Daily reading for Sunday, September 1, 2013

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Job 40:1-42:17; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; Psalms 45:1-17; Proverbs 22:14 (Common English Bible)

Job 40-42

The Lord speaks and Job answers

40 The Lord continued to respond to Job:

Will the one who disputes with the Almighty correct him?
    God’s instructor must answer him.
Job responded to the Lord:
Look, I’m of little worth. What can I answer you?
    I’ll put my hand over my mouth.
I have spoken once, I won’t answer;
    twice, I won’t do it again.

A challenge from the Lord

The Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:
Prepare yourself like a man;
    I will interrogate you, and you will respond to me.
Would you question my justice,
    deem me guilty so you can be innocent?
Or do you have an arm like God;
    can you thunder with a voice like him?
10 Adorn yourself with splendor and majesty;
    clothe yourself with honor and esteem.
11 Unleash your raging anger;
    look on all the proud and humble them.
12 Look on all the proud and debase them;
    trample the wicked in their place.
13 Hide them together in the dust;
    bind their faces in a hidden place.
14 Then I, even I, will praise you,
    for your strong hand has delivered you.

Behemoth

15 Look at Behemoth, whom I made along with you;
    he eats grass like cattle.
16 Look, his strength is in his thighs,
    his power in stomach muscles.
17 He stiffens his tail like a cedar;
    the tendons in his thighs are tightly woven.
18 His bones are like bronze tubes,
    his limbs like iron bars.
19 He is the first of God’s acts;
    only his maker can come near him with a sword.
20 Indeed, the hills bring him tribute,
    places where all the wild animals play.
21 He lies under the lotuses,
    under the cover of reed and marsh.
22 The lotuses screen him with shade;
    poplars of the stream surround him.
23 If the river surges, he doesn’t hurry;
    he is confident even though the Jordan gushes into his mouth.
24 Can he be seized by his eyes?
    Can anyone pierce his nose by hooks?

Leviathan

41 [a] Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook,
    restrain his tongue with a rope?
Can you put a cord through his nose,
    pierce his jaw with a barb?
Will he beg you at length
    or speak gentle words to you?
Will he make a pact with you
    so that you will take him as a permanent slave?
Can you play with him like a bird,
    put a leash on him for your girls?
Will merchants sell him;
    will they divide him among traders?
Can you fill his hide with darts,
    his head with a fishing spear?
Should you lay your hand on him,
    you would never remember the battle.
Such hopes[b] would be delusional;
    surely the sight of him makes one stumble.
10 Nobody is fierce enough to rouse him;
    who then can stand before me?
11 Who opposes me that I must repay?
    Everything under heaven is mine.
12 I’m not awed by his limbs,
    his strength, and impressive form.
13 Who can remove his outer garment;
    who can come with a bridle for him?
14 Who can open the doors of his mouth,
    surrounded by frightening teeth?
15 His matching scales are his pride,
    closely locked and sealed.
16         One touches another;
        even air can’t come between them.
17 Each clings to its pair;
    joined, they can’t be separated.
18 His sneezes emit flashes of light;
    his eyes are like dawn’s rays.
19 Shafts of fire shoot from his mouth;
    like fiery sparks they fly out.
20 Smoke pours from his nostrils
    like a boiling pot over reeds.
21 His breath lights coals;
    a flame shoots from his mouth.
22 Power resides in his neck;
    violence dances before him.
23 The folds of his flesh stick together;
    on him they are tough and unyielding.
24 His heart is solid like a rock,
    hard like a lower millstone.
25 The divine beings dread his rising;
    they withdraw before his thrashing.
26 The sword that touches him won’t prevail;
    neither will the dart, spear, nor javelin.
27 He treats iron as straw,
    bronze as rotten wood.
28 Arrows can’t make him flee;
    slingstones he turns to straw.
29 He treats a club like straw;
    he laughs at the lance’s rattle.
30 His abdomen is like jagged pottery shards;
    its sharp edges leave a trail in the mud.
31 He causes the depths to churn like a boiling pot,
    stirs up the sea like a pot of scented oils,
32         leaves a bright wake behind him;
        the frothy deep seems white-haired.
33 None on earth can compare to him;
    he is made to be without fear.
34 He looks on all the proud;
    he is king over all proud beasts.

Job’s second response

42 Job answered the Lord:

I know you can do anything;
    no plan of yours can be opposed successfully.
You said,[c] “Who is this darkening counsel without knowledge?”
    I have indeed spoken about things I didn’t understand,
    wonders beyond my comprehension.
You said,[d] “Listen and I will speak;
    I will question you and you will inform me.”
My ears had heard about you,
    but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore, I relent[e] and find comfort
    on dust and ashes.

