Bible Gateway The Daily Audio Bible Reading Plan (VOICE) 2015-08-31T00:00:00-05:00 Powered by Bible Gateway http://www.biblegateway.com http://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/daily-audio-bible?version=VOICE The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Monday August 31, 2015 (VOICE)

Job 37-39

The discussion has included many references to nature and weather. Maybe it has been spoken in the midst of a storm and as a clap of thunder sounds overhead, startling all five of the men. Elihu picks up the conversation again with renewed vigor, possibly gesturing toward the sky as he speaks about the storm of life in which Job is caught.

For the patriarchs, there is really no greater mystery in the natural world than the weather. What keeps the rain up in the sky, or what makes it fall to the earth? Why does water sometimes freeze and sometimes dry up? What is lightning and thunder? Weather impacts every part of their lives, determining whether or not they can farm and pasture animals, where they can live, and if they can live. Since none of these questions can be answered with scientific explanations yet, societies invent gods whom they think control it all. Ancient people hope that by doing or saying the right thing, they can convince the god to send rain when it is needed or stop the damaging hail before their roofs cave in. These pagan worshipers aren’t too far off in their thinking; they just have the wrong god.

The Lord’s followers have the answer right in believing He controls it all. When they look at the weather, they see God’s power. As God will expound upon Himself shortly, the One who controls the weather is the One who created it. He put order in the cosmos, although humans may not always understand its order, just as He organized everything else. God, who has perfect understanding and unimaginable power, cannot be comprehended with the human mind and should not be questioned by the likes of Job.

37 Elihu: At this, my heart quivers,
and it nearly leaps out of my chest.
Listen! Listen to the raging anger in His voice,
the rumbling that’s coming from His mouth!
He sets the roar loose across the whole length of the sky,
and His lightning flashes to the ends of the earth.
After the flash comes the deafening roar of His voice,
the voice that thunders His majesty—
The voice that resounds with no evidence of restraint,
the voice of God that is thundering wondrously.
He does magnificent things, beyond our comprehension.
To the snow, He issues the order: “Go! Fall on the earth!”
And to the rain shower, He says, “Show your power; beat down heavy on the earth!
Then, as the weather drives laborers indoors,
He closes in around every human hand,
sealing them off from their labors,
and in forced rest, all are drawn to see the ongoing work of God.
The beast of the field scampers for cover,
hiding in its cave for the duration.
Meanwhile, the whirlwind comes forth from its southern chamber,
and the arctic winds bring the cold.
10 From the breath of God ice forms,
and the wide waters of the rivers and seas expand in the freeze.
11 He weighs down the thick clouds with moisture,
and they scatter His clusters of light.
12 The storm changes course under His guidance;
it moves as He directs over the contours of the entire earth.
13 And what is His aim? Whether for the discipline of His people
or for the sake of the earth itself,
Or as an expression of His deep, loyal love,
He causes all of this to happen.

14 Hear this, Job.
Pause where you are, and ponder the wonders of God.
15 Do you know how God orchestrates these marvels?
How He makes the clouds flash with lightning?
16 Do you know how those same clouds are hung up in the sky or how they move?
Do you know the wonders of God, who is perfect in His knowledge of such things?
17 You, who feel the wind of His voice even now,
are the same one whose clothes are hot to the touch
when God makes the land go still beneath the south wind.
18 Can you assist God in hammering out the silver sky
until it appears as hard as cast metal mirror?[a]
19 Job, tell us what to say to Him.
We cannot draw up our argument before such impenetrable darkness.
20 Shall He be told that I wish to speak to Him directly?
Will it help if I admit I would be consumed if I did?

21 But now no one can see the brightness of the light through the thick clouds;
as the wind changes and blows through the sky, it clears the air.
22 From the north, the weather changes;
golden skies encircle God, now clothed in awesome majesty.
23 We cannot find the Highest One:[b]
He is exalted in power,
Great in righteousness,
and does not depreciate humanity.
24 This is why mortals fear Him;
He doesn’t see the wise of heart.[c]

38 Out of the raging storm, the Eternal One answered Job.

Eternal One: Who is this that darkens counsel,
who covers over sound instruction with empty words void of knowledge?
Now, prepare yourself and gather your courage like a warrior.
Prepare yourself for the task at hand.
I’ll be asking the questions, now—
you will supply the answers.
Where were you when I dug and laid the foundation of the earth?
Explain it to me, if you are acquainted with understanding.
Who decided on the measurements? Surely you know that!
Who stretched out a line to measure the dimensions?
Upon what base was the foundation set?
Or who laid the cornerstone
On the day when the stars of the morning broke out in song
and God’s heavenly throng, elated, shouted along?

Who held back the sea behind doors
and brought the earth bursting forth from the womb of the deep,
When for clothes I gave it a cloud
and for swaddling I wrapped it in darkness,
10 When I placed shores around its limits
and put up the doors and the bars;
11 And I said to the sea, “Here you may come, but no farther.
And here is the shore where your grand waves will crash.”

