August 23 – Job 9-10, Galatians 2:1-10, Psalm 49, Proverbs 22:2-4

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Job 9-10

Job Replies: There Is No Arbiter

Then Job answered and said:

“Truly I know that it is so:
    But how can a man be in the right before God?
If one wished to contend with him,
    one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
He is wise in heart and mighty in strength
    —who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?—
he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
    when he overturns them in his anger,
who shakes the earth out of its place,
    and its pillars tremble;
who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
    who seals up the stars;
who alone stretched out the heavens
    and trampled the waves of the sea;
who made the Bear and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
10 who does great things beyond searching out,
    and marvelous things beyond number.
11 Behold, he passes by me, and I see him not;
    he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
12 Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back?
    Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

13 “God will not turn back his anger;
    beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab.
14 How then can I answer him,
    choosing my words with him?
15 Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him;
    I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.[a]
16 If I summoned him and he answered me,
    I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.
17 For he crushes me with a tempest
    and multiplies my wounds without cause;
18 he will not let me get my breath,
    but fills me with bitterness.
19 If it is a contest of strength, behold, he is mighty!
    If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?[b]
20 Though I am in the right, my own mouth would condemn me;
    though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
21 I am blameless; I regard not myself;
    I loathe my life.
22 It is all one; therefore I say,
    ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23 When disaster brings sudden death,
    he mocks at the calamity[c] of the innocent.
24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
    he covers the faces of its judges—
    if it is not he, who then is it?

25 “My days are swifter than a runner;
    they flee away; they see no good.
26 They go by like skiffs of reed,
    like an eagle swooping on the prey.
27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
    I will put off my sad face, and be of good cheer,’
28 I become afraid of all my suffering,
    for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29 I shall be condemned;
    why then do I labor in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow
    and cleanse my hands with lye,
31 yet you will plunge me into a pit,
    and my own clothes will abhor me.
32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,
    that we should come to trial together.
33 There is no[d] arbiter between us,
    who might lay his hand on us both.
34 Let him take his rod away from me,
    and let not dread of him terrify me.
35 Then I would speak without fear of him,
    for I am not so in myself.

Job Continues: A Plea to God

10 “I loathe my life;
I will give free utterance to my complaint;
    I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
    let me know why you contend against me.
Does it seem good to you to oppress,
    to despise the work of your hands
    and favor the designs of the wicked?
Have you eyes of flesh?
    Do you see as man sees?
Are your days as the days of man,
    or your years as a man’s years,
that you seek out my iniquity
    and search for my sin,
although you know that I am not guilty,
    and there is none to deliver out of your hand?
Your hands fashioned and made me,
    and now you have destroyed me altogether.
Remember that you have made me like clay;
    and will you return me to the dust?
10 Did you not pour me out like milk
    and curdle me like cheese?
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
    and knit me together with bones and sinews.
12 You have granted me life and steadfast love,
    and your care has preserved my spirit.
13 Yet these things you hid in your heart;
    I know that this was your purpose.
14 If I sin, you watch me
    and do not acquit me of my iniquity.
15 If I am guilty, woe to me!
    If I am in the right, I cannot lift up my head,
for I am filled with disgrace
    and look on my affliction.
16 And were my head lifted up,[e] you would hunt me like a lion
    and again work wonders against me.
17 You renew your witnesses against me
    and increase your vexation toward me;
    you bring fresh troops against me.

18 “Why did you bring me out from the womb?
    Would that I had died before any eye had seen me
19 and were as though I had not been,
    carried from the womb to the grave.
20 Are not my days few?
    Then cease, and leave me alone, that I may find a little cheer
21 before I go—and I shall not return—
    to the land of darkness and deep shadow,
22 the land of gloom like thick darkness,
    like deep shadow without any order,
    where light is as thick darkness.

Galatians 2:1-10

Paul Accepted by the Apostles

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

Psalm 49

Why Should I Fear in Times of Trouble?

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

49 Hear this, all peoples!
    Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
both low and high,
    rich and poor together!
My mouth shall speak wisdom;
    the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
I will incline my ear to a proverb;
    I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.

Why should I fear in times of trouble,
    when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,
those who trust in their wealth
    and boast of the abundance of their riches?
Truly no man can ransom another,
    or give to God the price of his life,
for the ransom of their life is costly
    and can never suffice,
that he should live on forever
    and never see the pit.

10 For he sees that even the wise die;
    the fool and the stupid alike must perish
    and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their homes forever,[a]
    their dwelling places to all generations,
    though they called lands by their own names.
12 Man in his pomp will not remain;
    he is like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the path of those who have foolish confidence;
    yet after them people approve of their boasts.[b] Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
    death shall be their shepherd,
and the upright shall rule over them in the morning.
    Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
    for he will receive me. Selah

16 Be not afraid when a man becomes rich,
    when the glory of his house increases.
17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
    his glory will not go down after him.
18 For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed
    —and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—
19 his soul will go to the generation of his fathers,
    who will never again see light.
20 Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

Proverbs 22:2-4

The rich and the poor meet together;
    the Lord is the Maker of them all.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
    but the simple go on and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
    is riches and honor and life.[a]