Bible Gateway The Daily Audio Bible Reading Plan (VOICE) 2017-08-23T00:00:00-05:00 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 Wednesday August 23, 2017 (VOICE)

Job 8-11

Then the second of Job’s three friends, Bildad the Shuhite, addressed Job.

Bildad: How long will you say these things,
your words whipping through air like a powerful wind?
Does God corrupt justice,
or does the Highest One[a] corrupt the good?
If your children sinned against Him,
He merely administered the punishment due them for those sins.
But if you search for God
and make your appeal to the Highest One,
If you are pure and righteous,
I have no doubt He will arise for you and restore you to your righteous place.
From your modest beginnings,
the future will be bright before you.

Ask those who have come and gone!
Explore what their fathers learned and taught them.
For we are not of ages past, nor even of years gone by.
We are ignorant creatures of yesterday,
and our time on earth is only a shadow.
10 But the ancients are not similarly bound, are they?
Won’t they speak to and instruct you?
Won’t they draw up words from deep within?

11 Can papyrus grow tall without a marsh?
Can reeds flourish without water?
12 Even if they are hardy and unbroken,
without water they will dry up before any other plant.
13 So it goes with any who forget God.
The hope of the godless soon withers and dies.
14 His confidence breaks,
for he trusts in the tenuous threads of a spider’s web.[b]
15 When he leans into his house of silken threads for support,
it won’t hold;
Though his arms grab to steady him,
it will break—he will fall and never get back up.
16 Still the godless appears to be a hardy plant,
thriving in full sun, sending his shoots across the garden.
17 The roots twine and grip the stone heap
and search for a home among the rocks.
18 If he is pulled up, the place will disown him saying,
“I have never seen you.”
19 See, his sole joy consists of this:[c]
knowing that others will spring from the earth to take his place.
20 Do you see it? God will not reject the innocent;
He will not reject you or support agents of evil.
21 He will fill your mouth with laughter;
your lips will spill over into cries of delight.
22 Those who hate you will don the garment of shame,
and the home of the wicked will disappear.

Much like Eliphaz, Bildad believes people suffer as a result of their own sins. But his justification of that suffering is different. Bildad reasons that God is just; as God, He is justice personified. Because He is so perfectly just, God will not punish someone who is also just. Bildad’s logical but flawed conclusion is that Job must have sinned to deserve his current pain. Surprisingly, he manages to be even less effective than Eliphaz had been, alienating Job by reasoning that Job’s children must have sinned to deserve their deaths and implying that Job’s regular sacrifices on their behalf were not enough to save them.

Then Job spoke to them.

Job: Sure, I know all of this is correct,
but tell me this: how can a person set things straight with God?
If one wanted to argue with Him,
even in a thousand questions he would not be able to answer Him once.
His wise heart is vast; His strength immeasurable.
Who has ever challenged Him and remained safe and at peace?
He uproots mountains,
and they are unaware when He overturns them in His rage.
He shakes the earth out of its place
so that its foundation pillars shudder.
He commands the sun to go down and not rise,
and He sequesters the stars so they do not shine.
He single-handedly stretched out the heavens overhead
and walks on the back of the raging sea.
He fashioned the stars into constellations we know by name—
Bear, Orion, the Pleiades—
and the lights of the southern sky.
10 He does wonderful things, even confounding things,
and performs an infinite number of miracles.
11 Still, if He passes right by me, I don’t see Him;
if He brushes past, I don’t notice Him.
12 Ah, but if He were to steal like a thief in the market,
who could stop Him? No one has authority over Him.
Who could dare say to Him, “What are You doing?”