12 In your short run of days, have you ever commanded the morning to begin
or taught the sun to rise in its place?
13 Under your watch has the early light ever taken hold of the earth by the edges
and shaken the wicked loose?
14 Under dawn’s early light the earth takes shape
as does clay when a seal is firmly pressed in it;
Its colors and features stand out
as a well-made garment does from the body.
15 Yet the light is withheld from the wicked,
and the arm is snapped off of the oppressors.

16 Have you entered into the sea’s tidewaters
or trod the bottom of the ocean looking for the deepest cavern?
17 Have you found it, only for death’s infamous gates to be unveiled to you,
or did you catch a glimpse of the gates of the deep darkness beneath the waters?
18 Have you roamed the earth in her entirety, comprehended her vast regions?
If you know all of this, declare it! Make your statement!

19 Tell me, which way is it to where the light resides?
And darkness? Where does the darkness live?
20 When you escort it through its regions every day,
will you know the way to its home?
21 Ah, but of course you know!
After all, you were born way back then when all this was created,
and your days have been many indeed.

22 Have you visited the vast, cold treasury where the snow is stored,
or have you gazed on the shimmering, frozen armories where the hail is held,
23 The hail which I keep on reserve for the time of great trouble,
for the day of battle, the day of war?
24 Where is the way to the realm where light is scattered across creation,
and where is the field where the east wind is divided up
and sent across the face of the earth?

25 Who cut the channel for the flooding rivers
or paved a path for the thunderbolt
26 So that rain might fall on an uninhabited land,
even on a wilderness where no human sets foot
27 So that the desolate desert and the withering wasteland are satisfied,
so that the grass is made to sprout in that seemingly forsaken place?
28 And does the rain have a father?
Who sires the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
And who gives birth to the sky’s pale, thick frost?
30 When water seems to turn to stone,
the face of the deep freezes to imprison its inhabitants.

31 Can you bind together a cluster of twinkling stars
the seven sisters of Pleiades who keep company in the night sky?
Can you loosen the cords of Orion’s bow?
32 Can you lead the stars[d] of the Zodiac out in their proper seasons
and guide the Bear with her cubs?
33 Do you know the rules of the heavens,
or apportion their influence on the seasons of the earth?

34 Can you bellow out orders at the clouds
and pull down a flood of rain around you?
35 Can you dispatch bolts of lightning on their way,
who instantly obey and say to you, “Here we are”?
36 Who put wisdom within the center of the created
or granted understanding to the mind?[e]
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds and send them on their way
or tip over the water skins of heaven to refresh the ground below
38 When the dry dust is as hard as metal
and clods of clay clump together?

39 Can you hunt prey for the lioness
or sate the appetites of her cubs
40 While they crouch in their dens
and wait in the brush?
41 Who nourishes the hungry raven
when its young chirp to God and wander for want of food?

39 Eternal One: Do you know the time when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you attend at the doe’s delivery?
Can you keep track of the months until each carries to term?
Do you even know their calving season?
They drop to their knees to birth their young,
and their labor pains cease to grip.
Their offspring grow to their full strength in the open field;
then they leave and do not return.

Who set the wild donkey free?
Who cut it loose from its bonds?
I gave it the wastelands for a home
and the salt flats for a dwelling.
It avoids the commotion of the city;
it is far from the shouts of the mule driver and never has to obey one.
Instead, it trundles through hills in search of pasture,
its eyes ever watchful for a patch of green.
Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
Will it be content to stay the night beside your feeding trough?
10 Can you confine the wild ox with a rope to plow a straight furrow?
Will it cultivate the valleys as you pull him along?
11 Can you trust it simply because of its enormous strength?
Can you really leave your work to it without guiding it?
12 Can you depend on it to return the remaining seed to you,
to carry the grain to your threshing floor?

God now speaks to Job of the ostrich. Is Job as foolish as this stupid bird who leaves her eggs on the ground?

13 The ostrich flaps her wings,
and the ringing joy is heard.
But her wings and pinions are not like a stork’s. She cannot fly.
14 She is different from other birds,
for she lays her eggs straight on the ground,
and she incubates them in the bare dust.
15 She forgets that a foot might crush them
or a wild animal trample them.
16 She is harsh to her young, as if they were not even hers.
She is unconcerned at the futility of her labor,
17 For God denied her a share of wisdom,
and in doling out understanding, He passed her by.
18 Oh and yet, look at her when the time comes to run—
she spreads her strange wings and laughs at the horse who must be guided by his rider
although she is an absurd bird who can’t even fly.

19 And oh, of course—now let us speak of the horse!
Do you give that creature its power?
Do you adorn its neck with that flowing mane?
20 Do you make it leap like a locust
and terrify the enemy with its dreadful snorting?
21 It paws and stamps the valley ground, prancing and gloating at its strength;
and it greets the battle with a charge.
22 It laughs at fear, is a stranger to panic,
and will not turn away from any oncoming blade.
23 Though the quiver’s arrows rattle at its side,
though the spear and lance flash in its eyes,
24 It is a storm and a fury devouring the ground ahead,
set off by the blast of the trumpet, unable to stand still.
25 Stirred by the trumpet sound to charge,
the horse responds with its own blast
and smells the blood of battle from a distance,
amid commands barked by officers and shouts of alarm.

