2 Be patient a while longer; I have something else to say in God’s defense. 3 God always does right— and this knowledge comes straight from God.[a] 4 You can rest assured that what I say is true. 5 Although God is mighty, he cares about everyone and makes fair decisions.
6 The wicked are cut down, and those who are wronged receive justice. 7 God watches over good people and places them in positions of power and honor forever. 8 But when people are prisoners of suffering and pain, 9 God points out their sin and their pride, 10 then he warns them to turn back to him. 11 And if they obey, they will be successful and happy from then on. 12 But if they foolishly refuse, they will be rewarded with a violent death.
Godless People Are Too Angry
13 Godless people are too angry to ask God for help when he punishes them. 14 So they die young in shameful disgrace. 15 Hard times and trouble are God’s way of getting our attention! 16 And at this very moment, God deeply desires to lead you from trouble and to spread your table with your favorite food.
17 Now that the judgment for your sins has fallen upon you, 18 don’t let your anger and the pain you endured make you sneer at God. 19 Your reputation and riches cannot protect you from distress, 20 nor can you find safety in the dark world below.[b] 21 Be on guard! Don’t turn to evil as a way of escape. 22 God’s power is unlimited. He needs no teachers 23 to guide or correct him.
Others Have Praised God
24 Others have praised God for what he has done, so join with them. 25 From down here on earth, everyone has looked up and seen 26 how great God is— God is more than we imagine; no one can count the years he has lived. 27 God gathers moisture into the clouds 28 and supplies us with rain. 29 Who can understand how God scatters the clouds and speaks from his home in the thunderstorm? 30 And when God sends lightning, it can be seen at the bottom of the sea. 31 By producing such rainstorms, God rules the world and provides us with food. 32 Each flash of lightning is one of his arrows striking its target, 33 and the thunder tells of his anger against sin.[c]
I Am Frightened
37 I am frightened and tremble all over, 2 when I hear the roaring voice of God in the thunder, 3 and when I see his lightning flash across the sky. 4 God’s majestic voice thunders his commands,[d] 5 creating miracles too marvelous for us to understand. 6 Snow and heavy rainstorms 7 make us stop and think about God’s power, 8 and they force animals to seek shelter. 9 The windstorms of winter strike, 10 and the breath of God freezes streams and rivers. 11 Rain clouds filled with lightning appear at God’s command, 12 traveling across the sky 13 to release their cargo— sometimes as punishment for sin, sometimes as kindness.
14 Job, consider carefully the many wonders of God. 15 Can you explain why lightning flashes at the orders 16 of God who knows all things? Or how he hangs the clouds in empty space? 17 You almost melt in the heat of fierce desert winds when the sky is like brass. 18 God can spread out the clouds to get relief from the heat, but can you?
19 Tell us what to say to God! Our minds are in the dark, and we don’t know how to argue our case. 20 Should I risk my life by telling God that I want to speak? 21 No one can stare at the sun after a breeze has blown the clouds from the sky. 22 Yet the glorious splendor of God All-Powerful is brighter by far. 23 God cannot be seen— but his power is great, and he is always fair. 24 And so we humans fear God, because he shows no respect for those who are proud and think they know so much.
36.3comes straight from God: The Hebrew text has “comes from a distant place,” which refers to the place where God lives; Elihu is claiming that he learned this from God.
36.20below: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 18-20.
36.33sin: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 33.
37.4commands: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 4.
22 The apostles, the leaders, and all the church members decided to send some men to Antioch along with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Silas and Judas Barsabbas,[a] who were two leaders of the Lord’s followers. 23 They wrote a letter that said:
We apostles and leaders send friendly greetings to all of you Gentiles who are followers of the Lord in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia.
24 We have heard that some people from here have terribly upset you by what they said. But we did not send them! 25 So we met together and decided to choose some men and to send them to you along with our good friends Barnabas and Paul. 26 These men have risked their lives for our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We are also sending Judas and Silas, who will tell you in person the same things that we are writing.
28 The Holy Spirit has shown us that we should not place any extra burden on you. 29 But you should not eat anything offered to idols. You should not eat any meat that still has the blood in it or any meat of any animal that has been strangled. You must also not commit any terrible sexual sins. If you follow these instructions, you will do well.
We send our best wishes.
30 The four men left Jerusalem and went to Antioch. Then they called the church members together and gave them the letter. 31 When the letter was read, everyone was pleased and greatly encouraged. 32 Judas and Silas were prophets, and they spoke a long time, encouraging and helping the Lord’s followers.
33 The men from Jerusalem stayed on in Antioch for a while. And when they left to return to the ones who had sent them, the followers wished them well. 34-35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed on in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached about the Lord.[b]
Paul and Barnabas Go Their Separate Ways
36 Sometime later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit the Lord’s followers in the cities where we preached his message. Then we will know how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take along John, whose other name was Mark. 38 But Paul did not want to, because Mark had left them in Pamphylia and had stopped working with them.
39 Paul and Barnabas argued, then each of them went his own way. Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus, 40 but Paul took Silas and left after the followers had placed them in God’s care. 41 They traveled through Syria and Cilicia, encouraging the churches.
15.22Judas Barsabbas: He may have been a brother of Joseph Barsabbas (see 1.23), but the name “Barsabbas” was often used by the Jewish people.
15.34,35Verse 34, which says that Silas decided to stay on in Antioch, is not in some manuscripts.
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