Through The Bible Wednesday 08-08-18 Devotions
Eliphaz’s Third Response to Job
22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2 “Can a person do anything to help God?
Can even a wise person be helpful to him?
3 Is it any advantage to the Almighty if you are righteous?
Would it be any gain to him if you were perfect?
4 Is it because you’re so pious that he accuses you
and brings judgment against you?
5 No, it’s because of your wickedness!
There’s no limit to your sins.
6 “For example, you must have lent money to your friend
and demanded clothing as security.
Yes, you stripped him to the bone.
7 You must have refused water for the thirsty
and food for the hungry.
8 You probably think the land belongs to the powerful
and only the privileged have a right to it!
9 You must have sent widows away empty-handed
and crushed the hopes of orphans.
10 That is why you are surrounded by traps
and tremble from sudden fears.
11 That is why you cannot see in the darkness,
and waves of water cover you.
12 “God is so great—higher than the heavens,
higher than the farthest stars.
13 But you reply, ‘That’s why God can’t see what I am doing!
How can he judge through the thick darkness?
14 For thick clouds swirl about him, and he cannot see us.
He is way up there, walking on the vault of heaven.’
15 “Will you continue on the old paths
where evil people have walked?
16 They were snatched away in the prime of life,
the foundations of their lives washed away.
17 For they said to God, ‘Leave us alone!
What can the Almighty do to us?’
18 Yet he was the one who filled their homes with good things,
so I will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking.
19 “The righteous will be happy to see the wicked destroyed,
and the innocent will laugh in contempt.
20 They will say, ‘See how our enemies have been destroyed.
The last of them have been consumed in the fire.’
21 “Submit to God, and you will have peace;
then things will go well for you.
22 Listen to his instructions,
and store them in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored—
so clean up your life.
24 If you give up your lust for money
and throw your precious gold into the river,
25 the Almighty himself will be your treasure.
He will be your precious silver!
26 “Then you will take delight in the Almighty
and look up to God.
27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
and you will fulfill your vows to him.
28 You will succeed in whatever you choose to do,
and light will shine on the road ahead of you.
29 If people are in trouble and you say, ‘Help them,’
God will save them.
30 Even sinners will be rescued;
they will be rescued because your hands are pure.”
Job’s Eighth Speech: A Response to Eliphaz
23 Then Job spoke again:
2 “My complaint today is still a bitter one,
and I try hard not to groan aloud.
3 If only I knew where to find God,
I would go to his court.
4 I would lay out my case
and present my arguments.
5 Then I would listen to his reply
and understand what he says to me.
6 Would he use his great power to argue with me?
No, he would give me a fair hearing.
7 Honest people can reason with him,
so I would be forever acquitted by my judge.
8 I go east, but he is not there.
I go west, but I cannot find him.
9 I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden.
I look to the south, but he is concealed.
10 “But he knows where I am going.
And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.
11 For I have stayed on God’s paths;
I have followed his ways and not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from his commands,
but have treasured his words more than daily food.
13 But once he has made his decision, who can change his mind?
Whatever he wants to do, he does.
14 So he will do to me whatever he has planned.
He controls my destiny.
15 No wonder I am so terrified in his presence.
When I think of it, terror grips me.
16 God has made me sick at heart;
the Almighty has terrified me.
17 Darkness is all around me;
thick, impenetrable darkness is everywhere.
Job Asks Why the Wicked Are Not Punished
24 “Why doesn’t the Almighty bring the wicked to judgment?
Why must the godly wait for him in vain?
2 Evil people steal land by moving the boundary markers.
They steal livestock and put them in their own pastures.
3 They take the orphan’s donkey
and demand the widow’s ox as security for a loan.
4 The poor are pushed off the path;
the needy must hide together for safety.
5 Like wild donkeys in the wilderness,
the poor must spend all their time looking for food,
searching even in the desert for food for their children.
6 They harvest a field they do not own,
and they glean in the vineyards of the wicked.
7 All night they lie naked in the cold,
without clothing or covering.
8 They are soaked by mountain showers,
and they huddle against the rocks for want of a home.
9 “The wicked snatch a widow’s child from her breast,
taking the baby as security for a loan.
10 The poor must go about naked, without any clothing.
They harvest food for others while they themselves are starving.
11 They press out olive oil without being allowed to taste it,
and they tread in the winepress as they suffer from thirst.
12 The groans of the dying rise from the city,
and the wounded cry for help,
yet God ignores their moaning.
13 “Wicked people rebel against the light.
They refuse to acknowledge its ways
or stay in its paths.
14 The murderer rises in the early dawn
to kill the poor and needy;
at night he is a thief.
15 The adulterer waits for the twilight,
saying, ‘No one will see me then.’
He hides his face so no one will know him.
16 Thieves break into houses at night
and sleep in the daytime.
They are not acquainted with the light.
