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Thursday, December 20, 2017
The Books of Poetry
"Call now, is there anyone who will answer you? And to which of the holy ones will you turn?
"For anger slays the foolish man, And jealousy kills the simple.
"I have seen the foolish taking root, And I cursed his abode immediately.
"His sons are far from safety, They are even oppressed in the gate, And there is no deliverer.
" His harvest the hungry devour And take it to a place of thorns, And the schemer is eager for their wealth.
"For affliction does not come from the dust, Nor does trouble sprout from the ground,
For man is born for trouble, As sparks fly upward.
"But as for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God;
Who does great and unsearchable things, Wonders without number.
"He gives rain on the earth And sends water on the fields,
So that He sets on high those who are lowly, And those who mourn are lifted to safety.
"He frustrates the plotting of the shrewd, So that their hands cannot attain success.
"He captures the wise by their own shrewdness, And the advice of the cunning is quickly thwarted.
"By day they meet with darkness, And grope at noon as in the night.
"But He saves from the sword of their mouth, And the poor from the hand of the mighty.
"So the helpless has hope, And unrighteousness must shut its mouth.
"Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
"For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal.
" From six troubles He will deliver you, Even in seven evil will not touch you.
"In famine He will redeem you from death, And in war from the power of the sword.
"You will be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, And you will not be afraid of violence when it comes.
"You will laugh at violence and famine, And you will not be afraid of wild beasts.
"For you will be in league with the stones of the field, And the beasts of the field will be at peace with you.
"You will know that your tent is secure, For you will visit your abode and fear no loss.
"You will know also that your descendants will be many, And your offspring as the grass of the earth.
"You will come to the grave in full vigor, Like the stacking of grain in its season.
"Behold this; we have investigated it, and so it is. Hear it, and know for yourself.' 6
Then Job answered,
" Oh that my grief were actually weighed And laid in the balances together with my calamity!
"For then it would be heavier than the sand of the seas; Therefore my words have been rash.
"For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, Their poison my spirit drinks; The terrors of God are arrayed against me.
"Does the wild donkey bray over his grass, Or does the ox low over his fodder?
"Can something tasteless be eaten without salt, Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?
"My soul refuses to touch them; They are like loathsome food to me.
"Oh that my request might come to pass, And that God would grant my longing!
"Would that God were willing to crush me, That He would loose His hand and cut me off!
"But it is still my consolation, And I rejoice in unsparing pain, That I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
"What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should endure?
"Is my strength the strength of stones, Or is my flesh bronze?
"Is it that my help is not within me, And that deliverance is driven from me?
"For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.
"My brothers have acted deceitfully like a wadi, Like the torrents of wadis which vanish,
Which are turbid because of ice And into which the snow melts.
"When they become waterless, they are silent, When it is hot, they vanish from their place.
"The paths of their course wind along, They go up into nothing and perish.
"The caravans of Tema looked, The travelers of Sheba hoped for them.
"They were disappointed for they had trusted, They came there and were confounded.
"Indeed, you have now become such, You see a terror and are afraid.
"Have I said, "Give me something,' Or, "Offer a bribe for me from your wealth,'
Or, "Deliver me from the hand of the adversary,' Or, "Redeem me from the hand of the tyrants'?
"Teach me, and I will be silent; And show me how I have erred.
"How painful are honest words! But what does your argument prove?
"Do you intend to reprove my words, When the words of one in despair belong to the wind?
"You would even cast lots for the orphans And barter over your friend.
"Now please look at me, And see if I lie to your face.
"Desist now, let there be no injustice; Even desist, my righteousness is yet in it.
"Is there injustice on my tongue? Cannot my palate discern calamities? 7
Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission.
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