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Job 31-33

Job Keeps On Talking

31 “I have made an agreement with my eyes not to look with desire at a young woman. What would be my share from God above? What would my gift be from the All-powerful on high? Does not trouble come to those who are not right and good? Do not hard times come to those who do wrong? Does He not see my ways and number all my steps?

“If I have walked in ways that are false, and my foot has been quick to follow false ways, let Him weigh me with a true weight. Let God know that I am honest. If my step has turned from the way, and my heart has followed my eyes, or if my hands have held on to sin, then let me plant and another eat. Let what grows be pulled out by the roots.

“If my heart has been tempted by a woman, or I have waited at my neighbor’s door, 10 may my wife grind grain for another. And let others bow down upon her. 11 For that would be a very sinful thing to do. It would be a sin that would be punished by the judges. 12 For that would be a fire that burns at the Place That Destroys. It would dig out all I have planted.

13 “If I did not listen to my men servants and women servants when they complained against me, 14 what will I do when God speaks to me? When He asks me why, what will I answer Him? 15 Did not He Who made me inside my mother make him also? Did not the same One give us life from our mothers?

16 “If I have kept what the poor should have or have caused the eyes of the woman whose husband has died to be tired, 17 if I have eaten my food alone without sharing it with the child who has no parents, 18 (but from the time I was young, he grew up with me as a father, and I have helped the woman without a husband since I was born,) 19 if I have seen anyone die because he had no clothing, or left any poor person without clothes, 20 if he has not thanked me for the clothing on his body, and been made warm with the wool of my sheep, 21 if I have not done these things, or if I have lifted up my hand against the child who has no parents, because I saw I had help in the gate, 22 let my shoulder fall out of place, and let my arm be broken off at the joint. 23 For trouble sent by God fills me with fear. Because of His great power I could not do these things.

24 “If I have put my faith in gold and said fine gold is my trust, 25 if I have had pride because of my many riches and have received much by my hand, 26 if I have looked at the sun shining or the bright moon going on its way, 27 and have in secret worshiped them in my heart, and have honored them by throwing them a kiss with my hand, 28 these also would be sins to be judged. It would say I did not know the God above.

29 “Have I been glad when a person who hated me was destroyed? Have I been filled with joy when trouble came to him? 30 No, I have not allowed my mouth to sin by asking his life to be cursed. 31 Have the men of my tent not said, ‘Who can find one who has not been filled with his meat’? 32 The stranger has not stayed in the street, for I have opened my doors to the traveler. 33 Have I hidden my sins like Adam? Have I hidden my wrong-doing in my heart, 34 because I was afraid of all the people, and of families who hated me? Did I keep quiet and not go out of the door? 35 If only I had one to hear me! See, here my name is written. Let the All-powerful answer me! May what is against me be written down! 36 For sure I would carry it on my shoulder. I would tie it around my head like a crown. 37 I would tell Him the number of my every step. I would come near Him like a prince.

38 “If my land cries out against me and the ditches made by the plow cry together, 39 if I have eaten its fruit without paying for it, and caused its owners to die, 40 let thorns grow instead of grain. And let weeds with a bad smell grow instead of barley.”

The words of Job are finished.

Elihu Talks

32 Then these three men stopped answering Job, because he was right and good in his own eyes. But Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry. He was angry at Job because he said he was right with God. And he was angry at his three friends because they had found no answer, yet they had said that Job was wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of the three men, he was very angry. So Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite said, “I am young, and you are old. So I did not feel that I should speak. I was afraid to tell you what I think. I thought the older men should speak, and that the many years should teach wisdom. But it is the spirit in a man and the breath of the All-powerful that gives him understanding. The old may not be wise. They may not understand what is right and fair. 10 So I say, ‘Listen to me. I also will tell you what I think.’

11 “See, I waited for your words. I listened to what you said and waited to hear more from you. 12 I was careful to listen to you. There was no one who could prove that Job was wrong. None of you could answer his words. 13 Do not say, ‘We have found wisdom. God will show he is wrong, not man.’ 14 Now Job has not spoken his words against me. And I will not answer him with your words.

15 “They are troubled and have no more to say. Words do not come. 16 Should I wait because they do not speak, because they stand there and do not answer? 17 I also will give my answer. I will tell what I think. 18 For I am full of words. The spirit within me makes me speak. 19 See, my stomach is like wine that cannot get out. It is ready to break like new wine bottles made of skin. 20 Let me speak, that I may find comfort. Let me open my lips and answer. 21 I will not show favor to anyone, or praise any man in a false way. 22 For I do not know how to say sweet-sounding words that are not true, for then my Maker would soon take me away.

Elihu Keeps On Speaking

33 “But now, Job, hear what I say. Listen to all my words. See, I open my mouth. My tongue in my mouth wants to speak. My words come from my heart that is right. My lips speak in truth what I know. The Spirit of God has made me. And the breath of the All-powerful gives me life. Prove me wrong if you can. Get ready to answer me, and take your stand. See, I belong to God like you. I also have been made from the clay. See, you have no reason to be afraid of me. I should not make it hard for you.

