Judges 4The Message (MSG)
4 1-3 The People of Israel kept right on doing evil in God’s sight. With Ehud dead, God sold them off to Jabin king of Canaan who ruled from Hazor. Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim, was the commander of his army. The People of Israel cried out to God because he had cruelly oppressed them with his nine hundred iron chariots for twenty years.
4-5 Deborah was a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth. She was judge over Israel at that time. She held court under Deborah’s Palm between Ramah and Bethel in the hills of Ephraim. The People of Israel went to her in matters of justice.
6-7 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “It has become clear that God, the God of Israel, commands you: Go to Mount Tabor and prepare for battle. Take ten companies of soldiers from Naphtali and Zebulun. I’ll take care of getting Sisera, the leader of Jabin’s army, to the Kishon River with all his chariots and troops. And I’ll make sure you win the battle.”
8 Barak said, “If you go with me, I’ll go. But if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
9-10 She said, “Of course I’ll go with you. But understand that with an attitude like that, there’ll be no glory in it for you. God will use a woman’s hand to take care of Sisera.”
Deborah got ready and went with Barak to Kedesh. Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together at Kedesh. Ten companies of men followed him. And Deborah was with him.
11-13 It happened that Heber the Kenite had parted company with the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ in-law. He was now living at Zaanannim Oak near Kedesh. They told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. Sisera immediately called up all his chariots to the Kishon River—nine hundred iron chariots!—along with all his troops who were with him at Harosheth Haggoyim.
14 Deborah said to Barak, “Charge! This very day God has given you victory over Sisera. Isn’t God marching before you?”
Barak charged down the slopes of Mount Tabor, his ten companies following him.
15-16 God routed Sisera—all those chariots, all those troops!—before Barak. Sisera jumped out of his chariot and ran. Barak chased the chariots and troops all the way to Harosheth Haggoyim. Sisera’s entire fighting force was killed—not one man left.
17-18 Meanwhile Sisera, running for his life, headed for the tent of Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite. Jabin king of Hazor and Heber the Kenite were on good terms with one another. Jael stepped out to meet Sisera and said, “Come in, sir. Stay here with me. Don’t be afraid.”
So he went with her into her tent. She covered him with a blanket.
19 He said to her, “Please, a little water. I’m thirsty.”
She opened a bottle of milk, gave him a drink, and then covered him up again.
20 He then said, “Stand at the tent flap. If anyone comes by and asks you, ‘Is there anyone here?’ tell him, ‘No, not a soul.’”
21 Then while he was fast asleep from exhaustion, Jael wife of Heber took a tent peg and hammer, tiptoed toward him, and drove the tent peg through his temple and all the way into the ground. He convulsed and died.
22 Barak arrived in pursuit of Sisera. Jael went out to greet him. She said, “Come, I’ll show you the man you’re looking for.” He went with her and there he was—Sisera, stretched out, dead, with a tent peg through his temple.
23-24 On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the People of Israel. The People of Israel pressed harder and harder on Jabin king of Canaan until there was nothing left of him.
Judges 5The Message (MSG)
5 That day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:
2 When they let down their hair in Israel,
3 Hear O kings! Listen O princes!
4-5 God, when you left Seir,
6-8 In the time of Shamgar son of Anath,
9 Lift your hearts high, O Israel,
10-11 You who ride on prize donkeys
Then the people of God
12 Wake up, wake up, Deborah!
13-18 Then the remnant went down to greet the brave ones.
19-23 The kings came, they fought,
24-27 Most blessed of all women is Jael,
28-30 Sisera’s mother waited at the window,
31 Thus may all God’s enemies perish,
The land was quiet for forty years.
Psalm 39The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm
39 1-3 I’m determined to watch steps and tongue
4-6 “Tell me, what’s going on, God?
7-11 “What am I doing in the meantime, Lord?
12-13 “Ah, God, listen to my prayer, my
Psalm 41The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm
41 1-3 Dignify those who are down on their luck;
4-7 I said, “God, be gracious!
8-9 The rumor goes out, “He’s got some dirty,
10 God, give grace, get me up on my feet.
11-12 Meanwhile, I’m sure you’re on my side—
13 Blessed is God, Israel’s God,
1 Corinthians 13The Message (MSG)
The Way of Love
13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
8-10 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.