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Thursday, December 18, 2014
The Books of Poetry
After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
"May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, `A boy is born!'
That day--may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine upon it.
May darkness and deep shadow claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm its light.
That night--may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months.
May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it.
May those who curse days curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.
May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn,
for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes.
"Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?
Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I might be nursed?
For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest
with kings and counselors of the earth, who built for themselves places now lying in ruins,
with rulers who had gold, who filled their houses with silver.
Or why was I not hidden in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day?
There the wicked cease from turmoil, and there the weary are at rest.
Captives also enjoy their ease; they no longer hear the slave driver's shout.
The small and the great are there, and the slave is freed from his master.
"Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul,
to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure,
who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave?
Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?
For sighing comes to me instead of food; my groans pour out like water.
What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.
I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil."
Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
"If someone ventures a word with you, will you be impatient? But who can keep from speaking?
Think how you have instructed many, how you have strengthened feeble hands.
Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees.
But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed.
Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope?
"Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed?
As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.
At the breath of God they are destroyed; at the blast of his anger they perish.
The lions may roar and growl, yet the teeth of the great lions are broken.
The lion perishes for lack of prey, and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
"A word was secretly brought to me, my ears caught a whisper of it.
Amid disquieting dreams in the night, when deep sleep falls on men,
fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake.
A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end.
It stopped, but I could not tell what it was. A form stood before my eyes, and I heard a hushed voice:
`Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker?
If God places no trust in his servants, if he charges his angels with error,
how much more those who live in houses of clay, whose foundations are in the dust, who are crushed more readily than a moth!
Between dawn and dusk they are broken to pieces; unnoticed, they perish forever.
Are not the cords of their tent pulled up, so that they die without wisdom?'
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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