Bible Gateway The Daily Audio Bible Reading Plan (CEV) 2015-08-29T00:00:00-05:00 Powered by Bible Gateway http://www.biblegateway.com http://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/daily-audio-bible?version=CEV The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday August 29, 2015 (CEV)

Job 31-33

Job Continues

I Promised Myself

31 I promised myself
never to stare with desire
at a young woman.
God All-Powerful punishes
men who do that.
In fact, God sends disaster
on all who sin,
and he keeps a close watch
on everything I do.

I am not dishonest or deceitful,
and I beg God to prove
my innocence.
If I have disobeyed him
or even wanted to,
then others can eat my harvest
and uproot my crops.
If I have desired someone’s wife
and chased after her,
10 then let some stranger
steal my wife from me.
11 If I took someone’s wife,
it would be a horrible crime,
12 sending me to destruction
and my crops to the flames.[a]

13 When my servants
complained against me,
I was fair to them.
14 Otherwise, what answer
would I give to God
when he judges me?
15 After all, God is the one
who gave life to each of us
before we were born.

I Have Never Cheated Anyone

16 I have never cheated widows
or others in need,
17 and I have always shared
my food with orphans.
18 Since the time I was young,
I have cared for orphans
and helped widows.[b]
19 I provided clothes for the poor,
20 and I was praised
for supplying woolen garments
to keep them warm.
21 If I have ever raised my arm
to threaten an orphan
when the power was mine,
22 I hope that arm will fall
from its socket.
23 I could not have been abusive;
I was terrified at the thought
that God might punish me.
24 I have never trusted
the power of wealth,
25 or taken pride in owning
many possessions.
26 I have never openly or secretly
27 worshiped the sun or moon.
28 Such horrible sins
would have deserved
punishment from God.

29 I have never laughed
when my enemies
were struck by disaster.
30 Neither have I sinned
by asking God
to send down on them
the curse of death.
31 No one ever went hungry[c]
at my house,
32 and travelers
were always welcome.
33 Many have attempted to hide
their sins from others—
but I refused.
34 And the fear of public disgrace
never forced me
to keep silent
about what I had done.

Why Doesn’t God Listen?

35 Why doesn’t God All-Powerful
listen and answer?
If God has something against me,
let him speak up
or put it in writing!
36 Then I would wear his charges
on my clothes and forehead.
37 And with my head held high,
I would tell him everything
I have ever done.

38 I have never mistreated
the land I farmed
and made it mourn.[d]
39 Nor have I cheated
my workers
and caused them pain.[e]
40 If I had, I would pray
for weeds instead of wheat
to grow in my fields.
After saying these things,
Job was silent.

Elihu Is Upset with Job’s Friends

32 Finally, these three men stopped arguing with Job, because he refused to admit that he was guilty.

Elihu from Buz[f] was there, and he had become upset with Job for blaming God instead of himself. He was also angry with Job’s three friends for not being able to prove that Job was wrong. Elihu was younger than these three, and he let them speak first. But he became irritated when they could not answer Job, and he said to them:

I am much younger than you,
so I have shown respect
by keeping silent.
I once believed age
was the source of wisdom;
now I truly realize
wisdom comes from God.
Age is no guarantee of wisdom
and understanding.
10 That’s why I ask you
to listen to me.

I Eagerly Listened

11 I eagerly listened
to each of your arguments,
12 but not one of you proved
Job to be wrong.
13 You shouldn’t say,
“We know what’s right!
Let God punish him.”
14 Job hasn’t spoken against me,
and so I won’t answer him
with your arguments.

15 All of you are shocked;
you don’t know what to say.
16 But am I to remain silent,
just because you
have stopped speaking?
17 No! I will give my opinion,
18 because I have so much to say,
that I can’t keep quiet.
19 I am like a swollen wineskin,
and I will burst[g]
20 if I don’t speak.
21 I don’t know how to be unfair
or to flatter anyone—
22 if I did, my Creator
would quickly destroy me!

Elihu Speaks

Job, Listen to Me!

33 Job, listen to me!
Pay close attention.
Everything I will say
is true and sincere,
just as surely as the Spirit
of God All-Powerful[h]
gave me the breath of life.
Now line up your arguments
and prepare to face me.
We each were made from clay,
and God has no favorites,
so don’t be afraid of me
or what I might do.

I Have Heard You Argue

I have heard you argue
that you are innocent,
guilty of nothing.
10 You claim that God
has made you his enemy,
11 that he has bound your feet
and blocked your path.
12 But, Job, you’re wrong—
God is greater
than any human.
13 So why do you challenge God
to answer you?[i]
14 God speaks in different ways,
and we don’t always
recognize his voice.
15 Sometimes in the night,
he uses terrifying dreams
16 to give us warnings.
17 God does this to make us turn
from sin and pride
18 and to protect us
from being swept away
to the world of the dead.

