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Thursday, February 8, 2018
The Books of Poetry
I Corinthians 3-4
Then Job responded,
"How long will you torment me And crush me with words?
"These ten times you have insulted me; You are not ashamed to wrong me.
"Even if I have truly erred, My error lodges with me.
"If indeed you vaunt yourselves against me And prove my disgrace to me,
Know then that God has wronged me And has closed His net around me.
"Behold, I cry, "Violence!' but I get no answer; I shout for help, but there is no justice.
"He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, And He has put darkness on my paths.
"He has stripped my honor from me And removed the crown from my head.
"He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone; And He has uprooted my hope like a tree.
"He has also kindled His anger against me And considered me as His enemy.
"His troops come together, And build up their way against me And camp around my tent.
"He has removed my brothers far from me, And my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.
"My relatives have failed, And my intimate friends have forgotten me.
"Those who live in my house and my maids consider me a stranger. I am a foreigner in their sight.
"I call to my servant, but he does not answer; I have to implore him with my mouth.
"My breath is offensive to my wife, And I am loathsome to my own brothers.
"Even young children despise me; I rise up and they speak against me.
"All my associates abhor me, And those I love have turned against me.
"My bone clings to my skin and my flesh, And I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.
"Pity me, pity me, O you my friends, For the hand of God has struck me.
"Why do you persecute me as God does, And are not satisfied with my flesh?
"Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
"That with an iron stylus and lead They were engraved in the rock forever!
"As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
"Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God;
Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me!
"If you say, "How shall we persecute him?' And " What pretext for a case against him can we find?'
"Then be afraid of the sword for yourselves, For wrath brings the punishment of the sword, So that you may know there is judgment.' 20
Then Zophar the Naamathite answered,
"Therefore my disquieting thoughts make me respond, Even because of my inward agitation.
"I listened to the reproof which insults me, And the spirit of my understanding makes me answer.
"Do you know this from of old, From the establishment of man on earth,
That the triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the godless momentary?
"Though his loftiness reaches the heavens, And his head touches the clouds,
He perishes forever like his refuse; Those who have seen him will say, "Where is he?'
"He flies away like a dream, and they cannot find him; Even like a vision of the night he is chased away.
"The eye which saw him sees him no longer, And his place no longer beholds him.
"His sons favor the poor, And his hands give back his wealth.
"His bones are full of his youthful vigor, But it lies down with him in the dust.
"Though evil is sweet in his mouth And he hides it under his tongue,
Though he desires it and will not let it go, But holds it in his mouth,
Yet his food in his stomach is changed To the venom of cobras within him.
"He swallows riches, But will vomit them up; God will expel them from his belly.
"He sucks the poison of cobras; The viper's tongue slays him.
"He does not look at the streams, The rivers flowing with honey and curds.
"He returns what he has attained And cannot swallow it; As to the riches of his trading, He cannot even enjoy them.
"For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor; He has seized a house which he has not built.
"Because he knew no quiet within him, He does not retain anything he desires.
"Nothing remains for him to devour, Therefore his prosperity does not endure.
"In the fullness of his plenty he will be cramped; The hand of everyone who suffers will come against him.
"When he fills his belly, God will send His fierce anger on him And will rain it on him while he is eating.
"He may flee from the iron weapon, But the bronze bow will pierce him.
"It is drawn forth and comes out of his back, Even the glittering point from his gall. Terrors come upon him,
Complete darkness is held in reserve for his treasures, And unfanned fire will devour him; It will consume the survivor in his tent.
"The heavens will reveal his iniquity, And the earth will rise up against him.
"The increase of his house will depart; His possessions will flow away in the day of His anger.
"This is the wicked man's portion from God, Even the heritage decreed to him by God.' 21
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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