August 27 – Job 17-19, Galatians 4:21-31, Psalm 53, Proverbs 22:10-12

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Job 17-19

Job Continues: Where Then Is My Hope?

17 “My spirit is broken; my days are extinct;
    the graveyard is ready for me.
Surely there are mockers about me,
    and my eye dwells on their provocation.

“Lay down a pledge for me with you;
    who is there who will put up security for me?
Since you have closed their hearts to understanding,
    therefore you will not let them triumph.
He who informs against his friends to get a share of their property—
    the eyes of his children will fail.

“He has made me a byword of the peoples,
    and I am one before whom men spit.
My eye has grown dim from vexation,
    and all my members are like a shadow.
The upright are appalled at this,
    and the innocent stirs himself up against the godless.
Yet the righteous holds to his way,
    and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.
10 But you, come on again, all of you,
    and I shall not find a wise man among you.
11 My days are past; my plans are broken off,
    the desires of my heart.
12 They make night into day:
    ‘The light,’ they say, ‘is near to the darkness.’[a]
13 If I hope for Sheol as my house,
    if I make my bed in darkness,
14 if I say to the pit, ‘You are my father,’
    and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’
15 where then is my hope?
    Who will see my hope?
16 Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
    Shall we descend together into the dust?”[b]

Bildad Speaks: God Punishes the Wicked

18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

“How long will you hunt for words?
    Consider, and then we will speak.
Why are we counted as cattle?
    Why are we stupid in your sight?
You who tear yourself in your anger,
    shall the earth be forsaken for you,
    or the rock be removed out of its place?

“Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out,
    and the flame of his fire does not shine.
The light is dark in his tent,
    and his lamp above him is put out.
His strong steps are shortened,
    and his own schemes throw him down.
For he is cast into a net by his own feet,
    and he walks on its mesh.
A trap seizes him by the heel;
    a snare lays hold of him.
10 A rope is hidden for him in the ground,
    a trap for him in the path.
11 Terrors frighten him on every side,
    and chase him at his heels.
12 His strength is famished,
    and calamity is ready for his stumbling.
13 It consumes the parts of his skin;
    the firstborn of death consumes his limbs.
14 He is torn from the tent in which he trusted
    and is brought to the king of terrors.
15 In his tent dwells that which is none of his;
    sulfur is scattered over his habitation.
16 His roots dry up beneath,
    and his branches wither above.
17 His memory perishes from the earth,
    and he has no name in the street.
18 He is thrust from light into darkness,
    and driven out of the world.
19 He has no posterity or progeny among his people,
    and no survivor where he used to live.
20 They of the west are appalled at his day,
    and horror seizes them of the east.
21 Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous,
    such is the place of him who knows not God.”

Job Replies: My Redeemer Lives

19 Then Job answered and said:

“How long will you torment me
    and break me in pieces with words?
These ten times you have cast reproach upon me;
    are you not ashamed to wrong me?
And even if it be true that I have erred,
    my error remains with myself.
If indeed you magnify yourselves against me
    and make my disgrace an argument against me,
know then that God has put me in the wrong
    and closed his net about me.
Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered;
    I call for help, but there is no justice.
He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass,
    and he has set darkness upon my paths.
He has stripped from me my glory
    and taken the crown from my head.
10 He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
    and my hope has he pulled up like a tree.
11 He has kindled his wrath against me
    and counts me as his adversary.
12 His troops come on together;
    they have cast up their siege ramp[c] against me
    and encamp around my tent.

13 “He has put my brothers far from me,
    and those who knew me are wholly estranged from me.
14 My relatives have failed me,
    my close friends have forgotten me.
15 The guests in my house and my maidservants count me as a stranger;
    I have become a foreigner in their eyes.
16 I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;
    I must plead with him with my mouth for mercy.
17 My breath is strange to my wife,
    and I am a stench to the children of my own mother.
18 Even young children despise me;
    when I rise they talk against me.
19 All my intimate friends abhor me,
    and those whom I loved have turned against me.
20 My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh,
    and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21 Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends,
    for the hand of God has touched me!
22 Why do you, like God, pursue me?
    Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?

23 “Oh that my words were written!
    Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead
    they were engraved in the rock forever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at the last he will stand upon the earth.[d]
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet in[e] my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
    and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
    My heart faints within me!
28 If you say, ‘How we will pursue him!’
    and, ‘The root of the matter is found in him,’[f]
29 be afraid of the sword,
    for wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
    that you may know there is a judgment.”

Galatians 4:21-31

Example of Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;[a] she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
    break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
    than those of the one who has a husband.”

28 Now you,[b] brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

Psalm 53

There Is None Who Does Good

To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath. A Maskil[a] of David.

53 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;
    there is none who does good.

God looks down from heaven
    on the children of man
to see if there are any who understand,[b]
    who seek after God.

They have all fallen away;
    together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
    not even one.

Have those who work evil no knowledge,
    who eat up my people as they eat bread,
    and do not call upon God?

There they are, in great terror,
    where there is no terror!
For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you;
    you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When God restores the fortunes of his people,
    let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

Proverbs 22:10-12

10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
    and quarreling and abuse will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart,
    and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
    but he overthrows the words of the traitor.