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Job 41-42The Message (MSG)

I Run This Universe

41 1-11 “Or can you pull in the sea beast, Leviathan, with a fly rod
    and stuff him in your creel?
Can you lasso him with a rope,
    or snag him with an anchor?
Will he beg you over and over for mercy,
    or flatter you with flowery speech?
Will he apply for a job with you
    to run errands and serve you the rest of your life?
Will you play with him as if he were a pet goldfish?
    Will you make him the mascot of the neighborhood children?
Will you put him on display in the market
    and have shoppers haggle over the price?
Could you shoot him full of arrows like a pin cushion,
    or drive harpoons into his huge head?
If you so much as lay a hand on him,
    you won’t live to tell the story.
What hope would you have with such a creature?
    Why, one look at him would do you in!
If you can’t hold your own against his glowering visage,
    how, then, do you expect to stand up to me?
Who could confront me and get by with it?
    I’m in charge of all this—I run this universe!

12-17 “But I’ve more to say about Leviathan, the sea beast,
    his enormous bulk, his beautiful shape.
Who would even dream of piercing that tough skin
    or putting those jaws into bit and bridle?
And who would dare knock at the door of his mouth
    filled with row upon row of fierce teeth?
His pride is invincible;
    nothing can make a dent in that pride.
Nothing can get through that proud skin—
    impervious to weapons and weather,
The thickest and toughest of hides,
    impenetrable!

18-34 “He snorts and the world lights up with fire,
    he blinks and the dawn breaks.
Comets pour out of his mouth,
    fireworks arc and branch.
Smoke erupts from his nostrils
    like steam from a boiling pot.
He blows and fires blaze;
    flames of fire stream from his mouth.
All muscle he is—sheer and seamless muscle.
    To meet him is to dance with death.
Sinewy and lithe,
    there’s not a soft spot in his entire body—
As tough inside as out,
    rock-hard, invulnerable.
Even angels run for cover when he surfaces,
    cowering before his tail-thrashing turbulence.
Javelins bounce harmlessly off his hide,
    harpoons ricochet wildly.
Iron bars are so much straw to him,
    bronze weapons beneath notice.
Arrows don’t even make him blink;
    bullets make no more impression than raindrops.
A battle ax is nothing but a splinter of kindling;
    he treats a brandished harpoon as a joke.
His belly is armor-plated, inexorable—
    unstoppable as a barge.
He roils deep ocean the way you’d boil water,
    he whips the sea like you’d whip an egg into batter.
With a luminous trail stretching out behind him,
    you might think Ocean had grown a gray beard!
There’s nothing on this earth quite like him,
    not an ounce of fear in that creature!
He surveys all the high and mighty—
    king of the ocean, king of the deep!”

Job Worships God

I Babbled On About Things Far Beyond Me

42 1-6 Job answered God:

“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
    Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
    ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
    made small talk about wonders way over my head.
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
    Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
    now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!
I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
    I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”

God Restores Job

I Will Accept His Prayer

7-8 After God had finished addressing Job, he turned to Eliphaz the Temanite and said, “I’ve had it with you and your two friends. I’m fed up! You haven’t been honest either with me or about me—not the way my friend Job has. So here’s what you must do. Take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my friend Job. Sacrifice a burnt offering on your own behalf. My friend Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer. He will ask me not to treat you as you deserve for talking nonsense about me, and for not being honest with me, as he has.”

They did it. Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did what God commanded. And God accepted Job’s prayer.

10-11 After Job had interceded for his friends, God restored his fortune—and then doubled it! All his brothers and sisters and friends came to his house and celebrated. They told him how sorry they were, and consoled him for all the trouble God had brought him. Each of them brought generous housewarming gifts.

12-15 God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life. He ended up with fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand teams of oxen, and one thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first daughter Dove, the second, Cinnamon, and the third, Darkeyes. There was not a woman in that country as beautiful as Job’s daughters. Their father treated them as equals with their brothers, providing the same inheritance.

16-17 Job lived on another 140 years, living to see his children and grandchildren—four generations of them! Then he died—an old man, a full life.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Acts 16:22-40The Message (MSG)

19-22 When her owners saw that their lucrative little business was suddenly bankrupt, they went after Paul and Silas, roughed them up and dragged them into the market square. Then the police arrested them and pulled them into a court with the accusation, “These men are disturbing the peace—dangerous Jewish agitators subverting our Roman law and order.” By this time the crowd had turned into a restless mob out for blood.

22-24 The judges went along with the mob, had Paul and Silas’s clothes ripped off and ordered a public beating. After beating them black-and-blue, they threw them into jail, telling the jailkeeper to put them under heavy guard so there would be no chance of escape. He did just that—threw them into the maximum security cell in the jail and clamped leg irons on them.

25-26 Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.

27-28 Startled from sleep, the jailer saw all the doors swinging loose on their hinges. Assuming that all the prisoners had escaped, he pulled out his sword and was about to do himself in, figuring he was as good as dead anyway, when Paul stopped him: “Don’t do that! We’re all still here! Nobody’s run away!”

29-31 The jailer got a torch and ran inside. Badly shaken, he collapsed in front of Paul and Silas. He led them out of the jail and asked, “Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?” They said, “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you’ll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included!”

32-34 They went on to spell out in detail the story of the Master—the entire family got in on this part. They never did get to bed that night. The jailer made them feel at home, dressed their wounds, and then—he couldn’t wait till morning!—was baptized, he and everyone in his family. There in his home, he had food set out for a festive meal. It was a night to remember: He and his entire family had put their trust in God; everyone in the house was in on the celebration.

35-36 At daybreak, the court judges sent officers with the instructions, “Release these men.” The jailer gave Paul the message, “The judges sent word that you’re free to go on your way. Congratulations! Go in peace!”

37 But Paul wouldn’t budge. He told the officers, “They beat us up in public and threw us in jail, Roman citizens in good standing! And now they want to get us out of the way on the sly without anyone knowing? Nothing doing! If they want us out of here, let them come themselves and lead us out in broad daylight.”

38-40 When the officers reported this, the judges panicked. They had no idea that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. They hurried over and apologized, personally escorted them from the jail, and then asked them if they wouldn’t please leave the city. Walking out of the jail, Paul and Silas went straight to Lydia’s house, saw their friends again, encouraged them in the faith, and only then went on their way.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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