Today, our passages is Obadiah 1-21; Revelation 4:1-11; Psalm 132:1-18; and Proverbs 29:24-25. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson.If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
Obadiah 1-21 (The Message)
Your World Will Collapse1 Obadiah's Message to Edom
from God, the Master.
We got the news straight from God
by a special messenger sent out to the godless nations: "On your feet, prepare for battle;
get ready to make war on Edom!
2-4 "Listen to this, Edom:
I'm turning you to a no-account,
the runt of the godless nations, despised.
You thought you were so great,
perched high among the rocks, king of the mountain,
Thinking to yourself,
'Nobody can get to me! Nobody can touch me!'
Think again. Even if, like an eagle,
you hang out on a high cliff-face,
Even if you build your nest in the stars,
I'll bring you down to earth."
God's sure Word.
5-14"If thieves crept up on you,
they'd rob you blind—isn't that so?
If they mugged you on the streets at night,
they'd pick you clean—isn't that so?
Oh, they'll take Esau apart, piece by piece,
empty his purse and pockets.
All your old partners will drive you to the edge.
Your old friends will lie to your face.
Your old drinking buddies will stab you in the back.
Your world will collapse. You won't know what hit you.
So don't be surprised"—it's God's sure Word!—
"when I wipe out all sages from Edom
and rid the Esau mountains of its famous wise men.
Your great heroes will desert you, Teman.
There'll be nobody left in Esau's mountains.
Because of the murderous history compiled
against your brother Jacob,
You will be looked down on by everyone.
You'll lose your place in history.
On that day you stood there and didn't do anything.
Strangers took your brother's army into exile.
Godless foreigners invaded and pillaged Jerusalem.
You stood there and watched.
You were as bad as they were.
You shouldn't have gloated over your brother
when he was down-and-out.
You shouldn't have laughed and joked at Judah's sons
when they were facedown in the mud.
You shouldn't have talked so big
when everything was so bad.
You shouldn't have taken advantage of my people
when their lives had fallen apart.
You of all people should not have been amused
by their troubles, their wrecked nation.
You shouldn't have taken the shirt off their back
when they were knocked flat, defenseless.
And you shouldn't have stood waiting at the outskirts
and cut off refugees,
And traitorously turned in helpless survivors
who had lost everything.
15-18 "God's Judgment Day is near
for all the godless nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you.
What you did will boomerang back
and hit your own head.
Just as you partied on my holy mountain,
all the godless nations will drink God's wrath.
They'll drink and drink and drink—
they'll drink themselves to death.
But not so on Mount Zion—there's respite there!
a safe and holy place!
The family of Jacob will take back their possessions
from those who took them from them.
That's when the family of Jacob will catch fire,
the family of Joseph become fierce flame,
while the family of Esau will be straw.
Esau will go up in flames,
nothing left of Esau but a pile of ashes."
God said it, and it is so.
19-21 People from the south will take over the Esau mountains;
people from the foothills will overrun the Philistines.
They'll take the farms of Ephraim and Samaria,
and Benjamin will take Gilead.
Earlier, Israelite exiles will come back
and take Canaanite land to the north at Zarephath.
Jerusalem exiles from the far northwest in Sepharad
will come back and take the cities in the south.
The remnant of the saved in Mount Zion
will go into the mountains of Esau
And rule justly and fairly,
a rule that honors God's kingdom.
Revelation 4:1-11 (The Message)
A Door into Heaven1 Then I looked, and, oh!—a door open into Heaven. The trumpet-voice, the first voice in my vision, called out, "Ascend and enter. I'll show you what happens next." 2-6I was caught up at once in deep worship and, oh!—a Throne set in Heaven with One Seated on the Throne, suffused in gem hues of amber and flame with a nimbus of emerald. Twenty-four thrones circled the Throne, with Twenty-four Elders seated, white-robed, gold-crowned. Lightning flash and thunder crash pulsed from the Throne. Seven fire-blazing torches fronted the Throne (these are the Sevenfold Spirit of God). Before the Throne it was like a clear crystal sea.
6-8Prowling around the Throne were Four Animals, all eyes. Eyes to look ahead, eyes to look behind. The first Animal like a lion, the second like an ox, the third with a human face, the fourth like an eagle in flight. The Four Animals were winged, each with six wings. They were all eyes, seeing around and within. And they chanted night and day, never taking a break:
Holy, holy, holy
Is God our Master, Sovereign-Strong,
The Was, The Is, The Coming.
9-11Every time the Animals gave glory and honor and thanks to the One Seated on the Throne—the age-after-age Living One—the Twenty-four Elders would fall prostrate before the One Seated on the Throne. They worshiped the age-after-age Living One. They threw their crowns at the foot of the Throne, chanting,
Worthy, O Master! Yes, our God!
Take the glory! the honor! the power!
You created it all;
It was created because you wanted it.
Psalm 132:1-18 (The Message)
A Pilgrim Song1-5 O God, remember David, remember all his troubles!
And remember how he promised God,
made a vow to the Strong God of Jacob,
"I'm not going home,
and I'm not going to bed,
I'm not going to sleep,
not even take time to rest,
Until I find a home for God,
a house for the Strong God of Jacob."
6-7 Remember how we got the news in Ephrathah,
learned all about it at Jaar Meadows?
We shouted, "Let's go to the shrine dedication!
Let's worship at God's own footstool!"
8-10 Up, God, enjoy your new place of quiet repose,
you and your mighty covenant ark;
Get your priests all dressed up in justice;
prompt your worshipers to sing this prayer:
"Honor your servant David;
don't disdain your anointed one."
11-18 God gave David his word,
he won't back out on this promise:
"One of your sons
I will set on your throne;
If your sons stay true to my Covenant
and learn to live the way I teach them,
Their sons will continue the line—
always a son to sit on your throne.
Yes—I, God, chose Zion,
the place I wanted for my shrine;
This will always be my home;
this is what I want, and I'm here for good.
I'll shower blessings on the pilgrims who come here,
and give supper to those who arrive hungry;
I'll dress my priests in salvation clothes;
the holy people will sing their hearts out!
Oh, I'll make the place radiant for David!
I'll fill it with light for my anointed!
I'll dress his enemies in dirty rags,
but I'll make his crown sparkle with splendor."
Proverbs 29:24-25 (The Message)
24 Befriend an outlaw
and become an enemy to yourself.
When the victims cry out,
you'll be included in their curses
if you're a coward to their cause in court.
25 The fear of human opinion disables;
trusting in God protects you from that.
Verse of the Day
“Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, "Where will the Messiah be born?" They told him, "He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote, 'Bethlehem in the land of Judea, you are very important among the towns of Judea. From your town will come a leader, who will be like a shepherd for my people Israel.” - Matthew 2:4-6
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.
The 49th and current Imam of Nizari Ismailism, a denomination of Isma'ilism within Shia Islam consisting of an estimated 25 million adherents, Aga Khan IV wrote, “There are those... who enter the world in such poverty that they are deprived of both the means and the motivation to improve their lot. Unless these unfortunates can be touched with the spark which ignites the spirit of individual enterprise and determination, they will only sink back into renewed apathy, degradation and despair. It is for us, who are more fortunate, to provide that spark.”