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II Samuel 5-9
Thursday, April 5, 2018
The Books of Poetry
II Corinthians 4-5
Then Elihu said:
"Do you think this is just? You say, `I will be cleared by God. '
Yet you ask him, `What profit is it to me, and what do I gain by not sinning?'
"I would like to reply to you and to your friends with you.
Look up at the heavens and see; gaze at the clouds so high above you.
If you sin, how does that affect him? If your sins are many, what does that do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give to him, or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness affects only a man like yourself, and your righteousness only the sons of men.
"Men cry out under a load of oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful.
But no one says, `Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night,
who teaches more to us than to the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?'
He does not answer when men cry out because of the arrogance of the wicked.
Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no attention to it.
How much less, then, will he listen when you say that you do not see him, that your case is before him and you must wait for him,
and further, that his anger never punishes and he does not take the least notice of wickedness.
So Job opens his mouth with empty talk; without knowledge he multiplies words."
"Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God's behalf.
I get my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe justice to my Maker.
Be assured that my words are not false; one perfect in knowledge is with you.
"God is mighty, but does not despise men; he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.
He does not keep the wicked alive but gives the afflicted their rights.
He does not take his eyes off the righteous; he enthrones them with kings and exalts them forever.
But if men are bound in chains, held fast by cords of affliction,
he tells them what they have done-- that they have sinned arrogantly.
He makes them listen to correction and commands them to repent of their evil.
If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.
But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword and die without knowledge.
"The godless in heart harbor resentment; even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.
They die in their youth, among male prostitutes of the shrines.
But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.
"He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.
But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked; judgment and justice have taken hold of you.
Be careful that no one entices you by riches; do not let a large bribe turn you aside.
Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts sustain you so you would not be in distress?
Do not long for the night, to drag people away from their homes.
Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction.
"God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him?
Who has prescribed his ways for him, or said to him, `You have done wrong'?
Remember to extol his work, which men have praised in song.
All mankind has seen it; men gaze on it from afar.
How great is God--beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out.
"He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams ;
the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind.
Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion?
See how he scatters his lightning about him, bathing the depths of the sea.
This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance.
He fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark.
His thunder announces the coming storm; even the cattle make known its approach.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
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