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Job 34:1-36:33; 2 Corinthians 4:1-12; Psalms 44:1-8; Proverbs 22:10-12 (New International Version)

Job 34-36

34 Then Elihu said:

“Hear my words, you wise men;
    listen to me, you men of learning.
For the ear tests words
    as the tongue tastes food.
Let us discern for ourselves what is right;
    let us learn together what is good.

“Job says, ‘I am innocent,
    but God denies me justice.
Although I am right,
    I am considered a liar;
although I am guiltless,
    his arrow inflicts an incurable wound.’
Is there anyone like Job,
    who drinks scorn like water?
He keeps company with evildoers;
    he associates with the wicked.
For he says, ‘There is no profit
    in trying to please God.’

10 “So listen to me, you men of understanding.
    Far be it from God to do evil,
    from the Almighty to do wrong.
11 He repays everyone for what they have done;
    he brings on them what their conduct deserves.
12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong,
    that the Almighty would pervert justice.
13 Who appointed him over the earth?
    Who put him in charge of the whole world?
14 If it were his intention
    and he withdrew his spirit[a] and breath,
15 all humanity would perish together
    and mankind would return to the dust.

16 “If you have understanding, hear this;
    listen to what I say.
17 Can someone who hates justice govern?
    Will you condemn the just and mighty One?
18 Is he not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’
    and to nobles, ‘You are wicked,’
19 who shows no partiality to princes
    and does not favor the rich over the poor,
    for they are all the work of his hands?
20 They die in an instant, in the middle of the night;
    the people are shaken and they pass away;
    the mighty are removed without human hand.

21 “His eyes are on the ways of mortals;
    he sees their every step.
22 There is no deep shadow, no utter darkness,
    where evildoers can hide.
23 God has no need to examine people further,
    that they should come before him for judgment.
24 Without inquiry he shatters the mighty
    and sets up others in their place.
25 Because he takes note of their deeds,
    he overthrows them in the night and they are crushed.
26 He punishes them for their wickedness
    where everyone can see them,
27 because they turned from following him
    and had no regard for any of his ways.
28 They caused the cry of the poor to come before him,
    so that he heard the cry of the needy.
29 But if he remains silent, who can condemn him?
    If he hides his face, who can see him?
Yet he is over individual and nation alike,
30     to keep the godless from ruling,
    from laying snares for the people.

31 “Suppose someone says to God,
    ‘I am guilty but will offend no more.
32 Teach me what I cannot see;
    if I have done wrong, I will not do so again.’
33 Should God then reward you on your terms,
    when you refuse to repent?
You must decide, not I;
    so tell me what you know.

34 “Men of understanding declare,
    wise men who hear me say to me,
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
    his words lack insight.’
36 Oh, that Job might be tested to the utmost
    for answering like a wicked man!
37 To his sin he adds rebellion;
    scornfully he claps his hands among us
    and multiplies his words against God.”

35 Then Elihu said:

“Do you think this is just?
    You say, ‘I am in the right, not God.’
Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me,[b]
    and what do I gain by not sinning?’

“I would like to reply to you
    and to your friends with you.
Look up at the heavens and see;
    gaze at the clouds so high above you.
If you sin, how does that affect him?
    If your sins are many, what does that do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give to him,
    or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness only affects humans like yourself,
    and your righteousness only other people.

“People cry out under a load of oppression;
    they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful.
10 But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
    who gives songs in the night,
11 who teaches us more than he teaches[c] the beasts of the earth
    and makes us wiser than[d] the birds in the sky?’
12 He does not answer when people cry out
    because of the arrogance of the wicked.
13 Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea;
    the Almighty pays no attention to it.
14 How much less, then, will he listen
    when you say that you do not see him,
that your case is before him
    and you must wait for him,
15 and further, that his anger never punishes
    and he does not take the least notice of wickedness.[e]
16 So Job opens his mouth with empty talk;
    without knowledge he multiplies words.”