13 God does not restrain Himself in His anger.
Even the minions of Rahab—that monster of the sea and purveyor of chaos—
cower at His feet in subservience.
14 So then how do I argue with Him?
How can I find the right words to state my case to Him?
15 After all, I am the innocent one here, and I still can’t find an answer.
So I must continually appeal to the mercy of my judge.
16 But even if I were to call Him and He were to answer,
I still could not believe that He would listen to my complaint.
17 For He flattens me with a tornado
and multiplies my wounds for no reason.
18 He won’t even give me time to catch my breath;
instead He force-feeds me more bitterness.
19 If it is an issue of power, there is no question
He is the mighty one;
and if it is an issue of justice, who would ever appoint me?
20 Even though I am right in all of this, my own mouth sentences me.
Though I am blameless, my own lips cheat me.
21 I am blameless, but I don’t know myself.
I hate my life.
22 Well, then this is what I say: it’s all the same.
In the end, He kills off both the innocent and the depraved.
23 If a flood of disaster rushes in and kills,
He ridicules the anguish of its innocent victims.
24 The earth has been given over
and is under the dominion of some wicked hand.
God conceals these things from its judges, covering their faces, blinding their eyes.
If not He, then who is it?

25 As for me, my days are sprinting by like a runner.
Seeing nothing good, they seek escape.
26 They glide past in swift silence like reed boats on the river.
Now a blur, they dive like an eagle toward its prey.
27 If I tell myself, “I will forget all about my grievance against God,
I will simply abandon my long face and cheer up,”
28 Then I fear the suffering to come
because I know there’s no chance that You, Lord, will find me innocent.
29 So if the verdict is already in, if I have already been found guilty,
why should I bother to clear my name?
Why struggle in vain?
30 Though I wash my body in the pure melted snow
and scrub my hands thoroughly with the strongest soap,
31 You would toss me into a putrid pit,
and when I emerged, even my own clothes would hate me.
32 The Lord . . . He is no man, like me, whom I could answer,
no human being whom I could face in court.
33 There is no judge to stand between us
who can lay his hands on us both,
34 Who can remove God’s rod from my back
and stave off the terror of Him that haunts me.
35 I long to speak and defend myself without fear of Him and His reprisals;
but as things stand now and as I am within myself, that’s not possible.

10 Job: I hate my life, so I will unload the full weight of my grievance against God.
Let me speak and reveal the bitterness I am harboring.
I will say to God: Don’t find me guilty;
just explain the charges You have against me.
Does it please You to oppress,
and is this why You spurn me, the work of Your hands,
and yet Your smile shines down upon the plots of the wicked?
Do You have human eyes so that Your outlook is short?
Do You see as through human frailties?
Are Your days like mortals’ limited days?
Are Your years like mortals’ limited years?
Is this why You seek out my faults
or You go in search of all my error?
You know well that I am not guilty,
yet nothing can free me from Your overwhelming power.

Your hands formed and made me whole,
yet now You turn to crush.
Recall how You molded me like clay.
Will You now render me back to dust?
10 Didn’t You pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese?
11 Didn’t You clothe me in skin and flesh, weave my bone and sinew together?
12 Your care has saved my spirit,
and You have given me life and loyalty;
13 Yet I know what is in You,
what Your heart has always hidden.
14 If I sin, You see it, watching ever so closely,
and You do not acquit me of my guilt.
15 If I am wicked, woe is me;
even if I am innocent, I cannot take a chance and lift my head
Because I’m gorged with disgrace.
Gaze on my misery!
16 If I do raise my head,
then like a lion, You hunt me;
Like a night sky turned threatening,
You unfold Your power against me so that others marvel;
17 Like a prosecutor, You drag in witnesses against me;
You escalate Your fury against me, coming in waves to pound on me.

18 So then, why did You bother to drag me out of the womb at all?
I should have just died before any eye could see me.
19 It should have been as though I had never been:
plucked from the womb, carried to the tomb.
20 Aren’t my days almost finished anyway?
Stand back, leave me alone, and let me have a scrap of comfort
21 Before I go to the place from which I won’t return,
to the land of utter darkness and still shadows,
22 The land of deep, unending night,
of blackness and shadowy chaos
where the only illumination is more darkness.

11 Finally, Job’s third friend, Zophar the Naamathite, spoke to Job.

Zophar: Shall such a great volume of words remain unanswered
and a long-winded man be so easily acquitted?
Shall your empty prattle silence people,
and when you mock, shall no one shame you?
You’ve told us, “I have a clear understanding of things,
and I am innocent in Your eyes, O Lord.
Ah, but I wish God would speak,
that He would address you openly, so I will argue for Him.
I wish He would show you the secrets of great wisdom—
for the two sides of sound wisdom are both found in His mercy and justice.
Know this: God forgets some of your guilt.