17 The black night is their morning.
They ally themselves with the terrors of the darkness.
18 “But they disappear like foam down a river.
Everything they own is cursed,
and they are afraid to enter their own vineyards.
19 The grave[a] consumes sinners
just as drought and heat consume snow.
20 Their own mothers will forget them.
Maggots will find them sweet to eat.
No one will remember them.
Wicked people are broken like a tree in the storm.
21 They cheat the woman who has no son to help her.
They refuse to help the needy widow.
22 “God, in his power, drags away the rich.
They may rise high, but they have no assurance of life.
23 They may be allowed to live in security,
but God is always watching them.
24 And though they are great now,
in a moment they will be gone like all others,
cut off like heads of grain.
25 Can anyone claim otherwise?
Who can prove me wrong?”
24:19 Hebrew Sheol.
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.
1 Lord, remember David
and all that he suffered.
2 He made a solemn promise to the Lord.
He vowed to the Mighty One of Israel,[a] 3 “I will not go home;
I will not let myself rest.
4 I will not let my eyes sleep
nor close my eyelids in slumber
5 until I find a place to build a house for the Lord,
a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel.”
6 We heard that the Ark was in Ephrathah;
then we found it in the distant countryside of Jaar.
7 Let us go to the sanctuary of the Lord;
let us worship at the footstool of his throne.
8 Arise, O Lord, and enter your resting place,
along with the Ark, the symbol of your power.
9 May your priests be clothed in godliness;
may your loyal servants sing for joy.
10 For the sake of your servant David,
do not reject the king you have anointed.
11 The Lord swore an oath to David
with a promise he will never take back:
“I will place one of your descendants
on your throne.
12 If your descendants obey the terms of my covenant
and the laws that I teach them,
then your royal line
will continue forever and ever.”
13 For the Lord has chosen Jerusalem[b];
he has desired it for his home.
14 “This is my resting place forever,” he said.
“I will live here, for this is the home I desired.
15 I will bless this city and make it prosperous;
I will satisfy its poor with food.
16 I will clothe its priests with godliness;
its faithful servants will sing for joy.
17 Here I will increase the power of David;
my anointed one will be a light for my people.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,
but he will be a glorious king.”
132:2 Hebrew of Jacob; also in 132:5. See note on 44:4.
132:13 Hebrew Zion.
The Collection for Christians in Jerusalem
9 I really don’t need to write to you about this ministry of giving for the believers in Jerusalem.[a] 2 For I know how eager you are to help, and I have been boasting to the churches in Macedonia that you in Greece[b] were ready to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that stirred up many of the Macedonian believers to begin giving.
3 But I am sending these brothers to be sure you really are ready, as I have been telling them, and that your money is all collected. I don’t want to be wrong in my boasting about you. 4 We would be embarrassed—not to mention your own embarrassment—if some Macedonian believers came with me and found that you weren’t ready after all I had told them! 5 So I thought I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready. But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given grudgingly.
6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”[c] 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”[d] 10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity[e] in you.
11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem[f] will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.
13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank God for this gift[g] too wonderful for words!
9:1 Greek about the offering for God’s holy people.
9:2 Greek in Achaia, the southern region of the Greek peninsula. Macedonia was in the northern region of Greece.
9:7 See footnote on Prov 22:8.
9:9 Ps 112:9.
9:10 Greek righteousness.
9:12 Greek of God’s holy people.
9:15 Greek his gift.
20 Their insults have broken my heart,
and I am in despair.
If only one person would show some pity;
if only one would turn and comfort me.
21 But instead, they give me poison[a] for food;
they offer me sour wine for my thirst.
22 Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare
and their prosperity become a trap.[b] 23 Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see,
and make their bodies shake continually.[c] 24 Pour out your fury on them;
consume them with your burning anger.
25 Let their homes become desolate
and their tents be deserted.
26 To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury;
they add to the pain of those you have hurt.
27 Pile their sins up high,
and don’t let them go free.
28 Erase their names from the Book of Life;
don’t let them be counted among the righteous.
29 I am suffering and in pain.
Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.
30 Then I will praise God’s name with singing,
and I will honor him with thanksgiving.
31 For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle,
more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.
32 The humble will see their God at work and be glad.
Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.
33 For the Lord hears the cries of the needy;
he does not despise his imprisoned people.
34 Praise him, O heaven and earth,
the seas and all that move in them.
35 For God will save Jerusalem[d] and rebuild the towns of Judah.
His people will live there
and settle in their own land.
36 The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land,
and those who love him will live there in safety.
69:21 Or gall.
69:22 Greek version reads Let their bountiful table set before them become a snare, / a trap that makes them think all is well. / Let their blessings cause them to stumble, / and let them get what they deserve. Compare Rom 11:9.
69:23 Greek version reads and let their backs be bent forever. Compare Rom 11:10.
69:35 Hebrew Zion.
Thursday, August 09, 2018