August 24 – Job 11-12, Galatians 2:11-21, Psalm 50, Proverbs 22:5-6

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Job 11-12

Zophar Speaks: You Deserve Worse

11 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:

“Should a multitude of words go unanswered,
    and a man full of talk be judged right?
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[a] 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.[b]
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[c]—what can you do?
    Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
Its measure is longer than the earth
    and broader than the sea.
10 If he passes through and imprisons
    and summons the court, who can turn him back?
11 For he knows worthless men;
    when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
12 But a stupid man will get understanding
    when a wild donkey’s colt is born a man!

13 “If you prepare your heart,
    you will stretch out your hands toward him.
14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
    and let not injustice dwell in your tents.
15 Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish;
    you will be secure and will not fear.
16 You will forget your misery;
    you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
17 And your life will be brighter than the noonday;
    its darkness will be like the morning.
18 And you will feel secure, because there is hope;
    you will look around and take your rest in security.
19 You will lie down, and none will make you afraid;
    many will court your favor.
20 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.”

Job Replies: The Lord Has Done This

12 Then Job answered and said:

“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 to 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.[d]

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;[e]
    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?
10 In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind.
11 Does not the ear test words
    as the palate tastes food?
12 Wisdom is with the aged,
    and understanding in length of days.

13 “With God[f] are wisdom and might;
    he has counsel and understanding.
14 If he tears down, none can rebuild;
    if he shuts a man in, none can open.
15 If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
    if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
16 With him are strength and sound wisdom;
    the deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leads counselors away stripped,
    and judges he makes fools.
18 He looses the bonds of kings
    and binds a waistcloth on their hips.
19 He leads priests away stripped
    and overthrows the mighty.
20 He deprives of speech those who are trusted
    and takes away the discernment of the elders.
21 He pours contempt on princes
    and loosens the belt of the strong.
22 He uncovers the deeps out of darkness
    and brings deep darkness to light.
23 He makes nations great, and he destroys them;
    he enlarges nations, and leads them away.
24 He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth
    and makes them wander in a trackless waste.
25 They grope in the dark without light,
    and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

Galatians 2:11-21

Paul Opposes Peter

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.[a] 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

Justified by Faith

15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified[b] by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness[c] were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Psalm 50

God Himself Is Judge

A Psalm of Asaph.

50 The Mighty One, God the Lord,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines forth.

Our God comes; he does not keep silence;[a]
    before him is a devouring fire,
    around him a mighty tempest.
He calls to the heavens above
    and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me my faithful ones,
    who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness,
    for God himself is judge! Selah

“Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
    O Israel, I will testify against you.
    I am God, your God.
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
    your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I will not accept a bull from your house
    or goats from your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine,
    the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the hills,
    and all that moves in the field is mine.

12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for the world and its fullness are mine.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
    or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,[b]
    and perform your vows to the Most High,
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble;
    I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

16 But to the wicked God says:
    “What right have you to recite my statutes
    or take my covenant on your lips?
17 For you hate discipline,
    and you cast my words behind you.
18 If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
    and you keep company with adulterers.

19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
    and your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother;
    you slander your own mother’s son.
21 These things you have done, and I have been silent;
    you thought that I[c] was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.

22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
    lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
23 The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
    to one who orders his way rightly
    I will show the salvation of God!”

Proverbs 22:5-6

Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
    whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.