2 How long will you talk and keep saying nothing? 3 Does God All-Powerful stand in the way of justice? 4 He made your children pay for their sins. 5 So why don’t you turn to him 6 and start living right? Then he will decide to rescue and restore you to your place of honor. 7 Your future will be brighter by far than your past.
Our Ancestors Were Wise
8 Our ancestors were wise, so learn from them. 9 Our own time has been short, like a fading shadow, and we know very little. 10 But they will instruct you with great understanding.
11 Papyrus reeds grow healthy only in a swamp, 12 and if the water dries up, they die sooner than grass. 13 Such is the hopeless future of all who turn from God 14 and trust in something as frail as a spider’s web— 15 they take hold and fall because it’s so flimsy. 16 Sinful people are like plants with spreading roots and plenty of sun and water. 17 They wrap their roots tightly around rocks.[b] 18 But once they are pulled up, they have no more place; 19 their life slips away,[c] and other plants grow there.
20 We know God doesn’t reject an innocent person or help a sinner. 21 And so, he will make you happy and give you something to smile about. 22 But your evil enemies will be put to shame and disappear forever.
Job’s Reply to Bildad
What You Say Is True
9 Job said:
2 What you say is true. No human is innocent in the sight of God. 3 Not once in a thousand times could we win our case if we took him to court. 4 God is wise and powerful— who could possibly oppose him and win? 5 When God becomes angry, he can move mountains before they even know it. 6 God can shake the earth loose from its foundations 7 or command the sun and stars to hold back their light. 8 God alone stretched out the sky, stepped on the sea,[d] 9 and set the stars in place— the Big Dipper and Orion, the Pleiades and the stars in the southern sky. 10 Of all the miracles God works, we cannot understand a one. 11 God walks right past me, without making a sound. 12 And if he grabs something, who can stop him or raise a question?
13 When God showed his anger, the servants of the sea monster[e] fell at his feet. 14 How, then, could I possibly argue my case with God?
Though I Am Innocent
15 Even though I am innocent, I can only beg for mercy. 16 And if God came into court when I called him, he would not hear my case. 17 He would strike me with a storm[f] and increase my injuries for no reason at all. 18 Before I could get my breath, my miseries would multiply. 19 God is much stronger than I am, and who would call me into court to give me justice?
20 Even if I were innocent, God would prove me wrong.[g] 21 I am not guilty, but I no longer care what happens to me. 22 What difference does it make? God destroys the innocent along with the guilty. 23 When a good person dies a sudden death, God sits back and laughs. 24 And who else but God blindfolds the judges, then lets the wicked take over the earth?
My Life Is Speeding By
25 My life is speeding by, without a hope of happiness. 26 Each day passes swifter than a sailing ship or an eagle swooping down. 27 Sometimes I try to be cheerful and to stop complaining, 28 but my sufferings frighten me, because I know that God still considers me guilty. 29 So what’s the use of trying to prove my innocence? 30 Even if I washed myself with the strongest soap, 31 God would throw me into a pit of stinking slime, leaving me disgusting to my clothes.
32 God isn’t a mere human like me. I can’t put him on trial. 33 Who could possibly judge between the two of us? 34 Can someone snatch away the stick God carries to frighten me? 35 Then I could speak up without fear of him, but for now, I cannot speak.[h]
Job Complains to God
I Am Sick of Life!
10 I am sick of life! And from my deep despair, I complain to you, my God. 2 Don’t just condemn me! Point out my sin. 3 Why do you take such delight in destroying those you created and in smiling on sinners? 4 Do you look at things the way we humans do? 5 Is your life as short as ours? 6 Is that why you are so quick to find fault with me? 7 You know I am innocent, but who can defend me against you? 8 Will you now destroy someone you created? 9 Remember that you molded me like a piece of clay. So don’t turn me back into dust once again. 10 As cheese is made from milk, you created my body from a tiny drop. 11 Then you tied my bones together with muscles and covered them with flesh and skin. 12 You, the source of my life, showered me with kindness and watched over me.
You Have Not Explained
13 You have not explained all of your mysteries, 14 but you catch and punish me each time I sin. 15 Guilty or innocent, I am condemned and ashamed because of my troubles. 16 No matter how hard I try, you keep hunting me down like a powerful lion.[i] 17 You never stop accusing me; you become furious and attack over and over again.
18 Why did you let me be born? I would rather have died before birth 19 and been carried to the grave without ever breathing. 20 I have only a few days left. Why don’t you leave me alone?[j] Let me find some relief, 21 before I travel to the land 22 of darkness and despair, the place of no return.
26 The Lord’s angel said to Philip, “Go south[a] along the desert road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza.”[b]27 So Philip left.
An important Ethiopian official happened to be going along that road in his chariot. He was the chief treasurer for Candace, the Queen of Ethiopia. The official had gone to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was now on his way home. He was sitting in his chariot, reading the book of the prophet Isaiah.
29 The Spirit told Philip to catch up with the chariot. 30 Philip ran up close and heard the man reading aloud from the book of Isaiah. Philip asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 The official answered, “How can I understand unless someone helps me?” He then invited Philip to come up and sit beside him.
32 The man was reading the passage that said,
“He was led like a sheep on its way to be killed. He was silent as a lamb whose wool is being cut off, and he did not say a word. 33 He was treated like a nobody and did not receive a fair trial. How can he have children, if his life is snatched away?”
34 The official said to Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or about someone else?” 35 So Philip began at this place in the Scriptures and explained the good news about Jesus.
36-37 As they were going along the road, they came to a place where there was some water. The official said, “Look! Here is some water. Why can’t I be baptized?”[c]38 He ordered the chariot to stop. Then they both went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
39 After they had come out of the water, the Lord’s Spirit took Philip away. The official never saw him again, but he was very happy as he went on his way.
40 Philip later appeared in Azotus. He went from town to town, all the way to Caesarea, telling people about Jesus.
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