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Numbers 10The Message (MSG)

The Two Bugles

10 1-3 God spoke to Moses: “Make two bugles of hammered silver. Use them to call the congregation together and give marching orders to the camps. When you blow them, the whole community will meet you at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.

4-7 “When a bugle gives a single, short blast, that’s the signal for the leaders, the heads of the clans, to assemble. When it gives a long blast, that’s the signal to march. At the first blast the tribes who were camped on the east set out. At the second blast the camps on the south set out. The long blasts are the signals to march. The bugle call that gathers the assembly is different from the signal to march.

8-10 “The sons of Aaron, the priests, are in charge of blowing the bugles; it’s their assigned duty down through the generations. When you go to war against an aggressor, blow a long blast on the bugle so that God will notice you and deliver you from your enemies. Also at times of celebration, at the appointed feasts and New Moon festivals, blow the bugles over your Whole-Burnt-Offerings and Peace-Offerings: they will keep your attention on God. I am God, your God.”

The March from Sinai to Paran

11-13 In the second year, on the twentieth day of the second month, the Cloud went up from over The Dwelling of The Testimony. At that the People of Israel set out on their travels from the Wilderness of Sinai until the Cloud finally settled in the Wilderness of Paran. They began their march at the command of God through Moses.

14-17 The flag of the camp of Judah led the way, rank after rank under the command of Nahshon son of Amminadab. Nethanel son of Zuar commanded the forces of the tribe of Issachar, and Eliab son of Helon commanded the forces of the tribe of Zebulun. As soon as The Dwelling was taken down, the Gershonites and the Merarites set out, carrying The Dwelling.

18-21 The flag of the camp of Reuben was next with Elizur son of Shedeur in command. Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai commanded the forces of the tribe of Simeon; Eliasaph son of Deuel commanded the forces of the tribe of Gad. Then the Kohathites left, carrying the holy things. By the time they arrived The Dwelling would be set up.

22-24 The flag of the tribe of Ephraim moved out next, commanded by Elishama son of Ammihud. Gamaliel son of Pedahzur commanded the forces of the tribe of Manasseh; Abidan son of Gideoni commanded the forces of the tribe of Benjamin.

25-27 Finally, under the flag of the tribe of Dan, the rear guard of all the camps marched out with Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai in command. Pagiel son of Ocran commanded the forces of the tribe of Asher; Ahira son of Enan commanded the forces of the tribe of Naphtali.

28 These were the marching units of the People of Israel. They were on their way.

29 Moses said to his brother-in-law Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We’re marching to the place about which God promised, ‘I’ll give it to you.’ Come with us; we’ll treat you well. God has promised good things for Israel.”

30 But Hobab said, “I’m not coming; I’m going back home to my own country, to my own family.”

31-32 Moses countered, “Don’t leave us. You know all the best places to camp in the wilderness. We need your eyes. If you come with us, we’ll make sure that you share in all the good things God will do for us.”

33-36 And so off they marched. From the Mountain of God they marched three days with the Chest of the Covenant of God in the lead to scout out a campsite. The Cloud of God was above them by day when they marched from the camp. With the Chest leading the way, Moses would say,

Get up, God!
Put down your enemies!
Chase those who hate you to the hills!

And when the Chest was set down, he would say,

Rest with us, God,
Stay with the many,
Many thousands of Israel.

The Message (MSG)

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

Numbers 11The Message (MSG)

Camp Taberah

11 1-3 The people fell to grumbling over their hard life. God heard. When he heard his anger flared; then fire blazed up and burned the outer boundaries of the camp. The people cried out for help to Moses; Moses prayed to God and the fire died down. They named the place Taberah (Blaze) because fire from God had blazed up against them.

Camp Kibroth Hattaavah

4-6 The riffraff among the people had a craving and soon they had the People of Israel whining, “Why can’t we have meat? We ate fish in Egypt—and got it free!—to say nothing of the cucumbers and melons, the leeks and onions and garlic. But nothing tastes good out here; all we get is manna, manna, manna.”