19 Sometimes we are punished
with a serious illness
and aching joints.
20 Merely the thought
of our favorite food
makes our stomachs sick,
21 and we become so skinny
that our bones stick out.
22 We feel death and the grave
taking us in their grip.

23 One of a thousand angels
then comes to our rescue
by saying we are innocent.
24 The angel shows kindness,
commanding death to release us,
because the price was paid.
25 Our health is restored,
we feel young again,
26 and we ask God to accept us.
Then we joyfully worship God,
and we are rewarded
because we are innocent.
27 When that happens,
we tell everyone,
“I sinned and did wrong,
but God forgave me
28 and rescued me from death!
Now I will see the light.”

29 God gives each of us
chance after chance
30 to be saved from death
and brought into the light
that gives life.
31 So, Job, pay attention
and don’t interrupt,
32 though I would gladly listen
to anything you say
that proves you are right.
33 Otherwise, listen in silence
to my wisdom.

Footnotes:

  1. 31.12 flames: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
  2. 31.18 widows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 18.
  3. 31.31 ever went hungry: Or “was ever sexually abused” (see Genesis 19.1-11; Judges 19.22-30). In ancient Israel, the lives of one’s guests were sacred and had to be protected at any cost.
  4. 31.38 mourn: In biblical times there were strict regulations for proper use of the land, and land that was abused was said to “mourn” and become no longer productive.
  5. 31.39 pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 39.
  6. 32.2 Elihu from Buz: The Hebrew text has “Elihu son of Barachel from Buz of the family of Ram.” Buz may have been somewhere in the territory of Edom; in Jeremiah 25.23 it is mentioned along with Dedan and Tema (see 6.19).
  7. 32.19 swollen wineskin. . . burst: While the juice from grapes was becoming wine, it would swell and stretch the skins in which it had been stored; sometimes the swelling would burst the wineskins.
  8. 33.4 the Spirit of God All-Powerful: Or “God All-Powerful.”
  9. 33.13 answer you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.

2 Corinthians 3

God’s New Agreement

Are we once again bragging about ourselves? Do we need letters to you or from you to tell others about us? Some people do need letters that tell about them. But you are our letter, and you are in our[a] hearts for everyone to read and understand. You are like a letter written by Christ and delivered by us. But you are not written with pen and ink or on tablets made of stone. You are written in our hearts by the Spirit of the living God.

We are sure about all this. Christ makes us sure in the very presence of God. We don’t have the right to claim that we have done anything on our own. God gives us what it takes to do all that we do. He makes us worthy to be the servants of his new agreement that comes from the Holy Spirit and not from a written Law. After all, the Law brings death, but the Spirit brings life.

The Law of Moses brought only the promise of death, even though it was carved on stones and given in a wonderful way. Still the Law made Moses' face shine so brightly that the people of Israel could not look at it, even though it was a fading glory. So won’t the agreement that the Spirit brings to us be even more wonderful? If something that brings the death sentence is glorious, won’t something that makes us acceptable to God be even more glorious? 10 In fact, the new agreement is so wonderful that the Law is no longer glorious at all. 11 The Law was given with a glory that faded away. But the glory of the new agreement is much greater, because it will never fade away.

12 This wonderful hope makes us feel like speaking freely. 13 We are not like Moses. His face was shining, but he covered it to keep the people of Israel from seeing the brightness fade away. 14 The people were stubborn, and something still keeps them from seeing the truth when the Law is read. Only Christ can take away the covering that keeps them from seeing.

15 When the Law of Moses is read, they have their minds covered over 16 with a covering that is removed only for those who turn to the Lord. 17 The Lord and the Spirit are one and the same, and the Lord’s Spirit sets us free. 18 So our faces are not covered. They show the bright glory of the Lord, as the Lord’s Spirit makes us more and more like our glorious Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 3.2 our: Some manuscripts have “your.”

Psalm 43

A Prayer in Times of Trouble

43 Show that I am right, God!
Defend me against everyone
who doesn’t know you;
rescue me from each
of those deceitful liars.
I run to you
for protection.
Why have you turned me away?
Why must enemies mistreat me
and make me sad?

Send your light and your truth
to guide me.
Let them lead me to your house
on your sacred mountain.
Then I will worship
at your altar
because you
make me joyful.
You are my God,
and I will praise you.
Yes, I will praise you
as I play my harp.

Why am I discouraged?
Why am I restless?
I trust you!
And I will praise you again
because you help me,
and you are my God.

Proverbs 22:8-9

Troublemakers get in trouble,
and their terrible anger
will get them nowhere.

The Lord blesses everyone
who freely gives food
to the poor.

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