“For sure you have spoken in my hearing. I have heard all you have said. You said, ‘I am pure and without sin. I am not guilty, and there is no sin in me. 10 But see, God finds things against me. He thinks of me as someone who hates Him. 11 He puts my feet in chains, and watches all my paths.’ 12 See, I tell you, in this you are not right. For God is greater than man.

13 “Why do you complain against Him? He does not give a reason for all He does. 14 For God speaks once, or twice, and yet no one listens. 15 In a dream, a special dream of the night, when deep sleep comes upon men, while they sleep in their beds, 16 then He opens the ears of men. He teaches them and makes them afraid telling them of danger, 17 that He may turn man away from wrong-doing and keep him from pride. 18 He keeps his soul from going to the place of the dead. And He keeps his life from being destroyed by the sword.

19 “Man is also punished with pain on his bed and has pain all the time in his bones. 20 So he hates bread, and has no desire for fine foods. 21 His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen. His bones which were not seen stick out. 22 His soul comes close to the grave, and his life to those who bring death.

23 “If there is an angel, one out of a thousand, to speak with God for him, and to show a man what is right for him, 24 then let him be kind to him, and say, ‘Save him from going down to the grave. I have found someone to pay the price to make him free. 25 Let his flesh become young again. Let him return to the days when he was young and strong.’ 26 Then he will pray to God, and God will be pleased with him. He will see His face with joy. And God will make man right with Him again. 27 He will sing to men and say, ‘I have sinned and have not done what is right, but He did not punish me. 28 He has kept my soul from going to the grave. And my life will see the light.’

29 “See, God does all these things twice, even three times, to a man, 30 to turn back his soul from the grave, that he may see the light of life. 31 Hear what I say, O Job, listen to me. Be quiet and let me speak. 32 If you have anything to say, answer me. Speak, for I want to make you right with God. 33 If not, listen to me. Be quiet, and I will teach you wisdom.”

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2 Corinthians 3

The Old and the New Way

Are we making it sound as if we think we are so important? Other people write letters about themselves. Do we need to write such a letter to you? You are our letter. You are written in our hearts. You are known and read by all men. You are as a letter from Christ written by us. You are not written as other letters are written with ink, or on pieces of stone. You are written in human hearts by the Spirit of the living God. We can say these things because of our faith in God through Christ. We know we are not able in ourselves to do any of this work. God makes us able to do these things. God is the One Who made us preachers of a New Way of Worship. This New Way of Worship is not of the Law. It is of the Holy Spirit. The Law brings death, but the Holy Spirit gives life.

The Law of Moses was written on stone and it brought death. But God’s shining-greatness was seen when it was given. When Moses took it to the Jews, they could not look at his face because of the bright light. But that bright light in his face began to pass away. The new way of life through the Holy Spirit comes with much more shining-greatness. If the Law of Moses, that leads to death, came in shining-greatness, how much greater and brighter is the light that makes us right with God? 10 The Law of Moses came with shining-greatness long ago. But that light is no longer bright. The shining-greatness of the New Way of Worship that brings us life is so much brighter. 11 The shining light that came with the Law of Moses soon passed away. But the new way of life is much brighter. It will never pass away.

12 We speak without fear because our trust is in Christ. 13 We are not like Moses. He put a covering over his face so the Jews would not see that the bright light was passing away. 14 Their minds were not able to understand. Even to this day when the Law is read, there is a covering over their minds. They do not see that Christ is the only One Who can take the covering away. 15 Yes, to this day, there is a covering over their hearts whenever the Law of Moses is read. 16 But whenever a man turns to the Lord, the covering is taken away. 17 The heart is free where the Spirit of the Lord is. The Lord is the Spirit. 18 All of us, with no covering on our faces, show the shining-greatness of the Lord as in a mirror. All the time we are being changed to look like Him, with more and more of His shining-greatness. This change is from the Lord Who is the Spirit.

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Psalm 43

Prayer to Be Kept Safe

43 Stand by me, O God, and speak in my favor against a sinful nation. Save me from the lying and sinful man. For You are the God of my strength. Why have You turned away from me? Why do I have sorrow because those who hate me come against me with power?

Send out Your light and Your truth. Let them lead me. Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to the places where You live. Then I will go to the altar of God, the God of my joy. And I will praise You with the harp, O God, my God.

Why are you sad, O my soul? Why have you become troubled within me? Hope in God, for I will praise Him again, my help and my God.

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Proverbs 22:8-9

He who plants sin will gather trouble, and the heavy stick of his anger will break.

He who gives much will be honored, for he gives some of his food to the poor.

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New Life Version (NLV)

Copyright © 1969 by Christian Literature International

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