypt,
For Memphis will soon be nothing,
    a vacant lot grown over with weeds.

20-21 “Too bad, Egypt, a beautiful sleek heifer
    attacked by a horsefly from the north!
All her hired soldiers are stationed to defend her—
    like well-fed calves they are.
But when their lives are on the line, they’ll run off,
    cowards every one.
When the going gets tough,
    they’ll take the easy way out.

22-24 “Egypt will slither and hiss like a snake
    as the enemy army comes in force.
They will rush in, swinging axes
    like lumberjacks cutting down trees.
They’ll level the country”—God’s Decree—“nothing
    and no one standing for as far as you can see.
The invaders will be a swarm of locusts,
    innumerable, past counting.
Daughter Egypt will be ravished,
    raped by vandals from the north.”

25-26 God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, says, “Watch out when I visit doom on the god Amon of Thebes, Egypt and its gods and kings, Pharaoh and those who trust in him. I’ll turn them over to those who are out to kill them, to Nebuchadnezzar and his military. Egypt will be set back a thousand years. Eventually people will live there again.” God’s Decree.

27-28 “But you, dear Jacob my servant, you have nothing to fear.
    Israel, there’s no need to worry.
Look up! I’ll save you from that far country,
    I’ll get your children out of the land of exile.
Things are going to be normal again for Jacob,
    safe and secure, smooth sailing.
Yes, dear Jacob my servant, you have nothing to fear.
    Depend on it, I’m on your side.
I’ll finish off all the godless nations
    among which I’ve scattered you,
But I won’t finish you off.
    I have more work left to do on you.
I’ll punish you, but fairly.
    No, I’m not finished with you yet.”

The Message (MSG)

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

Jeremiah 47The Message (MSG)

It’s Doomsday for Philistines

47 1-5 God’s Message to the prophet Jeremiah regarding the Philistines just before Pharaoh attacked Gaza. This is what God says:

“Look out! Water will rise in the north country,
    swelling like a river in flood.
The torrent will flood the land,
    washing away city and citizen.
Men and women will scream in terror,
    wails from every door and window,
As the thunder from the hooves of the horses will be heard,
    the clatter of chariots, the banging of wheels.
Fathers, paralyzed by fear,
    won’t even grab up their babies
Because it will be doomsday for Philistines, one and all,
    no hope of help for Tyre and Sidon.
God will finish off the Philistines,
    what’s left of those from the island of Crete.
Gaza will be shaved bald as an egg,
    Ashkelon struck dumb as a post.
You’re on your last legs.
    How long will you keep flailing?

“Oh, Sword of God,
    how long will you keep this up?
Return to your scabbard.
    Haven’t you had enough? Can’t you call it quits?

“But how can it quit
    when I, God, command the action?
I’ve ordered it to cut down
    Ashkelon and the seacoast.”

The Message (MSG)

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

Psalm 105The Message (MSG)

105 1-6 Hallelujah!

Thank God! Pray to him by name!
    Tell everyone you meet what he has done!
Sing him songs, belt out hymns,
    translate his wonders into music!
Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs,
    you who seek God. Live a happy life!
Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works;
    be alert for signs of his presence.
Remember the world of wonders he has made,
    his miracles, and the verdicts he’s rendered—
        O seed of Abraham, his servant,
        O child of Jacob, his chosen.

7-15 He’s God, our God,
    in charge of the whole earth.
And he remembers, remembers his Covenant—
    for a thousand generations he’s been as good as his word.
It’s the Covenant he made with Abraham,
    the same oath he swore to Isaac,
The very statute he established with Jacob,
    the eternal Covenant with Israel,
Namely, “I give you the land.
    Canaan is your hill-country inheritance.”
When they didn’t count for much,
    a mere handful, and strangers at that,
Wandering from country to country,
    drifting from pillar to post,
He permitted no one to abuse them.
    He told kings to keep their hands off:
“Don’t you dare lay a hand on my anointed,
    don’t hurt a hair on the heads of my prophets.”