Can you see to the unseen side of God,
or explore the limits of the Highest One’s[d] knowledge?
Higher than the heavens—what can you do to reach it?
Deeper than the realm of the dead—what can you know of it?
Its farthest reaches exceed the ends of the earth;
its breadth spans far beyond the sea.
10 If He passes by, as is His routine, and throws you into prison,
and calls you to testify about what you’ve done, who can challenge Him?
11 He recognizes worthless people without integrity,
so do you really think when He sees wrongdoing He doesn’t examine it?
12 As they say, “The empty-headed will become clever
in the day the colt of a wild donkey is born human!”

13 If you will focus your intentions in His direction
and open your hands and reach for Him,
14 Where you have guilt on your hands,
if you will send it far away and not tolerate sin in your tents,
15 Then you will lift up a face clean of all stains;
you will hold your head high, secure, and free of fear.
16 You will forget all of these troubles of yours;
they will pass beneath your memory like a drop of water that has just flowed away.
17 Life will become brighter than high noon;
darkness will give way to morning.
18 Once again, you’ll trust in the presence of hope;
you’ll scan the horizon and sleep safely.
19 You will lie down, and no one will terrorize you,
and many will long to be in your good graces.
20 But the eyes of the wicked will grow dark as they lose hope;
they’ll find no escape, and in despair,
they’ll long only to breathe their last dying breath.

Footnotes:

  1. 8:3 Hebrew, Shaddai
  2. 8:14 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  3. 8:19 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  4. 11:7 Hebrew, Shaddai
The Voice (VOICE)

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

1 Corinthians 15:1-28

15 Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I preached to you when we first met. It’s the essential message that you have taken to heart, the central story you now base your life on; and through this gospel, you are liberated—unless, of course, your faith has come to nothing. 3-4 For I passed down to you the crux of it all which I had also received from others, that the Anointed One, the Liberating King, died for our sins and was buried and raised from the dead on the third day. All this happened to fulfill the Scriptures; it was the perfect climax to God’s covenant story. Afterward He appeared alive to Cephas[a] (you may know him as Simon Peter), then to the rest of the twelve. If that were not amazing enough, on one occasion, He appeared to more than 500 believers at one time. Many of those brothers and sisters are still around to tell the story, though some have fallen asleep[b] in Jesus. Soon He appeared to James, His brother and the leader of the Jerusalem church, and then to all the rest of the emissaries[c] He Himself commissioned.[d] Last of all, He appeared to me;[e] I was like a child snatched from his mother’s womb. You see, I am the least of all His emissaries, not fit to be called His emissary because I hunted down and persecuted God’s church. 10 Today I am who I am because of God’s grace, and I have made sure that the grace He offered me has not been wasted. I have worked harder, longer, and smarter than all the rest; but I realize it is not me—it is God’s grace with me that has made the difference. 11 In the end, it doesn’t matter whether it was I or the other witnesses who brought you the message. What matters is that we keep preaching and that you have faith in this message.

12 Now if we have told you about the Anointed One (how He has risen from the dead and appeared to us fully alive), then how can you stand there and say there is no such thing as resurrection from death? 13 Friends, if there is no resurrection of the dead, then even the Anointed hasn’t been raised; 14 if that is so, then all our preaching has been for nothing and your faith in the message is worthless. 15 And what’s worse, all of us who have been preaching the gospel are now guilty of misrepresenting God because we have been spreading the news that He raised the Anointed One from the dead (which must be a lie if what you are saying about the dead not being raised is the truth). 16 Please listen. If you say, “the dead are not raised,” then what you are telling me is that the Anointed One has not been raised. Friends, 17 if the Anointed has not been raised from the dead, then your faith is worth less than yesterday’s garbage, you are all doomed in your sins, 18 and all the dearly departed who trusted in His liberation are left decaying in the ground. 19 If what we have hoped for in the Anointed doesn’t take us beyond this life, then we are world-class fools, deserving everyone’s pity.