7-9 Manna was a seedlike substance with a shiny appearance like resin. The people went around collecting it and ground it between stones or pounded it fine in a mortar. Then they boiled it in a pot and shaped it into cakes. It tasted like a delicacy cooked in olive oil. When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna was right there with it.

10 Moses heard the whining, all those families whining in front of their tents. God’s anger blazed up. Moses saw that things were in a bad way.

11-15 Moses said to God, “Why are you treating me this way? What did I ever do to you to deserve this? Did I conceive them? Was I their mother? So why dump the responsibility of this people on me? Why tell me to carry them around like a nursing mother, carry them all the way to the land you promised to their ancestors? Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people who are whining to me, ‘Give us meat; we want meat.’ I can’t do this by myself—it’s too much, all these people. If this is how you intend to treat me, do me a favor and kill me. I’ve seen enough; I’ve had enough. Let me out of here.”

16-17 God said to Moses, “Gather together seventy men from among the leaders of Israel, men whom you know to be respected and responsible. Take them to the Tent of Meeting. I’ll meet you there. I’ll come down and speak with you. I’ll take some of the Spirit that is on you and place it on them; they’ll then be able to take some of the load of this people—you won’t have to carry the whole thing alone.

18-20 “Tell the people, Consecrate yourselves. Get ready for tomorrow when you’re going to eat meat. You’ve been whining to God, ‘We want meat; give us meat. We had a better life in Egypt.’ God has heard your whining and he’s going to give you meat. You’re going to eat meat. And it’s not just for a day that you’ll eat meat, and not two days, or five or ten or twenty, but for a whole month. You’re going to eat meat until it’s coming out your nostrils. You’re going to be so sick of meat that you’ll throw up at the mere mention of it. And here’s why: Because you have rejected God who is right here among you, whining to his face, ‘Oh, why did we ever have to leave Egypt?’”

21-22 Moses said, “I’m standing here surrounded by 600,000 men on foot and you say, ‘I’ll give them meat, meat every day for a month.’ So where’s it coming from? Even if all the flocks and herds were butchered, would that be enough? Even if all the fish in the sea were caught, would that be enough?”

23 God answered Moses, “So, do you think I can’t take care of you? You’ll see soon enough whether what I say happens for you or not.”

24-25 So Moses went out and told the people what God had said. He called together seventy of the leaders and had them stand around the Tent. God came down in a cloud and spoke to Moses and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy leaders. When the Spirit rested on them they prophesied. But they didn’t continue; it was a onetime event.

26 Meanwhile two men, Eldad and Medad, had stayed in the camp. They were listed as leaders but they didn’t leave camp to go to the Tent. Still, the Spirit also rested on them and they prophesied in the camp.

27 A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!”

28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ right-hand man since his youth, said, “Moses, master! Stop them!”

29 But Moses said, “Are you jealous for me? Would that all God’s people were prophets. Would that God would put his Spirit on all of them.”

30-34 Then Moses and the leaders of Israel went back to the camp. A wind set in motion by God swept quails in from the sea. They piled up to a depth of about three feet in the camp and as far out as a day’s walk in every direction. All that day and night and into the next day the people were out gathering the quail—huge amounts of quail; even the slowest person among them gathered at least sixty bushels. They spread them out all over the camp for drying. But while they were still chewing the quail and had hardly swallowed the first bites, God’s anger blazed out against the people. He hit them with a terrible plague. They ended up calling the place Kibroth Hattaavah (Graves-of-the-Craving). There they buried the people who craved meat.

35 From Kibroth Hattaavah they marched on to Hazeroth. They remained at Hazeroth.

The Message (MSG)

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

Psalm 27The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

27 Light, space, zest—
    that’s God!
So, with him on my side I’m fearless,
    afraid of no one and nothing.

    When vandal hordes ride down
    ready to eat me alive,
Those bullies and toughs
    fall flat on their faces.

When besieged,
    I’m calm as a baby.
When all hell breaks loose,
    I’m collected and cool.

