August 20: Job 7–8; Colossians 2:6–23; Psalm 46; Proverbs 21:28–29

Job 7–8

Job Continues: My Life Has No Hope

  “Has not man a hard service on earth,
    and are not his days like the days of a hired hand?
  Like a slave who longs for the shadow,
    and like a hired hand who looks for his wages,
  so I am allotted months of emptiness,
    and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
  When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’
    But the night is long,
    and I am full of tossing till the dawn.
  My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt;
    my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh.
  My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle
    and come to their end without hope.

  “Remember that my life is a breath;
    my eye will never again see good.
  The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;
    while your eyes are on me, I shall be gone.
  As the cloud fades and vanishes,
    so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up;
10   he returns no more to his house,
    nor does his place know him anymore.

11   “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
    I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
    I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12   Am I the sea, or a sea monster,
    that you set a guard over me?
13   When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
    my couch will ease my complaint,’
14   then you scare me with dreams
    and terrify me with visions,
15   so that I would choose strangling
    and death rather than my bones.
16   I loathe my life; I would not live forever.
    Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
17   What is man, that you make so much of him,
    and that you set your heart on him,
18   visit him every morning
    and test him every moment?
19   How long will you not look away from me,
    nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit?
20   If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind?
    Why have you made me your mark?
    Why have I become a burden to you?
21   Why do you not pardon my transgression
    and take away my iniquity?
  For now I shall lie in the earth;
    you will seek me, but I shall not be.”

Bildad Speaks: Job Should Repent

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

  “How long will you say these things,
    and the words of your mouth be a great wind?
  Does God pervert justice?
    Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
  If your children have sinned against him,
    he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression.
  If you will seek God
    and plead with the Almighty for mercy,
  if you are pure and upright,
    surely then he will rouse himself for you
    and restore your rightful habitation.
  And though your beginning was small,
    your latter days will be very great.

  “For inquire, please, of bygone ages,
    and consider what the fathers have searched out.
  For we are but of yesterday and know nothing,
    for our days on earth are a shadow.
10   Will they not teach you and tell you
    and utter words out of their understanding?

11   “Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
    Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
12   While yet in flower and not cut down,
    they wither before any other plant.
13   Such are the paths of all who forget God;
    the hope of the godless shall perish.
14   His confidence is severed,
    and his trust is a spider’s web.Hebrew house‘>1
15   He leans against his house, but it does not stand;
    he lays hold of it, but it does not endure.
16   He is a lush plant before the sun,
    and his shoots spread over his garden.
17   His roots entwine the stone heap;
    he looks upon a house of stones.
18   If he is destroyed from his place,
    then it will deny him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’
19   Behold, this is the joy of his way,
    and out of the soil others will spring.

20   “Behold, God will not reject a blameless man,
    nor take the hand of evildoers.
21   He will yet fill your mouth with laughter,
    and your lips with shouting.
22   Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
    and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

Colossians 2:6–23

Alive in Christ

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spiritsOr elementary principles; also verse 20′>1 of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authoritiesProbably demonic rulers and authorities’>2 and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.Or in it (that is, the cross)’>3

Let No One Disqualify You

16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,Or about the things he has seen‘>4 puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

 

Psalm 46

God Is Our Fortress

To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth.Probably a musical or liturgical term’>1 A Song.

46   God is our refuge and strength,
    a very presentOr well proved‘>2 help in trouble.
  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
  though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
  The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
  The LORD of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

  Come, behold the works of the LORD,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the chariots with fire.
10   “Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”
11   The LORD of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Proverbs 21:28–29

28   A false witness will perish,
    but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29   A wicked man puts on a bold face,
    but the upright gives thought toOr establishes‘>1 his ways.

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