20 But the Anointed One was raised from death’s slumber and is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death. 21 For since death entered this world by a man, it took another man to make the resurrection of the dead our new reality. 22 Look at it this way: through Adam all of us die, but through the Anointed One all of us can live again. 23 But this is how it will happen: the Anointed’s awakening is the firstfruits. It will be followed by the resurrection of all those who belong to Him at His coming, 24 and then the end will come. After He has conquered His enemies and shut down every rule and authority vying for power, He will hand over the Kingdom to God, the Father of all that is. 25 And He must reign as King until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last hostile power to be destroyed is death itself. 27 All this will happen to fulfill the Scripture that says, “You placed everything on earth beneath His feet.”[f] (Although it says “everything,” it is clear that this does not also pertain to God, who created everything and made it all subject to Him.) 28 Then, when all creation has taken its rightful place beneath God’s sovereign reign, the Son will follow, subject to the Father who exalted Him over all created things; then God will be God over all.

Footnotes:

  1. 15:5 Luke 24:34
  2. 15:6 Literally, died
  3. 15:7 Literally, apostles
  4. 15:7 Acts 1:3–4
  5. 15:8 Acts 9:3–6
  6. 15:27 Psalm 8:6
The Voice (VOICE)

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

Psalm 38

Psalm 38

A song of David for remembering.

This is one of a group of psalms known in later tradition as the penitential psalms, namely, psalms that confess sins and express confidence in God’s mercy. In this psalm a serious illness threatens the life of the worshiper.

O Eternal One, please do not scold me in Your anger;
though Your wrath is just, do not correct me in Your fury.
The arrows from Your bow have penetrated my flesh;
Your hand has come down hard on me.

Because Your anger has infected the depths of my being and stolen my health,
my flesh is ill.
My bones are no longer sound
because of all the sins I have committed.
My guilt has covered me; it’s more than I can handle;
this burden is too heavy for me to carry.

Now sores cover me—infected and putrid sores,
because of all the foolish things I have done.
I am bent down, cowering in fear, prostrate on the ground;
I spend the day in mourning, guilty tears stinging and burning my eyes.
My back aches. I’m full of fever;
my body is no longer whole, no longer well.
I am completely numb, totally spent, hopelessly crushed.
The agitation of my heart makes me groan.

O Lord, You know all my desires;
nothing escapes You; You hear my every moan.
10 My heart pounds against my chest; my vigor is completely drained;
my eyes were once bright, but now the brightness is all gone.
11 Even my friends and loved ones turn away when they see this marked man;
those closest to me are no longer close at all.

12 Those who want me dead lay traps upon my path;
those who desire my downfall threaten—my end is near—
they spend their days plotting against me.

13 Like one who is deaf, my ears do not hear.
Like one who is mute, my tongue cannot speak.
14 The truth is this: I am like one who cannot hear;
I cannot even protest against them.

15 Still I wait expectantly for You, O Eternal One—
knowing You will answer me in some way, O Lord, my True God.
16 I only asked, “When I stumble on the narrow path,
don’t let them boast or celebrate my failure.

17 I am prepared for what may come; my time must be short;
my pain and suffering a constant companion.
18 I confess, “I have sinned,”
and I regret the wrong I have done.
19 My enemies are alive and well,
they are powerful and on the increase,
and for no reason, they hate me.
20 When I do good, my opponents reward me with evil;
though I pursue what is right, they stand against me.

21 Eternal One, do not leave me to their mercy;
my True God, don’t be far from me when they are near.
22 I need Your help now—not later.
O Lord, be my Rescuer.

The Voice (VOICE)

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

Proverbs 21:28-29

28 The testimony of a false witness is eventually impeached,
but the person who truly listens will have the last word.
29 The wicked wears a defiant face,
but the right-living plans his path.

The Voice (VOICE)

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

]]>
tag:biblegateway.com,2017-08-23:/resources/reading-plans/?version=VOICE 2017-08-23T00:00:00-05:00