2 So much foolish talk cannot go unanswered. 3 Your words have silenced others and made them ashamed; now it is only right for you to be put to shame. 4 You claim to be innocent and argue that your beliefs are acceptable to God. 5 But I wish he would speak 6 and let you know that wisdom has many different sides. You would then discover that God has punished you less than you deserve.
7 Can you understand the mysteries surrounding God All-Powerful? 8 They are higher than the heavens and deeper than the grave. So what can you do when you know so little, 9 and these mysteries outreach the earth and the ocean?
10 If God puts you in prison or drags you to court, what can you do? 11 God has the wisdom to know when someone is worthless and sinful, 12 but it’s easier to tame a wild donkey than to make a fool wise.[b]
Surrender Your Heart to God
13 Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, 14 and give up your sins— even those you do in secret. 15 Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. 16 Your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge, 17 and your darkest night will be brighter than noon. 18 You will rest safe and secure, filled with hope and emptied of worry. 19 You will sleep without fear and be greatly respected. 20 But those who are evil will go blind and lose their way. Their only escape is death!
Job’s Reply to Zophar
You Think You Are So Great
12 Job said to his friends:
2 You think you are so great, with all the answers. 3 But I know as much as you do, and so does everyone else. 4 I have always lived right, and God answered my prayers; now friends make fun of me. 5 It’s easy to condemn those who are suffering, when you have no troubles. 6 Robbers and other godless people live safely at home and say, “God is in our hands!”[c]
If You Want To Learn
7 If you want to learn, then go and ask the wild animals and the birds, 8 the flowers and the fish. 9 Any of them can tell you what the Lord has done.[d] 10 Every living creature is in the hands of God.
11 We hear with our ears, taste with our tongues, 12 and gain some wisdom from those who have lived a long time. 13 But God is the real source of wisdom and strength. 14 No one can rebuild what he destroys, or release those he has imprisoned. 15 God can hold back the rain or send a flood, 16 just as he rules over liars and those they lie to.
17 God destroys counselors, turns judges into fools, 18 and makes slaves of kings. 19 God removes priests and others who have great power— 20 he confuses wise, experienced advisors, 21 puts mighty kings to shame, and takes away their power. 22 God turns darkness to light; 23 he makes nations strong, then shatters their strength. 24 God strikes their rulers senseless, then leaves them to roam through barren deserts, 25 lost in the dark, staggering like someone drunk.
I Know and Understand
13 I know and understand every bit of this. 2 None of you are smarter than I am; there’s nothing you know that I don’t. 3 But I prefer to argue my case with God All-Powerful— 4 you are merely useless doctors, who treat me with lies. 5 The wisest thing you can do is to keep quiet 6 and listen to my argument. 7 Are you telling lies for God 8 and not telling the whole truth when you argue his case? 9 If he took you to court, could you fool him, just as you fool others? 10 If you were secretly unfair, he would correct you, 11 and his glorious splendor would make you terrified. 12 Your wisdom and arguments are as delicate as dust.
Be Quiet While I Speak
13 Be quiet while I speak, then say what you will. 14 I will be responsible for what happens to me. 15 God may kill me, but still I will trust him[e] and offer my defense. 16 This may be what saves me, because no guilty person would come to his court. 17 Listen carefully to my words! 18 I have prepared my case well, and I am certain to win. 19 If you can prove me guilty, I will give up and die.
I Ask Only Two Things
20 I ask only two things of you, my God, and I will no longer hide from you— 21 stop punishing and terrifying me!
22 Then speak, and I will reply; or else let me speak, and you reply. 23 Please point out my sins, so I will know them. 24 Why have you turned your back and count me your enemy? 25 Do you really enjoy frightening a fallen leaf? 26 Why do you accuse me of horrible crimes and make me pay for sins I did in my youth? 27 You have tied my feet down and keep me surrounded; 28 I am rotting away like cloth eaten by worms.
9 Saul kept on threatening to kill the Lord’s followers. He even went to the high priest 2 and asked for letters to the Jewish leaders in Damascus. He did this because he wanted to arrest and take to Jerusalem any man or woman who had accepted the Lord’s Way.[a]3 When Saul had almost reached Damascus, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice that said, “Saul! Saul! Why are you so cruel to me?”
5 “Who are you?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus,” the Lord answered. “I am the one you are so cruel to. 6 Now get up and go into the city, where you will be told what to do.”
7 The men with Saul stood there speechless. They had heard the voice, but they had not seen anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and when he opened his eyes, he could not see a thing. Someone then led him by the hand to Damascus, 9 and for three days he was blind and did not eat or drink.
10 A follower named Ananias lived in Damascus, and the Lord spoke to him in a vision. Ananias answered, “Lord, here I am.”
11 The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the house of Judas on Straight Street. When you get there, you will find a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. Saul is praying, 12 and he has seen a vision. He saw a man named Ananias coming to him and putting his hands on him, so that he could see again.”
13 Ananias replied, “Lord, a lot of people have told me about the terrible things this man has done to your followers in Jerusalem. 14 Now the chief priests have given him the power to come here and arrest anyone who worships in your name.”
15 The Lord said to Ananias, “Go! I have chosen him to tell foreigners, kings, and the people of Israel about me. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for worshiping in my name.”
17 Ananias left and went into the house where Saul was staying. Ananias placed his hands on him and said, “Saul, the Lord Jesus has sent me. He is the same one who appeared to you along the road. He wants you to be able to see and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
18 Suddenly something like fish scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see. He got up and was baptized. 19 Then he ate and felt much better.
Saul Preaches in Damascus
For several days Saul stayed with the Lord’s followers in Damascus. 20 Soon he went to the Jewish meeting places and started telling people that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 Everyone who heard Saul was amazed and said, “Isn’t this the man who caused so much trouble for those people in Jerusalem who worship in the name of Jesus? Didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them to the chief priests?”
9.2accepted the Lord’s Way: In the book of Acts, this means to become a follower of the Lord Jesus.
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