26 Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom,
stretching its wings toward the south?
27 Does the eagle take flight at your command,
or build its nest in the towering heights?
28 On jutting cliffs it lives and keeps the night;
on rocky crags it builds its mountain stronghold.
29 From there it spies its prey;
its keen eyes discover its victim still far off.
30 Its young ones feast on blood,
and wherever the slain lie, there it is.

Footnotes:

  1. 37:18 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  2. 37:23 Hebrew, Shaddai
  3. 37:24 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  4. 38:32 Hebrew, Mazzaroth
  5. 38:36 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10

Jesus’ death is the means to new life for others. Similarly when believers suffer for others as Jesus did, their suffering is an avenue for God’s life to transform situations.

13 We share the same spirit of faith as the one who wrote the psalm, “I believed; therefore I spoke.”[a] We also believe, and that belief leads us to acknowledge 14 that the same God who resurrected the Lord Jesus will raise us with Jesus and will usher us all together into His presence. 15 All of this is happening for your good. As grace is spread to the multitudes, there is a growing sound of thanks being uttered by those relishing in the glory of God.

16 So we have no reason to despair. Despite the fact that our outer humanity is falling apart and decaying, our inner humanity is breathing in new life every day. 17 You see, the short-lived pains of this life are creating for us an eternal glory that does not compare to anything we know here. 18 So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on.

In chapter 3, Paul explains how the Spirit transforms believers so they are conformed to the image of Jesus. He now clarifies that this change means believers embody Jesus’ death through suffering and participate in His present, risen life. This life is ultimately experienced through the resurrection of the body in the future, but it also consists of an inward renewal in the midst of the challenges and troubles of daily existence. Our hope is, therefore, not a release from our bodies but a resurrection of our bodies so that the life inside us now will show outside as well. While we still suffer, this hope of bodily resurrection is a matter of faith.

We know that if our earthly house—a mere tent that can easily be taken down—is destroyed, we will then live in an eternal home in the heavens, a building crafted by divine—not human—hands. Currently, in this tent of a house, we continue to groan and ache with a deep desire to be sheltered in our permanent home because then we will be truly clothed and comfortable, protected by a covering for our current nakedness. The fact is that in this tent we anxiously moan, fearing the naked truth of our reality. What we crave above all is to be clothed so that what is temporary and mortal can be wrapped completely in life. The One who has worked and tailored us for this is God Himself, who has gifted His Spirit to us as a pledge toward our permanent home.

In light of this, we live with a daring passion and know that our time spent in this body is also time we are not present with the Lord. The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes. There is no doubt that we live with a daring passion, but in the end we prefer to be gone from this body so that we can be at home with the Lord. Ultimately it does not matter whether we are here or gone; our purpose stays fixed, and that is to please Him. 10 In time we will all stand in judgment before the throne of the Anointed, the Liberating King, to receive what is just for our conduct (whether it be good or bad) while we lived in this temporary body.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:13 Psalm 116:10
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 44:9-26

But wait, God, where have You gone? Why have You shamed us?
Why do our armies stand alone?
10 Without Your help we must retreat from our enemy,
and the very ones who despise us pillage us.
11 You have offered us up to our enemies,
like sheep to the slaughter, meat for their feast,
and You have dispersed us among the nations.
12 You sold Your people for mere pennies,
and You gained nothing from the deal.

13 You have made us a joke to our friends and neighbors,
mocked and ridiculed by all those around us.
14 You have brought us infamy among the nations
and made us an object of scorn and laughter to our neighbors.
15 Disgrace follows me everywhere I go; I am constantly embarrassed.
Shame is written across my face
16 Because of the taunting and berating of those who are against me,
because the enemy seeks revenge against me.

17 All this has happened to us,
yet we have never forgotten You;
we have not broken Your covenant with us.
18 Our hearts stayed true to You;
we have never left Your path;
we follow on.
19 Yet You have tested us, left us defeated in a land of jackals,
and shrouded us with the veil of death.

20 Even if we had forgotten the name of our God
or offered praise to another god,
21 Would not the True God have known it?
For He can see the hidden places of our hearts.
22 On Your behalf, our lives are endangered constantly;
we are like sheep awaiting slaughter.[a]

23 Wake up, Lord! Why do You slumber?
Get up! Do not reject us any longer!
24 Why are You still hiding from us?
Why are You still ignoring our suffering and trouble?
25 Look and You will see our souls now dwell in the dust;
our bodies hug the earth.
26 Rise up and help us;
restore us for the sake of Your boundless love.

Footnotes:

  1. 44:22 Romans 8:36
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 22:13

13 A lazy person says, “A lion! Right outside!
I will surely die in the streets!
Yet another good reason to stay in today.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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