Job Replies: Where Is God?

23 Then Job answered and said:

“Today also my (A)complaint is bitter;[a]
    my (B)hand is heavy on account of my groaning.
Oh, (C)that I knew where I might find him,
    that I might come even to his (D)seat!
I would (E)lay my case before him
    and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know what he would answer me
    and understand what he would say to me.
Would he (F)contend with me in the greatness of his power?
    No; he would pay attention to me.
There an upright man could argue with him,
    and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.

“Behold, (G)I go forward, but he is not there,
    and backward, but I do not perceive him;
on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;
    he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
10 But he (H)knows (I)the way that I (J)take;
    when he has (K)tried me, I shall come out as gold.
11 My foot (L)has held fast to his steps;
    I have kept his way and have (M)not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
    I have (N)treasured the words of his mouth more than my (O)portion of food.
13 But he is unchangeable,[b] and (P)who can turn him back?
    What he (Q)desires, that he does.
14 For he will complete what he (R)appoints for me,
    and many such things are (S)in his mind.
15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
    when I consider, I am in dread of him.
16 God has made my (T)heart faint;
    the Almighty has terrified me;
17 yet I am not silenced because of the darkness,
    nor because thick darkness covers my face.

24 “Why are (U)not times of judgment (V)kept by the Almighty,
    and why do those who know him never see his (W)days?
Some move (X)landmarks;
    they seize flocks and pasture them.
They drive away the donkey of the fatherless;
    they (Y)take the widow's ox for a pledge.
They (Z)thrust the poor off the road;
    the poor of the earth (AA)all hide themselves.
Behold, like wild donkeys in the desert
    the poor[c] (AB)go out to their toil, (AC)seeking game;
    the wasteland yields food for their children.
They gather their[d] fodder in the field,
    and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man.
They (AD)lie all night naked, without clothing,
    and have no covering in the cold.
They are wet with the rain of the mountains
    and (AE)cling to the rock for lack of shelter.
(There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast,
    and they take a pledge against the poor.)
10 They go about naked, without clothing;
    hungry, they (AF)carry the sheaves;
11 among the olive rows of the wicked[e] they make oil;
    they tread the winepresses, but suffer thirst.
12 From out of the city the dying[f] groan,
    and the soul of (AG)the wounded cries for help;
    yet God charges no one with (AH)wrong.

13 “There are those who rebel (AI)against the light,
    who are not acquainted with its ways,
    and do not stay in its paths.
14 The murderer rises before it is light,
    that he (AJ)may kill the poor and needy,
    and in the night he is like a thief.
15 The eye of the adulterer also waits for (AK)the twilight,
    saying, ‘No (AL)eye will see me’;
    and he veils his face.
16 In the dark they (AM)dig through houses;
    by day they shut themselves up;
    they do not know the light.
17 For (AN)deep darkness is morning to all of them;
    for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.

18 “You say, (AO)‘Swift are they on the face of the waters;
    their portion is cursed in the land;
    no treader turns toward their vineyards.
19 Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters;
    so does (AP)Sheol those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them;
    the worm finds them sweet;
they are (AQ)no longer remembered,
    so wickedness is broken like (AR)a tree.’

21 “They wrong the barren, childless woman,
    and do no good to the widow.
22 Yet God[g] prolongs the life of the mighty by his power;
    they rise up when they despair of life.
23 He gives them security, and they are supported,
    and his (AS)eyes are upon their ways.
24 They are exalted (AT)a little while, and then (AU)are gone;
    they are brought low and gathered up like all others;
    they are (AV)cut off like the heads of grain.
25 If it is (AW)not so, who will prove me a liar
    and show that there is nothing in what I say?”

Bildad Speaks: Man Cannot Be Righteous

25 Then (AX)Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

“Dominion and fear are with God;[h]
    he makes peace in his high heaven.
Is there any number to his (AY)armies?
    Upon whom does his (AZ)light not arise?
How then can man be (BA)in the right before God?
    How can he who is (BB)born of woman be (BC)pure?
Behold, even the moon is not bright,
    and the stars are not pure in his eyes;
(BD)how much less man, who is (BE)a maggot,
    and (BF)the son of man, who is a worm!”

Job Replies: God's Majesty Is Unsearchable

26 Then Job answered and said:

“How you have (BG)helped him who has no power!
    How you have saved (BH)the arm that has no strength!
How you have (BI)counseled him who has no wisdom,
    and plentifully declared sound knowledge!
With whose help have you uttered words,
    and whose breath (BJ)has come out from you?
The (BK)dead tremble
    under the waters and their inhabitants.
Sheol is (BL)naked before God,[i]
    and (BM)Abaddon has no covering.
He (BN)stretches out the north over (BO)the void
    and hangs the earth on nothing.
He (BP)binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
    and the cloud is not split open under them.
He covers the face of the full moon[j]
    and (BQ)spreads over it his cloud.
10 He has inscribed (BR)a circle on the face of the waters
    at the boundary between light and darkness.
11 (BS)The pillars of heaven tremble
    and are astounded at his (BT)rebuke.
12 By his power he (BU)stilled the sea;
    by his understanding he shattered (BV)Rahab.
13 (BW)By his wind the heavens were made fair;
    his hand pierced (BX)the fleeing serpent.
14 Behold, these are but the outskirts of his (BY)ways,
    and how small (BZ)a whisper do we hear of him!
    But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

Job Continues: I Will Maintain My Integrity

27 And Job again (CA)took up his discourse, and said:

“As God lives, who has (CB)taken away my right,
    and the Almighty, who has (CC)made my soul bitter,
as long as my breath is in me,
    and (CD)the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak (CE)falsehood,
    and my tongue will not utter (CF)deceit.
Far be it from me to say that you are right;
    till I die I will not put away my (CG)integrity from me.
I (CH)hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go;
    my heart does not (CI)reproach me for any of my days.

