August 24: Job 15–16; 1 Thessalonians 2:1–16; Psalm 50; Proverbs 22:5–6

Job 15–16

Eliphaz Accuses: Job Does Not Fear God

15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

  “Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge,
    and fill his belly with the east wind?
  Should he argue in unprofitable talk,
    or in words with which he can do no good?
  But you are doing away with the fear of GodHebrew lacks of God‘>1
    and hindering meditation before God.
  For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
    and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
  Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
    your own lips testify against you.

  “Are you the first man who was born?
    Or were you brought forth before the hills?
  Have you listened in the council of God?
    And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
  What do you know that we do not know?
    What do you understand that is not clear to us?
10   Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us,
    older than your father.
11   Are the comforts of God too small for you,
    or the word that deals gently with you?
12   Why does your heart carry you away,
    and why do your eyes flash,
13   that you turn your spirit against God
    and bring such words out of your mouth?
14   What is man, that he can be pure?
    Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?
15   Behold, GodHebrew he‘>2 puts no trust in his holy ones,
    and the heavens are not pure in his sight;
16   how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
    a man who drinks injustice like water!

17   “I will show you; hear me,
    and what I have seen I will declare
18   (what wise men have told,
    without hiding it from their fathers,
19   to whom alone the land was given,
    and no stranger passed among them).
20   The wicked man writhes in pain all his days,
    through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
21   Dreadful sounds are in his ears;
    in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him.
22   He does not believe that he will return out of darkness,
    and he is marked for the sword.
23   He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
    He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand;
24   distress and anguish terrify him;
    they prevail against him, like a king ready for battle.
25   Because he has stretched out his hand against God
    and defies the Almighty,
26   running stubbornly against him
    with a thickly bossed shield;
27   because he has covered his face with his fat
    and gathered fat upon his waist
28   and has lived in desolate cities,
    in houses that none should inhabit,
    which were ready to become heaps of ruins;
29   he will not be rich, and his wealth will not endure,
    nor will his possessions spread over the earth;Or nor will his produce bend down to the earth‘>3
30   he will not depart from darkness;
    the flame will dry up his shoots,
    and by the breath of his mouth he will depart.
31   Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself,
    for emptiness will be his payment.
32   It will be paid in full before his time,
    and his branch will not be green.
33   He will shake off his unripe grape like the vine,
    and cast off his blossom like the olive tree.
34   For the company of the godless is barren,
    and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
35   They conceive trouble and give birth to evil,
    and their womb prepares deceit.”

Job Replies: Miserable Comforters Are You

16 Then Job answered and said:

  “I have heard many such things;
    miserable comforters are you all.
  Shall windy words have an end?
    Or what provokes you that you answer?
  I also could speak as you do,
    if you were in my place;
  I could join words together against you
    and shake my head at you.
  I could strengthen you with my mouth,
    and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.

  “If I speak, my pain is not assuaged,
    and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me?
  Surely now God has worn me out;
    he hasHebrew you have; also verse 8′>4 made desolate all my company.
  And he has shriveled me up,
    which is a witness against me,
  and my leanness has risen up against me;
    it testifies to my face.
  He has torn me in his wrath and hated me;
    he has gnashed his teeth at me;
    my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
10   Men have gaped at me with their mouth;
    they have struck me insolently on the cheek;
    they mass themselves together against me.
11   God gives me up to the ungodly
    and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
12   I was at ease, and he broke me apart;
    he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces;
  he set me up as his target;
13     his archers surround me.
  He slashes open my kidneys and does not spare;
    he pours out my gall on the ground.
14   He breaks me with breach upon breach;
    he runs upon me like a warrior.
15   I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin
    and have laid my strength in the dust.
16   My face is red with weeping,
    and on my eyelids is deep darkness,
17   although there is no violence in my hands,
    and my prayer is pure.

18   “O earth, cover not my blood,
    and let my cry find no resting place.
19   Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
    and he who testifies for me is on high.
20   My friends scorn me;
    my eye pours out tears to God,
21   that he would argue the case of a man with God,
    asHebrew and‘>5 a son of man does with his neighbor.
22   For when a few years have come
    I shall go the way from which I shall not return.

1 Thessalonians 2:1–16

Paul’s Ministry to the Thessalonians

For you yourselves know, brothers,Or brothers and sisters; also verses 9, 14, 17′>1 that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery,Or with a flattering speech‘>2 as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentleSome manuscripts infants‘>3 among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11 For you know how, like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

13 And we also thank God constantlyOr without ceasing‘>4 for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of menThe Greek word anthropoi can refer to both men and women’>5 but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,The Greek word Ioudaioi can refer to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, who opposed the Christian faith in that time’>6 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!Or completely, or forever‘>7

 

Psalm 50

God Himself Is Judge

A Psalm of Asaph.

50   The Mighty One, God the LORD,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to its setting.
  Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines forth.

  Our God comes; he does not keep silence;Or May our God come, and not keep silence‘>1
    before him is a devouring fire,
    around him a mighty tempest.
  He calls to the heavens above
    and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
  “Gather to me my faithful ones,
    who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
  The heavens declare his righteousness,
    for God himself is judge! Selah

  “Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
    O Israel, I will testify against you.
    I am God, your God.
  Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
    your burnt offerings are continually before me.
  I will not accept a bull from your house
    or goats from your folds.
10   For every beast of the forest is mine,
    the cattle on a thousand hills.
11   I know all the birds of the hills,
    and all that moves in the field is mine.

12   “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for the world and its fullness are mine.
13   Do I eat the flesh of bulls
    or drink the blood of goats?
14   Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,Or Make thanksgiving your sacrifice to God‘>2
    and perform your vows to the Most High,
15   and call upon me in the day of trouble;
    I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

16   But to the wicked God says:
    “What right have you to recite my statutes
    or take my covenant on your lips?
17   For you hate discipline,
    and you cast my words behind you.
18   If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
    and you keep company with adulterers.

19   “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
    and your tongue frames deceit.
20   You sit and speak against your brother;
    you slander your own mother’s son.
21   These things you have done, and I have been silent;
    you thought that IOr that the I am‘>3 was one like yourself.
  But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.

22   “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
    lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
23   The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
    to one who orders his way rightly
    I will show the salvation of God!”

Proverbs 22:5–6

  Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
    whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
  Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

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