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Death Comes to All

This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor.

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Indeed, he loves his people;[a]
    all his holy ones are in his hands.
They follow in his steps
    and accept his teaching.

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Footnotes

  1. 33:3 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads Indeed, lover of the peoples.

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else.[a] No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”

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Footnotes

  1. 10:29 Other manuscripts read for what my Father has given me is more powerful than anything; still others read for regarding that which my Father has given me, he is greater than all.

14 And this is not all that is meaningless in our world. In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good. This is so meaningless!

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10 For the life of every living thing is in his hand,
    and the breath of every human being.

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And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

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12 That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him[a] until the day of his return.

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Footnotes

  1. 1:12 Or what has been entrusted to me.

After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.

10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.

12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

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15 From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich, and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm.’”

The Lord’s Promise of Mercy

16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.

17 “They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”

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18 For see, today I have made you strong
    like a fortified city that cannot be captured,
    like an iron pillar or a bronze wall.
You will stand against the whole land—
    the kings, officials, priests, and people of Judah.
19 They will fight you, but they will fail.
    For I am with you, and I will take care of you.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

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The Lord’s Servant Commissioned

49 Listen to me, all you in distant lands!
    Pay attention, you who are far away!
The Lord called me before my birth;
    from within the womb he called me by name.
He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword.
    He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand.
    I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver.

He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel,
    and you will bring me glory.”

I replied, “But my work seems so useless!
    I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose.
Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand;
    I will trust God for my reward.”

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12 Lord, you will grant us peace;
    all we have accomplished is really from you.

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Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them. 10 The Teacher sought to find just the right words to express truths clearly.[a]

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Footnotes

  1. 12:10 Or sought to write what was upright and true.

14     they chatter on and on.

No one really knows what is going to happen;
    no one can predict the future.

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16 In my search for wisdom and in my observation of people’s burdens here on earth, I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night.

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25 I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness.

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The Limits of Human Wisdom

15 I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people.

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17 So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.

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Commit your actions to the Lord,
    and your plans will succeed.

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11 “What does God know?” they ask.
    “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?”
12 Look at these wicked people—
    enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.

13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
    Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?

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For I envied the proud
    when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.

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