2 “How long will you torment my soul, And break me in pieces with words? 3 These ten times you have [a]reproached me; You are not ashamed that you [b]have wronged me. 4 And if indeed I have erred, My error remains with me. 5 If indeed you exalt yourselves against me, And plead my disgrace against me, 6 Know then that God has wronged me, And has surrounded me with His net.
7 “If I cry out concerning [c]wrong, I am not heard. If I cry aloud, there is no justice. 8 He has [d]fenced up my way, so that I cannot pass; And He has set darkness in my paths. 9 He has stripped me of my glory, And taken the crown from my head. 10 He breaks me down on every side, And I am gone; My hope He has uprooted like a tree. 11 He has also kindled His wrath against me, And He counts me as one of His enemies. 12 His troops come together And build up their road against me; They encamp all around my tent.
13 “He has removed my brothers far from me, And my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. 14 My relatives have failed, And my close friends have forgotten me. 15 Those who dwell in my house, and my maidservants, Count me as a stranger; I am an alien in their sight. 16 I call my servant, but he gives no answer; I beg him with my mouth. 17 My breath is offensive to my wife, And I am [e]repulsive to the children of my own body. 18 Even young children despise me; I arise, and they speak against me. 19 All my close friends abhor me, And those whom I love have turned against me. 20 My bone clings to my skin and to my flesh, And I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21 “Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, For the hand of God has struck me! 22 Why do you persecute me as God does, And are not satisfied with my flesh?
23 “Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! 24 That they were engraved on a rock With an iron pen and lead, forever! 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is [f]destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, 27 Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my [g]heart yearns within me! 28 If you should say, ‘How shall we persecute him?’— Since the root of the matter is found in me, 29 Be afraid of the sword for yourselves; For wrath brings the punishment of the sword, That you may know there is a judgment.”
Zophar’s Sermon on the Wicked Man
20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:
2 “Therefore my anxious thoughts make me answer, Because of the turmoil within me. 3 I have heard the rebuke [h]that reproaches me, And the spirit of my understanding causes me to answer.
4 “Do you not know this of old, Since man was placed on earth, 5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment? 6 Though his haughtiness mounts up to the heavens, And his head reaches to the clouds, 7 Yet he will perish forever like his own refuse; Those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’ 8 He will fly away like a dream, and not be found; Yes, he will be chased away like a vision of the night. 9 The eye that saw him will see him no more, Nor will his place behold him anymore. 10 His children will seek the favor of the poor, And his hands will restore his wealth. 11 His bones are full of his youthful vigor, But it will lie down with him in the dust.
12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth, And he hides it under his tongue, 13 Though he spares it and does not forsake it, But still keeps it in his [i]mouth, 14 Yet his food in his stomach turns sour; It becomes cobra venom within him. 15 He swallows down riches And vomits them up again; God casts them out of his belly. 16 He will suck the poison of cobras; The viper’s tongue will slay him. 17 He will not see the streams, The rivers flowing with honey and cream. 18 He will restore that for which he labored, And will not swallow it down; From the proceeds of business He will get no enjoyment. 19 For he has [j]oppressed and forsaken the poor, He has violently seized a house which he did not build.
20 “Because he knows no quietness in his [k]heart, He will not save anything he desires. 21 Nothing is left for him to eat; Therefore his well-being will not last. 22 In his self-sufficiency he will be in distress; Every hand of [l]misery will come against him. 23 When he is about to fill his stomach, God will cast on him the fury of His wrath, And will rain it on him while he is eating. 24 He will flee from the iron weapon; A bronze bow will pierce him through. 25 It is drawn, and comes out of the body; Yes, the glittering point comes out of his [m]gall. Terrors come upon him; 26 Total darkness is reserved for his treasures. An unfanned fire will consume him; It shall go ill with him who is left in his tent. 27 The heavens will reveal his iniquity, And the earth will rise up against him. 28 The increase of his house will depart, And his goods will flow away in the day of His wrath. 29 This is the portion from God for a wicked man, The heritage appointed to him by God.”
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. 7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep [a]of His hand.
Today, if you will hear His voice: 8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the [b]rebellion, As in the day of [c]trial in the wilderness, 9 When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work. 10 For forty years I was [d]grieved with that generation, And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”
4 Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! 5 [a]Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
Proverbs 23:5Lit. Will you cause your eyes to fly upon it and it is not?
13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will [a]bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Love Your Neighbor
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,”[b]“You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Put on Christ
11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk [c]properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
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