Job 29, 30
1 Job continued further and said in his speech:
2 “Who may put me in months past,
As in the days when God protected me—
3 As when His lamp shone upon my head,
And by His light I walked in the darkness;
4 As when I steadfastly pursued my ways,
When God’s visitation was over my house;
5 As when I lived in abundance,
And my children were around me;
6 As when my roads spread out with butter,
And the mountains flowed with milk for me;
7 “As when I went early in the city,
And took my seat in the open square;
8 The young men saw me and hid,
And all the old men stood up.
9 The great men refrained from talking
And put their finger to their mouth.
10 Those who heard me blessed me,
And their tongue stuck to their throat.
11 The ear heard and blessed me,
And the eye saw me and turned aside.
12 For I saved the poor from the hand of the oppressor
And helped the orphan who had no helper.
13 The blessing of the perishing man came upon me,
And the widow’s mouth blessed me.
14 I put on righteousness
And clothed myself with judgment like a robe.
15 I was the eye of the blind and the foot of the lame.
16 I was the father of the weak,
And I searched out the cause I did not know.
17 I broke the molars of the wrongdoers
And plucked the spoil from the midst of their teeth.
18 “Then I said, ‘My age shall continue as the stem of a palm tree,
And I shall live a long while.’
19 My root was spread out to the waters,
And the dew would settle on my harvest.
20 My glory was fresh within me,
And my bow prospered in its hand.
21 “Men heard and listened to me
And kept silence for my counsel.
22 At my word they did not speak again,
And they were very glad when I spoke to them.
23 They waited for my speech
As the thirsty earth for the rain.
24 If I laughed at them, they did not believe it,
And the light of my countenance did not fail.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as a ruler;
And I dwelt as a king in the army,
As one who comforts mourners.
The Present Seems Futile
1 “But now they laugh me to scorn,
Men younger than I, whose fathers I disdained;
Whom I did not deem worthy to be put
With the dogs of my pastures.
2 Indeed, what profit is the strength of their hands to me?
For them the full term of life was lost.
3 In want and famine, they are childless.
Yesterday they fled to a waterless desert in anguish and misery.
4 They are those who surround the noisy salt places,
Who have salty herbs for their food,
And who are also considered worthless
And deficient of every good thing,
And chew on the roots of trees because of their great hunger.
5 Thieves have risen up against me,
6 Whose houses were holes in the rocks,
7 Who cry out among the rustling bushes
And live under the wild shrubs.
8 They are the sons of fools and dishonored men,
Whose name and fame were extinguished from the earth.
9 “But now I am their lyre,
And they have me as their byword.
10 They detest me and keep their distance.
They do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11 For He has opened His quiver and afflicted me.
They have cast off restraint in my presence.
12 They rose up against me by the right hands of their offspring;
And they stretched out their foot
And directed against me their paths of destruction.
13 My paths are ruined, for they stripped off my garment.
14 He shot me down with His arrows
And used me as He wished.
I am overwhelmed with pains.
15 My pains are turned upon me.
My hope is gone like the wind
And my salvation like a cloud.
16 “Even now my soul will be poured forth upon me,
And the days of pains seize me.
17 By night my bones are set on fire,
And my sinews are broken up.
18 With great force He took hold of my garment,
And like the collar of my tunic He surrounded me.
19 You regarded me as clay in the earth,
And my portion is with ashes.
20 “I cry out to You, but You do not answer me.
They stood and observed me.
21 You attacked me without mercy
And scourged me with a strong hand.
22 You appointed pains for me
And cast me away from salvation.
23 For I know death will destroy me,
For the earth is the house for every mortal.
24 “Would that I might lay hands on myself,
Or at least ask another, and he would do it for me.
25 Yet I wept over every man without strength
And groaned when I saw a man in distress.
26 But while I held firmly to good things,
Days of evils happened to me instead.
27 My stomach churns and will not be quiet,
And days of poverty have come upon me.
28 I go groaning without restraint;
I stand up and cry out in the church.
29 I have become a brother of sirens
And a companion of sparrows.
30 My skin has been greatly darkened,
And my bones are burned by the heat.
31 My lyre turned into mourning
And my song into my weeping.
1 For the End, for Jeduthun; an ode by David.
2 I said, “I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue;
I set a guard on my mouth
When the sinner stood against me.”
3 I was deadened and humbled; and I kept silent, even from good;
And my grief was stirred anew.
4 My heart was hot within me,
And in my meditation, fire will be kindled.
I spoke with my tongue,
5 “O Lord, make me to know my end,
And what is the measure of my days,
So as to know what I lack.
6 Behold, You made my days as a handbreadth,
And my existence is as nothing before You;
But all things are vanity, and every man living.
7 “Nevertheless man walks about like a phantom;
Surely in vain they stir themselves up;
He stores up treasure, but does not know for whom he will gather it.
8 And now what is my patience?
Is it not the Lord?
And my support is from You.
9 Deliver me from all my transgressions;
You made me a reproach to the undiscerning.
10 I was dumb and opened not my mouth;
For You are He who made me.
11 Take away Your scourges from me;
Because of the strength of Your hand I fainted.
12 With rebukes You chasten a man for his transgression,
And You cause his soul to waste away like a spider web;
But every man stirs himself up in vain.
13 “Hear my prayer, O Lord,
And give ear to my supplication;
Do not be silent at my tears,
For I am a sojourner before You,
And a stranger, as were all my fathers.
14 Do not forsake me, that I may revive
Before I depart and am no longer here.”
11 For wisdom is better than precious stones,
And every costly thing is not worthy of her.
12 I, wisdom, dwell with counsel,
And I call upon knowledge and understanding.
13 The fear of the Lord hates unrighteousness,
And both rudeness and arrogance, and the ways of wicked men;
And I hate the perverted ways of evil men.
14 Counsel and safety are mine;
Discernment is mine, and strength is mine;
15 By me, kings reign,
And princes write of righteousness;
16 By me, noblemen become great,
And by me, monarchs have power in the land.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Serve God with Spiritual Gifts
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Behave Like a Christian
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.