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(Aug 8, 2000)
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Thursday, January 10, 2019
The Books of Poetry
Then Zophar the Na'amathite answered:
"Should a multitude of words go unanswered, and a man full of talk be vindicated?
Should your babble silence men, and when you mock, shall no one shame you?
For you say, 'My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in God's eyes.'
But oh, that God would speak, and open his lips to you,
and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom! For he is manifold in understanding. Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
"Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
It is higher than heaven--what can you do? Deeper than Sheol--what can you know?
Its measure is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.
If he passes through, and imprisons, and calls to judgment, who can hinder him?
For he knows worthless men; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
But a stupid man will get understanding, when a wild ass's colt is born a man.
"If you set your heart aright, you will stretch out your hands toward him.
If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in your tents.
Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure, and will not fear.
You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning.
And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety.
You will lie down, and none will make you afraid; many will entreat your favor.
But the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is to breathe their last."
Then Job answered:
"No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you.
But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know such things as these?
I am a laughingstock to my friends; I, who called upon God and he answered me, a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock.
In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune; it is ready for those whose feet slip.
The tents of robbers are at peace, and those who provoke God are secure, who bring their god in their hand.
"But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
or the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.
Does not the ear try words as the palate tastes food?
Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.
"With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding.
If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open.
If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
With him are strength and wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his.
He leads counselors away stripped, and judges he makes fools.
He looses the bonds of kings, and binds a waistcloth on their loins.
He leads priests away stripped, and overthrows the mighty.
He deprives of speech those who are trusted, and takes away the discernment of the elders.
He pours contempt on princes, and looses the belt of the strong.
He uncovers the deeps out of darkness, and brings deep darkness to light.
He makes nations great, and he destroys them: he enlarges nations, and leads them away.
He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless waste.
They grope in the dark without light; and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.
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