16-22 Then he called down a famine on the country,
    he broke every last blade of wheat.
But he sent a man on ahead:
    Joseph, sold as a slave.
They put cruel chains on his ankles,
    an iron collar around his neck,
Until God’s word came to the Pharaoh,
    and God confirmed his promise.
God sent the king to release him.
    The Pharaoh set Joseph free;
He appointed him master of his palace,
    put him in charge of all his business
To personally instruct his princes
    and train his advisors in wisdom.

23-42 Then Israel entered Egypt,
    Jacob immigrated to the Land of Ham.
God gave his people lots of babies;
    soon their numbers alarmed their foes.
He turned the Egyptians against his people;
    they abused and cheated God’s servants.
Then he sent his servant Moses,
    and Aaron, whom he also chose.
They worked marvels in that spiritual wasteland,
    miracles in the Land of Ham.
He spoke, “Darkness!” and it turned dark—
    they couldn’t see what they were doing.
He turned all their water to blood
    so that all their fish died;
He made frogs swarm through the land,
    even into the king’s bedroom;
He gave the word and flies swarmed,
    gnats filled the air.
He substituted hail for rain,
    he stabbed their land with lightning;
He wasted their vines and fig trees,
    smashed their groves of trees to splinters;
With a word he brought in locusts,
    millions of locusts, armies of locusts;
They consumed every blade of grass in the country
    and picked the ground clean of produce;
He struck down every firstborn in the land,
    the first fruits of their virile powers.
He led Israel out, their arms filled with loot,
    and not one among his tribes even stumbled.
Egypt was glad to have them go—
    they were scared to death of them.
God spread a cloud to keep them cool through the day
    and a fire to light their way through the night;
They prayed and he brought quail,
    filled them with the bread of heaven;
He opened the rock and water poured out;
    it flowed like a river through that desert—
All because he remembered his Covenant,
    his promise to Abraham, his servant.

43-45 Remember this! He led his people out singing for joy;
    his chosen people marched, singing their hearts out!
He made them a gift of the country they entered,
    helped them seize the wealth of the nations
So they could do everything he told them—
    could follow his instructions to the letter.

Hallelujah!

The Message (MSG)

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

John 21The Message (MSG)

Fishing

21 1-3 After this, Jesus appeared again to the disciples, this time at the Tiberias Sea (the Sea of Galilee). This is how he did it: Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the brothers Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. Simon Peter announced, “I’m going fishing.”

3-4 The rest of them replied, “We’re going with you.” They went out and got in the boat. They caught nothing that night. When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but they didn’t recognize him.

Jesus spoke to them: “Good morning! Did you catch anything for breakfast?”

They answered, “No.”

He said, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens.”

They did what he said. All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, they weren’t strong enough to pull it in.

7-9 Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Master!”

When Simon Peter realized that it was the Master, he threw on some clothes, for he was stripped for work, and dove into the sea. The other disciples came in by boat for they weren’t far from land, a hundred yards or so, pulling along the net full of fish. When they got out of the boat, they saw a fire laid, with fish and bread cooking on it.

10-11 Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.” Simon Peter joined them and pulled the net to shore—153 big fish! And even with all those fish, the net didn’t rip.

12 Jesus said, “Breakfast is ready.” Not one of the disciples dared ask, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Master.

13-14 Jesus then took the bread and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus had shown himself alive to the disciples since being raised from the dead.

Do You Love Me?

15 After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”

Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”

17-19 Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I’m telling you the very truth now: When you were young you dressed yourself and went wherever you wished, but when you get old you’ll have to stretch out your hands while someone else dresses you and takes you where you don’t want to go.” He said this to hint at the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. And then he commanded, “Follow me.”

20-21 Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved following right behind. When Peter noticed him, he asked Jesus, “Master, what’s going to happen to him?”

22-23 Jesus said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You—follow me.” That is how the rumor got out among the brothers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that is not what Jesus said. He simply said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you?”

24 This is the same disciple who was eyewitness to all these things and wrote them down. And we all know that his eyewitness account is reliable and accurate.

25 There are so many other things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each of them, one by one, I can’t imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books.

The Message (MSG)

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

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