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Job 28:1-30:31; 2 Corinthians 2:12-17; Psalms 42:1-11; Proverbs 22:7 (Contemporary English Version)

Job 28-30

Job Continues

Gold and Silver Are Mined

28 Gold and silver are mined,
    then purified;
the same is done
    with iron and copper.
Miners carry lanterns
deep into the darkness
    to search for these metals.
They dig tunnels
in distant, unknown places,
    where they dangle by ropes.
Far beneath the grain fields,
    fires are built
to break loose those rocks
    that have jewels or gold.[a]

Miners go to places unseen
    by the eyes of hawks;
they walk on soil unknown
    to the proudest lions.
With their own hands
they remove sharp rocks
    and uproot mountains.
10 They dig through the rocks
in search of jewels
    and precious metals.
11 They also uncover
the sources of[b] rivers
    and discover secret places.

Where Is Wisdom Found?

12 But where is wisdom found?
13     No human knows the way.[c]
14 Nor can it be discovered
    in the deepest sea.
15 It is worth much more
than silver or pure gold
16     or precious stones.
17 Nothing is its equal—
    not gold or costly glass.[d]
18 Wisdom is worth much more than
    coral, jasper,[e] or rubies.
19 All the topaz[f] of Ethiopia[g]
and the finest gold
    cannot compare with it.
20 Where then is wisdom?
21 It is hidden from human eyes
    and even from birds.
22 Death and destruction
have merely heard rumors
    about where it is found.
23 God is the only one who knows
    the way to wisdom,
24 because he sees everything
    beneath the heavens.
25 When God divided out
    the wind and the water,
26 and when he decided the path
    for rain and lightning,
27 he also determined the truth
    and defined wisdom.
28 God told us, “Wisdom means
that you respect me, the Lord,
    and turn from sin.”

Job Continues

I Long for the Past

29 Job said:

I long for the past,
    when God took care of me,
and the light from his lamp
showed me the way
    through the dark.
I was in the prime of life,
God All-Powerful
    was my closest friend,
and all of my children
    were nearby.
My herds gave enough milk
    to bathe my feet,
and from my olive harvest
    flowed rivers of oil.
When I sat down at the meeting
    of the city council,
the young leaders stepped aside,
while the older ones stood
10     and remained silent.

Everyone Was Pleased

11 Everyone was pleased
    with what I said and did.
12 When poor people or orphans
cried out for help,
    I came to their rescue.
13 And I was highly praised
for my generosity to widows
    and others in poverty.
14 Kindness and justice
    were my coat and hat;
15 I was good to the blind
    and to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy,
and I defended them in court,
    even if they were strangers.
17 When criminals attacked,
I broke their teeth
    and set their victims free.

18 I felt certain that I would live
a long and happy life,
    then die in my own bed.
19 In those days I was strong
    like a tree with deep roots
and with plenty of water,
20     or like an archer’s new bow.
21 Everyone listened in silence
    to my welcome advice,
22 and when I finished speaking,
    nothing needed to be said.
23 My words were eagerly accepted
    like the showers of spring,
24 and the smile on my face
    renewed everyone’s hopes.
25 My advice was followed
as though I were a king
    leading my troops,
or someone comforting
    those in sorrow.

Job Continues

Young People Now Insult Me

30 Young people now insult me,
    although their fathers
would have been a disgrace
    to my sheep dogs.
And those who insult me
    are helpless themselves.
They must claw the desert sand
in the dark
for something
    to satisfy their hunger.[h]
They gather tasteless shrubs
    for food and firewood,
and they are run out of towns,
    as though they were thieves.
Their only homes are ditches
    or holes between rocks,
where they bray like donkeys
    gathering around shrubs.
And like senseless donkeys
    they are chased away.

Those Worthless Nobodies

Those worthless nobodies
make up jokes and songs
    to disgrace me.
10 They are hateful
    and keep their distance,
even while spitting
    in my direction.
11 God has destroyed me,
and so they don’t care
    what they do.[i]
12 Their attacks never stop,
though I am defenseless,
    and my feet are trapped.[j]
13 Without any help,
    they prevent my escape,
destroying me completely[k]
14     and leaving me crushed.
15 Terror has me surrounded;
my reputation and my riches
    have vanished like a cloud.