36 Elihu continued:

“Bear with me a little longer and I will show you
    that there is more to be said in God’s behalf.
I get my knowledge from afar;
    I will ascribe justice to my Maker.
Be assured that my words are not false;
    one who has perfect knowledge is with you.

“God is mighty, but despises no one;
    he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.
He does not keep the wicked alive
    but gives the afflicted their rights.
He does not take his eyes off the righteous;
    he enthrones them with kings
    and exalts them forever.
But if people are bound in chains,
    held fast by cords of affliction,
he tells them what they have done—
    that they have sinned arrogantly.
10 He makes them listen to correction
    and commands them to repent of their evil.
11 If they obey and serve him,
    they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity
    and their years in contentment.
12 But if they do not listen,
    they will perish by the sword[f]
    and die without knowledge.

13 “The godless in heart harbor resentment;
    even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.
14 They die in their youth,
    among male prostitutes of the shrines.
15 But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;
    he speaks to them in their affliction.

16 “He is wooing you from the jaws of distress
    to a spacious place free from restriction,
    to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.
17 But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked;
    judgment and justice have taken hold of you.
18 Be careful that no one entices you by riches;
    do not let a large bribe turn you aside.
19 Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts
    sustain you so you would not be in distress?
20 Do not long for the night,
    to drag people away from their homes.[g]
21 Beware of turning to evil,
    which you seem to prefer to affliction.

22 “God is exalted in his power.
    Who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has prescribed his ways for him,
    or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’?
24 Remember to extol his work,
    which people have praised in song.
25 All humanity has seen it;
    mortals gaze on it from afar.
26 How great is God—beyond our understanding!
    The number of his years is past finding out.

27 “He draws up the drops of water,
    which distill as rain to the streams[h];
28 the clouds pour down their moisture
    and abundant showers fall on mankind.
29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
    how he thunders from his pavilion?
30 See how he scatters his lightning about him,
    bathing the depths of the sea.
31 This is the way he governs[i] the nations
    and provides food in abundance.
32 He fills his hands with lightning
    and commands it to strike its mark.
33 His thunder announces the coming storm;
    even the cattle make known its approach.[j]

Footnotes:

  1. Job 34:14 Or Spirit
  2. Job 35:3 Or you
  3. Job 35:11 Or night, / 11 who teaches us by
  4. Job 35:11 Or us wise by
  5. Job 35:15 Symmachus, Theodotion and Vulgate; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  6. Job 36:12 Or will cross the river
  7. Job 36:20 The meaning of the Hebrew for verses 18-20 is uncertain.
  8. Job 36:27 Or distill from the mist as rain
  9. Job 36:31 Or nourishes
  10. Job 36:33 Or announces his coming— / the One zealous against evil
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2 Corinthians 4:1-12

Present Weakness and Resurrection Life

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Corinthians 4:6 Gen. 1:3
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Psalm 44:1-8

Psalm 44[a]

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil.[b]

We have heard it with our ears, O God;
    our ancestors have told us
what you did in their days,
    in days long ago.
With your hand you drove out the nations
    and planted our ancestors;
you crushed the peoples
    and made our ancestors flourish.
It was not by their sword that they won the land,
    nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand, your arm,
    and the light of your face, for you loved them.

You are my King and my God,
    who decrees[c] victories for Jacob.
Through you we push back our enemies;
    through your name we trample our foes.
I put no trust in my bow,
    my sword does not bring me victory;
but you give us victory over our enemies,
    you put our adversaries to shame.
In God we make our boast all day long,
    and we will praise your name forever.[d]

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 44:1 In Hebrew texts 44:1-26 is numbered 44:2-27.
  2. Psalm 44:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  3. Psalm 44:4 Septuagint, Aquila and Syriac; Hebrew King, O God; / command
  4. Psalm 44:8 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.
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Proverbs 22:10-12

10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;
    quarrels and insults are ended.

11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace
    will have the king for a friend.

12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
    but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.

Read More
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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