Epilogue

After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, he said to Eliphaz from Teman, “I’m angry at you and your two friends because you haven’t spoken about me correctly as did my servant Job. So now, take seven bulls and seven rams, go to my servant Job, and prepare an entirely burned offering for yourselves. Job my servant will pray for you, and I will act favorably by not making fools of you because you didn’t speak correctly, as did my servant Job.”

Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuah, and Zophar from Naamah did what the Lord told them; and the Lord acted favorably toward Job. 10 Then the Lord changed Job’s fortune when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord doubled all Job’s earlier possessions. 11 All his brothers, sisters, and acquaintances came to him and ate food with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him concerning all the disaster the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a qesitah[f] and a gold ring. 12 Then the Lord blessed Job’s latter days more than his former ones. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. 13 He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 He named one Jemimah,[g] a second Keziah,[h] and the third Keren-happuch.[i] 15 No women in all the land were as beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave an inheritance to them along with their brothers. 16 After this, Job lived 140 years and saw four generations of his children. 17 Then Job died, old and satisfied.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 41:1 40:25 in Heb
  2. Job 41:9 Or his hopes
  3. Job 42:3 Heb lacks You said.
  4. Job 42:4 Heb lacks You said.
  5. Job 42:6 The verse is capable of several translations: I despise or relent, no direct object; repent of or concerning dust and ashes.
  6. Job 42:11 A monetary unit
  7. Job 42:14 Dove
  8. Job 42:14 Cinnamon
  9. Job 42:14 Jar for Dark Cosmetic
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

2 Corinthians 5:11-21

Ministry of reconciliation

11 So we try to persuade people, since we know what it means to fear the Lord. We are well known by God, and I hope that in your heart we are well known by you as well. 12 We aren’t trying to commend ourselves to you again. Instead, we are giving you an opportunity to be proud of us so that you could answer those who take pride in superficial appearance, and not in what is in the heart.

13 If we are crazy, it’s for God’s sake. If we are rational, it’s for your sake. 14 The love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: one died for the sake of all; therefore, all died. 15 He died for the sake of all so that those who are alive should live not for themselves but for the one who died for them and was raised.

16 So then, from this point on we won’t recognize people by human standards. Even though we used to know Christ by human standards, that isn’t how we know him now. 17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!

18 All of these new things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and who gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 In other words, God was reconciling the world to himself through Christ, by not counting people’s sins against them. He has trusted us with this message of reconciliation.

20 So we are ambassadors who represent Christ. God is negotiating with you through us. We beg you as Christ’s representatives, “Be reconciled to God!” 21 God caused the one who didn’t know sin to be sin for our sake so that through him we could become the righteousness of God.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Psalm 45

Psalm 45

For the music leader. According to “The Lilies.” Of the Korahites. A maskil.[a] A love song.

45 A marvelous word has stirred my heart
    as I mention my works to the king.
        My tongue is the pen of a skillful scribe.

You are the most handsome of men;
    grace has been poured out on your lips.
        No wonder God has blessed you forever!
Strap on your sword, great warrior,
    with your glory and grandeur.
Go and succeed in your grandeur!
    Ride out on behalf of truth, humility, and righteousness!
    Let your strong hand perform awesome deeds.[b]
Let the peoples fall beneath you.
    May your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies.
Your divine throne is eternal and everlasting.
    Your royal scepter is a scepter of justice.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness.
    No wonder God, your God, has anointed you
    with the oil of joy more than all your companions!
All your clothes have the pleasing scent of myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
    The music of stringed instruments coming from ivory palaces entertains you.
The royal princess is standing in your precious jewels; [c]
    the queen stands at your right, dressed in the gold of Ophir.

10 Listen, daughter; pay attention, and listen closely!
    Forget your people and your father’s house.
11 Let the king desire your beauty.
    Because he is your master, bow down to him now.
12 The city of Tyre, the wealthiest of all,
    will seek your favor with gifts, 13 with riches of every sort
    for the royal princess, dressed in pearls,[d]
        her robe embroidered with gold.
14 In robes of many colors, she is led to the king.
    Her attendants, the young women servants following her,
    are presented to you as well.
15 As they enter the king’s palace,
    they are led in with celebration and joy.

16 Your sons, great king, will succeed your fathers;[e]
    you will appoint them as princes throughout the land.
17 I will perpetuate your name from one generation to the next
    so the peoples will praise you forever and always.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 45:1 Perhaps instruction
  2. Psalm 45:4 Heb uncertain
  3. Psalm 45:9 Syr; MT royal princess is among your precious ones.
  4. Psalm 45:13 Correction; Heb lacks for; Heb uncertain in 45:12-13
  5. Psalm 45:16 Heb lacks great king.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Proverbs 22:14

14 The mouth of a mysterious woman is a deep pit;
    those under the Lord’s wrath will fall in it.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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