I’m asking God for one thing,
    only one thing:
To live with him in his house
    my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
    I’ll study at his feet.

That’s the only quiet, secure place
    in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
    far from the buzz of traffic.

God holds me head and shoulders
    above all who try to pull me down.
I’m headed for his place to offer anthems
    that will raise the roof!
Already I’m singing God-songs;
    I’m making music to God.

7-9 Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs:
    “Be good to me! Answer me!”
When my heart whispered, “Seek God,”
    my whole being replied,
“I’m seeking him!”
    Don’t hide from me now!

9-10 You’ve always been right there for me;
    don’t turn your back on me now.
Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me;
    you’ve always kept the door open.
My father and mother walked out and left me,
    but God took me in.

11-12 Point me down your highway, God;
    direct me along a well-lighted street;
    show my enemies whose side you’re on.
Don’t throw me to the dogs,
    those liars who are out to get me,
    filling the air with their threats.

13-14 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
    in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
    Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
    Stay with God.

The Message (MSG)

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

Mark 1The Message (MSG)

John the Baptizer

1-3 The good news of Jesus Christ—the Message!—begins here, following to the letter the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.

Watch closely: I’m sending my preacher ahead of you;
He’ll make the road smooth for you.
Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!

4-6 John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.

7-8 As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.”

9-11 At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”

God’s Kingdom Is Here

12-13 At once, this same Spirit pushed Jesus out into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by Satan. Wild animals were his companions, and angels took care of him.

14-15 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God: “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.”

16-18 Passing along the beach of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew net-fishing. Fishing was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions. They dropped their nets and followed.

19-20 A dozen yards or so down the beach, he saw the brothers James and John, Zebedee’s sons. They were in the boat, mending their fishnets. Right off, he made the same offer. Immediately, they left their father Zebedee, the boat, and the hired hands, and followed.

Confident Teaching

21-22 Then they entered Capernaum. When the Sabbath arrived, Jesus lost no time in getting to the meeting place. He spent the day there teaching. They were surprised at his teaching—so forthright, so confident—not quibbling and quoting like the religion scholars.

23-24 Suddenly, while still in the meeting place, he was interrupted by a man who was deeply disturbed and yelling out, “What business do you have here with us, Jesus? Nazarene! I know what you’re up to! You’re the Holy One of God, and you’ve come to destroy us!”

25-26 Jesus shut him up: “Quiet! Get out of him!” The afflicting spirit threw the man into spasms, protesting loudly—and got out.

27-28 Everyone there was incredulous, buzzing with curiosity. “What’s going on here? A new teaching that does what it says? He shuts up defiling, demonic spirits and sends them packing!” News of this traveled fast and was soon all over Galilee.

29-31 Directly on leaving the meeting place, they came to Simon and Andrew’s house, accompanied by James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed, burning up with fever. They told Jesus. He went to her, took her hand, and raised her up. No sooner had the fever left than she was up fixing dinner for them.

32-34 That evening, after the sun was down, they brought sick and evil-afflicted people to him, the whole city lined up at his door! He cured their sick bodies and tormented spirits. Because the demons knew his true identity, he didn’t let them say a word.

The Leper

35-37 While it was still night, way before dawn, he got up and went out to a secluded spot and prayed. Simon and those with him went looking for him. They found him and said, “Everybody’s looking for you.”

38-39 Jesus said, “Let’s go to the rest of the villages so I can preach there also. This is why I’ve come.” He went to their meeting places all through Galilee, preaching and throwing out the demons.

40 A leper came to him, begging on his knees, “If you want to, you can cleanse me.”

41-45 Deeply moved, Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there the leprosy was gone, his skin smooth and healthy. Jesus dismissed him with strict orders: “Say nothing to anyone. Take the offering for cleansing that Moses prescribed and present yourself to the priest. This will validate your healing to the people.” But as soon as the man was out of earshot, he told everyone he met what had happened, spreading the news all over town. So Jesus kept to out-of-the-way places, no longer able to move freely in and out of the city. But people found him, and came from all over.

The Message (MSG)

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

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