I Am Sick at Heart

16 I am sick at heart!
    Pain has taken its toll.
17 Night chews on my bones,
    causing endless torment,
18 and God has shrunk my skin,
    choking me to death.
19 I have been thrown in the dirt
    and now am dirt myself.
20 I beg God for help,
    but there is no answer;
and when I stand up,
    he simply stares.
21 God has turned brutal,
22 stirring up a windstorm
    to toss me about.
23 Soon he will send me home
to the world of the dead,
    where we all must go.

24 No one refuses help to others,
    when disaster strikes.[l]
25 I mourned for the poor
    and those who suffered.
26 But when I beg for relief
    and light,
all I receive are disaster
    and darkness.
27 My stomach is tied in knots;
    pain is my daily companion.
28 Suffering has scorched my skin,
and in the city council
    I stand and cry out,
29 making mournful sounds
    like jackals[m] and owls.
30 My skin is so parched,
that it peels right off,
    and my bones are burning.
31 My only songs are sorrow
    and sadness.

Footnotes:

  1. 28.6 gold: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 5,6.
  2. 28.11 uncover the sources of: Two ancient translations; Hebrew “dam up.”
  3. 28.13 the way: Or “its worth.”
  4. 28.17 costly glass: In the ancient world, objects made of glass were costly.
  5. 28.18 jasper: A valuable stone, usually green or clear.
  6. 28.19 topaz: A valuable, yellow stone.
  7. 28.19 Ethiopia: The Hebrew text has “Cush,” which was a region south of Egypt that included parts of the present countries of Ethiopia and Sudan.
  8. 30.3 hunger: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 3.
  9. 30.11 God. . . do: Or “They have destroyed me, and so they don’t care what else they do.”
  10. 30.12 trapped: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
  11. 30.13 destroying. . . completely: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  12. 30.24 strikes: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 24.
  13. 30.29 jackals: Desert animals related to wolves, but smaller.
Read More
2 Corinthians 2:12-17

12 When I went to Troas to preach the good news about Christ, I found that the Lord had already prepared the way. 13 But I was worried when I didn’t find my friend Titus there. So I left the other followers and went on to Macedonia.

14 I am grateful that God always makes it possible for Christ to lead us to victory. God also helps us spread the knowledge about Christ everywhere, and this knowledge is like the smell of perfume. 15-16 In fact, God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone. For people who are being saved, this perfume has a sweet smell and leads them to a better life. But for people who are lost, it has a bad smell and leads them to a horrible death.

No one really has what it takes to do this work. 17 A lot of people try to get rich from preaching God’s message. But we are God’s sincere messengers, and by the power of Christ we speak our message with God as our witness.

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Psalm 42

BOOK II

(Psalms 42-72)

(A special psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader.)

Longing for God

42 As a deer gets thirsty
    for streams of water,
    I truly am thirsty
    for you, my God.
In my heart, I am thirsty
for you, the living God.
    When will I see your face?
Day and night my tears
    are my only food,
    as everyone keeps asking,
    “Where is your God?”

Sorrow floods my heart,
    when I remember
leading the worshipers
    to your house.[a]
    I can still hear them shout
    their joyful praises.
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.

I am deeply discouraged
    as I think about you
from where the Jordan begins
at Mount Hermon
    and from Mount Mizar.[b]
Your vicious waves
    have swept over me
    like an angry ocean
    or a roaring waterfall.

Every day, you are kind,
    and at night
you give me a song
    as my prayer to you,
    the living Lord God.

You are my mighty rock.[c]
    Why have you forgotten me?
    Why must enemies mistreat me
    and make me sad?
10 Even my bones are in pain,
    while all day long
my enemies sneer and ask,
    “Where is your God?”

11 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.

Footnotes:

  1. 42.4 leading. . . house: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 42.6 Mount Mizar: The location is not known.
  3. 42.9 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.
Read More
Proverbs 22:7

The poor are ruled by the rich,
    and those who borrow
    are slaves of moneylenders.

Read More
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