“Let my enemy be as the wicked,
    and let him who rises up against me be as the unrighteous.
(CJ)For what is the hope of the godless (CK)when God cuts him off,
    when God takes away his life?
(CL)Will God hear his cry
    when distress comes upon him?
10 Will he (CM)take delight in the Almighty?
    Will he call upon God at all times?
11 I will teach you concerning the hand of God;
    (CN)what is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
12 Behold, all of you have seen it yourselves;
    why then have you become altogether vain?

13 (CO)“This is the portion of a wicked man with God,
    and the heritage that (CP)oppressors receive from the Almighty:
14 If his (CQ)children are multiplied, it is for (CR)the sword,
    and his descendants have not enough bread.
15 Those who survive him the pestilence buries,
    and his (CS)widows do not weep.
16 Though he (CT)heap up silver like dust,
    and pile up clothing like clay,
17 he may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it,
    and (CU)the innocent will divide the silver.
18 He builds his (CV)house like a moth's,
    like (CW)a booth that (CX)a watchman makes.
19 He goes to bed rich, but will (CY)do so no more;
    he opens his eyes, and (CZ)his wealth is gone.
20 (DA)Terrors overtake him like (DB)a flood;
    in the night a whirlwind (DC)carries him off.
21 (DD)The east wind lifts him up and he is gone;
    it (DE)sweeps him out of his place.
22 It[k] hurls at him (DF)without pity;
    he flees from its[l] power in headlong flight.
23 It (DG)claps its hands at him
    and (DH)hisses at him from its place.

Footnotes

  1. Job 23:2 Or defiant
  2. Job 23:13 Or one
  3. Job 24:5 Hebrew they
  4. Job 24:6 Hebrew his
  5. Job 24:11 Hebrew their olive rows
  6. Job 24:12 Or the men
  7. Job 24:22 Hebrew he
  8. Job 25:2 Hebrew him
  9. Job 26:6 Hebrew him
  10. Job 26:9 Or his throne
  11. Job 27:22 Or He (that is, God); also verse 23
  12. Job 27:22 Or his; also verse 23

Paul's Change of Plans

12 For our boast is this, (A)the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity[a] and (B)godly sincerity, (C)not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 13 For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and understand and I hope you will fully understand— 14 just as you did (D)partially understand us—that (E)on the day of our Lord Jesus (F)you will boast of us as (G)we will boast of you.

15 Because I was sure of this, (H)I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have (I)a second (J)experience of grace. 16 I wanted to visit you (K)on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea. 17 Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans (L)according to the flesh, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? 18 As surely as (M)God is faithful, (N)our word to you has not been Yes and No. 19 For (O)the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, (P)Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but (Q)in him it is always Yes. 20 For (R)all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our (S)Amen to God for his glory. 21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and (T)has anointed us, 22 and who has also (U)put his seal on us and (V)given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.[b]

23 But (W)I call God to witness against me—it was (X)to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth. 24 Not that we (Y)lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm (Z)in your faith.

For I made up my mind (AA)not to make another painful visit to you. For (AB)if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, (AC)for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. For (AD)I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.

Forgive the Sinner

Now (AE)if anyone has caused pain, (AF)he has caused it not to me, but (AG)in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, (AH)this punishment by the majority is enough, so (AI)you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might (AJ)test you and know (AK)whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for (AL)we are not ignorant of his designs.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 1:12 Some manuscripts holiness
  2. 2 Corinthians 1:22 Or down payment

O Lord, Be Gracious to Me

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

41 (A)Blessed is the one who considers the poor![a]
    (B)In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him;
the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
    he is called blessed in the land;
    you (C)do not give him up to the will of his enemies.
The Lord sustains him on his sickbed;
    in his illness you restore him to full health.[b]

As for me, I said, “O Lord, (D)be gracious to me;
    (E)heal me,[c] for I have sinned against you!”
My enemies say of me in malice,
    “When will he die, and his name perish?”
And when one comes to see me, (F)he utters empty words,
    while his heart gathers iniquity;
    when he goes out, he tells it abroad.
All who hate me whisper together about me;
    they imagine the worst for me.[d]

They say, “A deadly thing is poured out[e] on him;
    he will not rise again from where he lies.”
Even my (G)close friend in whom I trusted,
    who (H)ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
10 But you, O Lord, be gracious to me,
    and raise me up, that I may repay them!

11 By this I know that (I)you delight in me:
    my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.
12 But (J)you have upheld me because of (K)my integrity,
    and (L)set me in your presence (M)forever.

13 (N)Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting!
Amen and Amen.

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 41:1 Or weak
  2. Psalm 41:3 Hebrew you turn all his bed
  3. Psalm 41:4 Hebrew my soul
  4. Psalm 41:7 Or they devise evil against me
  5. Psalm 41:8 Or has fastened

(A)Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
    whoever (B)guards his soul will keep far from them.
(C)Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

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