Through The Bible Monday 08-13-18 Devotions
Elihu Responds to Job’s Friends
32 Job’s three friends refused to reply further to him because he kept insisting on his innocence.
2 Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, became angry. He was angry because Job refused to admit that he had sinned and that God was right in punishing him. 3 He was also angry with Job’s three friends, for they made God[a] appear to be wrong by their inability to answer Job’s arguments. 4 Elihu had waited for the others to speak to Job because they were older than he. 5 But when he saw that they had no further reply, he spoke out angrily. 6 Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said,
“I am young and you are old,
so I held back from telling you what I think.
7 I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak,
for wisdom comes with age.’
8 But there is a spirit[b] within people,
the breath of the Almighty within them,
that makes them intelligent.
9 Sometimes the elders are not wise.
Sometimes the aged do not understand justice.
10 So listen to me,
and let me tell you what I think.
11 “I have waited all this time,
listening very carefully to your arguments,
listening to you grope for words.
12 I have listened,
but not one of you has refuted Job
or answered his arguments.
13 And don’t tell me, ‘He is too wise for us.
Only God can convince him.’
14 If Job had been arguing with me,
I would not answer with your kind of logic!
15 You sit there baffled,
with nothing more to say.
16 Should I continue to wait, now that you are silent?
Must I also remain silent?
17 No, I will say my piece.
I will speak my mind.
18 For I am full of pent-up words,
and the spirit within me urges me on.
19 I am like a cask of wine without a vent,
like a new wineskin ready to burst!
20 I must speak to find relief,
so let me give my answers.
21 I won’t play favorites
or try to flatter anyone.
22 For if I tried flattery,
my Creator would soon destroy me.
Elihu Presents His Case against Job
33 “Listen to my words, Job;
pay attention to what I have to say.
2 Now that I have begun to speak,
let me continue.
3 I speak with all sincerity;
I speak the truth.
4 For the Spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
5 Answer me, if you can;
make your case and take your stand.
6 Look, you and I both belong to God.
I, too, was formed from clay.
7 So you don’t need to be afraid of me.
I won’t come down hard on you.
8 “You have spoken in my hearing,
and I have heard your very words.
9 You said, ‘I am pure; I am without sin;
I am innocent; I have no guilt.
10 God is picking a quarrel with me,
and he considers me his enemy.
11 He puts my feet in the stocks
and watches my every move.’
12 “But you are wrong, and I will show you why.
For God is greater than any human being.
13 So why are you bringing a charge against him?
Why say he does not respond to people’s complaints?
14 For God speaks again and again,
though people do not recognize it.
15 He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night,
when deep sleep falls on people
as they lie in their beds.
16 He whispers in their ears
and terrifies them with warnings.
17 He makes them turn from doing wrong;
he keeps them from pride.
18 He protects them from the grave,
from crossing over the river of death.
19 “Or God disciplines people with pain on their sickbeds,
with ceaseless aching in their bones.
20 They lose their appetite
for even the most delicious food.
21 Their flesh wastes away,
and their bones stick out.
22 They are at death’s door;
the angels of death wait for them.
23 “But if an angel from heaven appears—
a special messenger to intercede for a person
and declare that he is upright—
24 he will be gracious and say,
‘Rescue him from the grave,
for I have found a ransom for his life.’
25 Then his body will become as healthy as a child’s,
firm and youthful again.
26 When he prays to God,
he will be accepted.
And God will receive him with joy
and restore him to good standing.
27 He will declare to his friends,
‘I sinned and twisted the truth,
but it was not worth it.[c] 28 God rescued me from the grave,
and now my life is filled with light.’
29 “Yes, God does these things
again and again for people.
30 He rescues them from the grave
so they may enjoy the light of life.
31 Mark this well, Job. Listen to me,
for I have more to say.
32 But if you have anything to say, go ahead.
Speak, for I am anxious to see you justified.
33 But if not, then listen to me.
Keep silent and I will teach you wisdom!”
Elihu Accuses Job of Arrogance
34 Then Elihu said:
2 “Listen to me, you wise men.
Pay attention, you who have knowledge.
3 Job said, ‘The ear tests the words it hears
just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.’
4 So let us discern for ourselves what is right;
let us learn together what is good.
5 For Job also said, ‘I am innocent,
but God has taken away my rights.
6 I am innocent, but they call me a liar.
My suffering is incurable, though I have not sinned.’
7 “Tell me, has there ever been a man like Job,
with his thirst for irreverent talk?
8 He chooses evil people as companions.
He spends his time with wicked men.
9 He has even said, ‘Why waste time
trying to please God?’
10 “Listen to me, you who have understanding.
Everyone knows that God doesn’t sin!
The Almighty can do no wrong.
11 He repays people according to their deeds.
He treats people as they deserve.
12 Truly, God will not do wrong.
The Almighty will not twist justice.
13 Did someone else put the world in his care?
Who set the whole world in place?
14 If God were to take back his spirit
and withdraw his breath,
15 all life would cease,
and humanity would turn again to dust.
16 “Now listen to me if you are wise.
Pay attention to what I say.
17 Could God govern if he hated justice?
Are you going to condemn the almighty judge?
18 For he says to kings, ‘You are wicked,’
and to nobles, ‘You are unjust.’
19 He doesn’t care how great a person may be,
and he pays no more attention to the rich than to the poor.
He made them all.
20 In a moment they die.
In the middle of the night they pass away;
the mighty are removed without human hand.
21 “For God watches how people live;
he sees everything they do.
22 No darkness is thick enough
to hide the wicked from his eyes.
23 We don’t set the time
when we will come before God in judgment.
24 He brings the mighty to ruin without asking anyone,
and he sets up others in their place.
