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Thursday, December 26, 2019
The Books of Poetry
"Is not man forced to labor on earth, And are not his days like the days of a hired man?
"As a slave who pants for the shade, And as a hired man who eagerly waits for his wages,
So am I allotted months of vanity, And nights of trouble are appointed me.
"When I lie down I say, "When shall I arise?' But the night continues, And I am continually tossing until dawn.
"My flesh is clothed with worms and a crust of dirt, My skin hardens and runs.
"My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, And come to an end without hope.
"Remember that my life is but breath; My eye will not again see good.
"The eye of him who sees me will behold me no longer; Your eyes will be on me, but I will not be.
"When a cloud vanishes, it is gone, So he who goes down to Sheol does not come up.
"He will not return again to his house, Nor will his place know him anymore.
"Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
"Am I the sea, or the sea monster, That You set a guard over me?
"If I say, " My bed will comfort me, My couch will ease my complaint,'
Then You frighten me with dreams And terrify me by visions;
So that my soul would choose suffocation, Death rather than my pains.
"I waste away; I will not live forever. Leave me alone, for my days are but a breath.
" What is man that You magnify him, And that You are concerned about him,
That You examine him every morning And try him every moment?
" Will You never turn Your gaze away from me, Nor let me alone until I swallow my spittle?
" Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, So that I am a burden to myself?
"Why then do You not pardon my transgression And take away my iniquity? For now I will lie down in the dust; And You will seek me, but I will not be.' 8
Then Bildad the Shuhite answered,
"How long will you say these things, And the words of your mouth be a mighty wind?
"Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert what is right?
" If your sons sinned against Him, Then He delivered them into the power of their transgression.
"If you would seek God And implore the compassion of the Almighty,
If you are pure and upright, Surely now He would rouse Himself for you And restore your righteous estate.
"Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will increase greatly.
"Please inquire of past generations, And consider the things searched out by their fathers.
"For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, Because our days on earth are as a shadow.
"Will they not teach you and tell you, And bring forth words from their minds?
"Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the rushes grow without water?
"While it is still green and not cut down, Yet it withers before any other plant.
"So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the godless will perish,
Whose confidence is fragile, And whose trust a spider's web.
"He trusts in his house, but it does not stand; He holds fast to it, but it does not endure.
"He thrives before the sun, And his shoots spread out over his garden.
"His roots wrap around a rock pile, He grasps a house of stones.
"If he is removed from his place, Then it will deny him, saying, " I never saw you.'
"Behold, this is the joy of His way; And out of the dust others will spring.
"Lo, God will not reject a man of integrity, Nor will He support the evildoers.
"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with shouting.
"Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the tent of the wicked will be no longer.' 9
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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