Through the Bible – Day 183

Bible text(s)

Job continues

I promised myself

1I promised myself

never to stare with desire

at a young woman.

2God All-Powerful punishes

men who do that.

3In fact, God sends disaster

on all who sin,

4and he keeps a close watch

on everything I do.

5I am not dishonest or deceitful,

6and I beg God to prove

my innocence.

7If I have disobeyed him

or even wanted to,

8then others can eat my harvest

and uproot my crops.

9If I have desired someone's wife

and chased after her,

10then let some stranger

steal my wife from me.

11If I took someone's wife,

it would be a horrible crime,

12sending me to destruction

and my crops to the flames.

13When my servants

complained against me,

I was fair to them.

14Otherwise, what answer

would I give to God

when he judges me?

15After all, God is the one

who gave life to each of us

before we were born.

I have never cheated anyone

16I have never cheated widows

or others in need,

17and I have always shared

my food with orphans.

18Since the time I was young,

I have cared for orphans

and helped widows.

19I provided clothes for the poor,

20and I was praised

for supplying woollen garments

to keep them warm.

21If I have ever raised my arm

to threaten an orphan

when the power was mine,

22I hope that arm will fall

from its socket.

23I could not have been abusive;

I was terrified at the thought

that God might punish me.

24I have never trusted

the power of wealth,

25or taken pride in owning

many possessions.

26-27I have never openly or secretly

worshipped the sun or moon.

28Such horrible sins

would have deserved

punishment from God.

29I have never laughed

when my enemies

were struck by disaster.

30Neither have I sinned

by asking God

to send down on them

the curse of death.

31No one ever went hungry

at my house,

32and travellers

were always welcome.

33Many have attempted to hide

their sins from others—

but I refused.

34And the fear of public disgrace

never forced me to keep silent

about what I had done.

Why doesn't God listen?

35Why doesn't God All-Powerful

listen and answer?

If God has something against me,

let him speak up

or put it in writing!

36Then I would wear his charges

on my clothes and forehead.

37And with my head held high,

I would tell him everything

I have ever done.

38I have never ill-treated

the land I farmed

and made it mourn.

39Nor have I cheated

my workers

and caused them pain.

40If I had, I would pray

for weeds instead of wheat

to grow in my fields.

After saying these things,

Job was silent.

Elihu's speeches

Elihu is upset with Job's friends

1Finally, these three men stopped arguing with Job, because he refused to admit that he was guilty.

2Elihu from Buz was there, and he had become upset with Job for blaming God instead of himself. 3He was also angry with Job's three friends for not being able to prove that Job was wrong. 4Elihu was younger than these three, and he let them speak first. 5But he became irritated when they could not answer Job, 6and he said to them:

I am much younger than you,

so I have shown respect

by keeping silent.

7I once believed age

was the source of wisdom;

8now I truly realize

wisdom comes from God.

9Age is no guarantee of wisdom

and understanding.

10That's why I ask you

to listen to me.

I eagerly listened

11-12I eagerly listened

to each of your arguments,

but not one of you proved

Job to be wrong.

13You shouldn't say,

“We know what's right!

Let God punish him.”

14Job hasn't spoken against me,

and so I won't answer him

with your arguments.

15All of you are shocked;

you don't know what to say.

16But am I to remain silent,

just because you

have stopped speaking?

17No! I will give my opinion,

18because I have so much to say,

that I can't keep quiet.

19I am like a swollen wineskin,

and I will burst

20if I don't speak.

21-22I don't know how to be unfair

or to flatter anyone—

if I did, my Creator

would quickly destroy me!

Elihu speaks

Job, listen to me!

1Job, listen to me!

Pay close attention.

2-3Everything I will say

is true and sincere,

4just as surely as the Spirit

of God All-Powerful

gave me the breath of life.

5Now line up your arguments

and prepare to face me.

6We were each made from clay,

and God has no favourites,

7so don't be afraid of me

or what I might do.

I have heard you argue

8I have heard you argue

9that you are innocent,

guilty of nothing.

10You claim that God

has made you his enemy,

11that he has bound your feet

and blocked your path.

12But, Job, you're wrong—

God is greater

than any human.

13So why do you challenge God

to answer you?

14God speaks in different ways,

and we don't always

recognize his voice.

15-16Sometimes in the night,

he uses terrifying dreams

to give us warnings.

17God does this to make us turn

from sin and pride

18and to protect us

from being swept away

to the world of the dead.

19Sometimes we are punished

with a serious illness

and aching joints.

20Merely the thought

of our favourite food

makes our stomachs sick,

21and we become so skinny

that our bones stick out.

22We feel death and the grave

taking us in their grip.

23One of a thousand angels

then comes to our rescue

by saying we are innocent.

24The angel shows kindness,

commanding death to release us,

because the price was paid.

25Our health is restored,

we feel young again,

26and we ask God to accept us.

Then we joyfully worship God,

and we are rewarded

because we are innocent.

27When that happens,

we tell everyone,

“I sinned and did wrong,

but God forgave me

28and rescued me from death!

Now I will see the light.”

29God gives each of us

chance after chance

30to be saved from death

and brought into the light

that gives life.

31So, Job, pay attention

and don't interrupt,

32though I would gladly listen

to anything you say

that proves you are right.

33Otherwise, listen in silence

to my wisdom.

Job 31:1-33:33CEVOpen in Bible reader

Paul's first journey to tell the good news

Barnabas and Saul are chosen and sent

1The church at Antioch had several prophets and teachers. They were Barnabas, Simeon, also called Niger, Lucius from Cyrene, Manaen, who was Herod's close friend, and Saul. 2While they were worshipping the Lord and going without eating, the Holy Spirit told them, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul to do the work for which I have chosen them.” 3Everyone prayed and went without eating for a while longer. Next, they placed their hands on Barnabas and Saul to show that they had been appointed to do this work. Then everyone sent them on their way.

Barnabas and Saul in Cyprus

4After Barnabas and Saul had been sent by the Holy Spirit, they went to Seleucia. From there they sailed to the island of Cyprus. 5They arrived at Salamis and began to preach God's message in the Jewish meeting places. They also had John as a helper.

6Barnabas and Saul went all the way to the city of Paphos on the other end of the island, where they met a Jewish man named Bar-Jesus. He practised witchcraft and was a false prophet. 7He also worked for Sergius Paulus, who was very clever and was the governor of the island. Sergius Paulus wanted to hear God's message, and he sent for Barnabas and Saul. 8But Bar-Jesus, whose other name was Elymas, was against them. He even tried to keep the governor from having faith in the Lord.

9Then Saul, better known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked straight at Elymas 10and said, “You son of the devil! You are a liar, a criminal, and an enemy of everything that is right. When will you stop speaking against the true ways of the Lord? 11The Lord is going to punish you by making you completely blind for a while.”

Suddenly the man's eyes were covered by a dark mist, and he went around trying to get someone to lead him by the hand. 12When the governor saw what had happened, he was amazed at this teaching about the Lord. So he put his faith in the Lord.

Acts 13:1-12CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.8
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