25 He knows what they do,
and in the night he overturns and destroys them.
26 He strikes them down because they are wicked,
doing it openly for all to see.
27 For they turned away from following him.
They have no respect for any of his ways.
28 They cause the poor to cry out, catching God’s attention.
He hears the cries of the needy.
29 But if he chooses to remain quiet,
who can criticize him?
When he hides his face, no one can find him,
whether an individual or a nation.
30 He prevents the godless from ruling
so they cannot be a snare to the people.
31 “Why don’t people say to God, ‘I have sinned,
but I will sin no more’?
32 Or ‘I don’t know what evil I have done—tell me.
If I have done wrong, I will stop at once’?
33 “Must God tailor his justice to your demands?
But you have rejected him!
The choice is yours, not mine.
Go ahead, share your wisdom with us.
34 After all, bright people will tell me,
and wise people will hear me say,
35 ‘Job speaks out of ignorance;
his words lack insight.’
36 Job, you deserve the maximum penalty
for the wicked way you have talked.
37 For you have added rebellion to your sin;
you show no respect,
and you speak many angry words against God.”
32:3 As in ancient Hebrew scribal tradition; the Masoretic Text reads Job.
32:8 Or Spirit; also in 32:18.
33:27 Greek version reads but he [God] did not punish me as my sin deserved.
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the name of the Lord!
Praise him, you who serve the Lord,
2 you who serve in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
celebrate his lovely name with music.
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel for his own special treasure.
5 I know the greatness of the Lord—
that our Lord is greater than any other god.
6 The Lord does whatever pleases him
throughout all heaven and earth,
and on the seas and in their depths.
7 He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth.
He sends the lightning with the rain
and releases the wind from his storehouses.
8 He destroyed the firstborn in each Egyptian home,
both people and animals.
9 He performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt
against Pharaoh and all his people.
10 He struck down great nations
and slaughtered mighty kings—
11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
Og king of Bashan,
and all the kings of Canaan.
12 He gave their land as an inheritance,
a special possession to his people Israel.
13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever;
your fame, O Lord, is known to every generation.
14 For the Lord will give justice to his people
and have compassion on his servants.
15 The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold,
shaped by human hands.
16 They have mouths but cannot speak,
and eyes but cannot see.
17 They have ears but cannot hear,
and mouths but cannot breathe.
18 And those who make idols are just like them,
as are all who trust in them.
19 O Israel, praise the Lord!
O priests—descendants of Aaron—praise the Lord!
20 O Levites, praise the Lord!
All you who fear the Lord, praise the Lord!
21 The Lord be praised from Zion,
for he lives here in Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord.
Paul’s Vision and His Thorn in the Flesh
12 This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I[a] was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. 3 Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know 4 that I was caught up[b] to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.
5 That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. 6 If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul’s Concern for the Corinthians
11 You have made me act like a fool. You ought to be writing commendations for me, for I am not at all inferior to these “super apostles,” even though I am nothing at all. 12 When I was with you, I certainly gave you proof that I am an apostle. For I patiently did many signs and wonders and miracles among you. 13 The only thing I failed to do, which I do in the other churches, was to become a financial burden to you. Please forgive me for this wrong!
14 Now I am coming to you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don’t want what you have—I want you. After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children. 15 I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me.
16 Some of you admit I was not a burden to you. But others still think I was sneaky and took advantage of you by trickery. 17 But how? Did any of the men I sent to you take advantage of you? 18 When I urged Titus to visit you and sent our other brother with him, did Titus take advantage of you? No! For we have the same spirit and walk in each other’s steps, doing things the same way.
19 Perhaps you think we’re saying these things just to defend ourselves. No, we tell you this as Christ’s servants, and with God as our witness. Everything we do, dear friends, is to strengthen you. 20 For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior. 21 Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, God will humble me in your presence. And I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.
12:2 Greek I know a man in Christ who.
12:3-4 Greek But I know such a man, 4 that he was caught up.
A psalm of Solomon.
1 Give your love of justice to the king, O God,
and righteousness to the king’s son.
2 Help him judge your people in the right way;
let the poor always be treated fairly.
3 May the mountains yield prosperity for all,
and may the hills be fruitful.
4 Help him to defend the poor,
to rescue the children of the needy,
and to crush their oppressors.
5 May they fear you[a] as long as the sun shines,
as long as the moon remains in the sky.
6 May the king’s rule be refreshing like spring rain on freshly cut grass,
like the showers that water the earth.
7 May all the godly flourish during his reign.
May there be abundant prosperity until the moon is no more.
8 May he reign from sea to sea,
and from the Euphrates River[b] to the ends of the earth.
9 Desert nomads will bow before him;
his enemies will fall before him in the dust.
10 The western kings of Tarshish and other distant lands
will bring him tribute.
The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba
will bring him gifts.
11 All kings will bow before him,
and all nations will serve him.
12 He will rescue the poor when they cry to him;
he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them.
13 He feels pity for the weak and the needy,
and he will rescue them.
14 He will redeem them from oppression and violence,
for their lives are precious to him.
15 Long live the king!
May the gold of Sheba be given to him.
May the people always pray for him
and bless him all day long.
16 May there be abundant grain throughout the land,
flourishing even on the hilltops.
May the fruit trees flourish like the trees of Lebanon,
and may the people thrive like grass in a field.
17 May the king’s name endure forever;
may it continue as long as the sun shines.
May all nations be blessed through him
and bring him praise.
18 Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel,
who alone does such wonderful things.
19 Praise his glorious name forever!
Let the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and amen!
20 (This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse.)
72:5 Greek version reads May they endure.
72:8 Hebrew the river.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018