August 26 – Job 15-16, Galatians 4:1-20, Psalm 52, Proverbs 22:8-9

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Job 15-16

Eliphaz Accuses: Job Does Not Fear God

15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

“Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge,
    and fill his belly with the east wind?
Should he argue in unprofitable talk,
    or in words with which he can do no good?
But you are doing away with the fear of God[a]
    and hindering meditation before God.
For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
    and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
    your own lips testify against you.

“Are you the first man who was born?
    Or were you brought forth before the hills?
Have you listened in the council of God?
    And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we do not know?
    What do you understand that is not clear to us?
10 Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us,
    older than your father.
11 Are the comforts of God too small for you,
    or the word that deals gently with you?
12 Why does your heart carry you away,
    and why do your eyes flash,
13 that you turn your spirit against God
    and bring such words out of your mouth?
14 What is man, that he can be pure?
    Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?
15 Behold, God[b] puts no trust in his holy ones,
    and the heavens are not pure in his sight;
16 how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
    a man who drinks injustice like water!

17 “I will show you; hear me,
    and what I have seen I will declare
18 (what wise men have told,
    without hiding it from their fathers,
19 to whom alone the land was given,
    and no stranger passed among them).
20 The wicked man writhes in pain all his days,
    through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
21 Dreadful sounds are in his ears;
    in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him.
22 He does not believe that he will return out of darkness,
    and he is marked for the sword.
23 He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
    He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand;
24 distress and anguish terrify him;
    they prevail against him, like a king ready for battle.
25 Because he has stretched out his hand against God
    and defies the Almighty,
26 running stubbornly against him
    with a thickly bossed shield;
27 because he has covered his face with his fat
    and gathered fat upon his waist
28 and has lived in desolate cities,
    in houses that none should inhabit,
    which were ready to become heaps of ruins;
29 he will not be rich, and his wealth will not endure,
    nor will his possessions spread over the earth;[c]
30 he will not depart from darkness;
    the flame will dry up his shoots,
    and by the breath of his mouth he will depart.
31 Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself,
    for emptiness will be his payment.
32 It will be paid in full before his time,
    and his branch will not be green.
33 He will shake off his unripe grape like the vine,
    and cast off his blossom like the olive tree.
34 For the company of the godless is barren,
    and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil,
    and their womb prepares deceit.”

Job Replies: Miserable Comforters Are You

16 Then Job answered and said:

“I have heard many such things;
    miserable comforters are you all.
Shall windy words have an end?
    Or what provokes you that you answer?
I also could speak as you do,
    if you were in my place;
I could join words together against you
    and shake my head at you.
I could strengthen you with my mouth,
    and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.

“If I speak, my pain is not assuaged,
    and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me?
Surely now God has worn me out;
    he has[d] made desolate all my company.
And he has shriveled me up,
    which is a witness against me,
and my leanness has risen up against me;
    it testifies to my face.
He has torn me in his wrath and hated me;
    he has gnashed his teeth at me;
    my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
10 Men have gaped at me with their mouth;
    they have struck me insolently on the cheek;
    they mass themselves together against me.
11 God gives me up to the ungodly
    and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, and he broke me apart;
    he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces;
he set me up as his target;
13     his archers surround me.
He slashes open my kidneys and does not spare;
    he pours out my gall on the ground.
14 He breaks me with breach upon breach;
    he runs upon me like a warrior.
15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin
    and have laid my strength in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping,
    and on my eyelids is deep darkness,
17 although there is no violence in my hands,
    and my prayer is pure.

18 “O earth, cover not my blood,
    and let my cry find no resting place.
19 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
    and he who testifies for me is on high.
20 My friends scorn me;
    my eye pours out tears to God,
21 that he would argue the case of a man with God,
    as[e] a son of man does with his neighbor.
22 For when a few years have come
    I shall go the way from which I shall not return.

Galatians 4:1-20

Sons and Heirs

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,[a] though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles[b] of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

12 Brothers,[c] I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. 13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?[d] 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, 19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Psalm 52

The Steadfast Love of God Endures

To the choirmaster. A Maskil[a] of David, when Doeg, the Edomite, came and told Saul, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech.”

52 Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
    The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
Your tongue plots destruction,
    like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
You love evil more than good,
    and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah
You love all words that devour,
    O deceitful tongue.

But God will break you down forever;
    he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
    he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
The righteous shall see and fear,
    and shall laugh at him, saying,
“See the man who would not make
    God his refuge,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches
    and sought refuge in his own destruction!”[b]

But I am like a green olive tree
    in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
    forever and ever.
I will thank you forever,
    because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good,
    in the presence of the godly.

Proverbs 22:8-9

Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
    and the rod of his fury will fail.
Whoever has a bountiful[a] eye will be blessed,
    for he shares his bread with the poor.