August 29 – Job 22-23, Galatians 6, Psalm 55, Proverbs 22:14

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Job 22-23

Eliphaz Speaks: Job’s Wickedness Is Great

22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

“Can a man be profitable to God?
    Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right,
    or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you
    and enters into judgment with you?
Is not your evil abundant?
    There is no end to your iniquities.
For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing
    and stripped the naked of their clothing.
You have given no water to the weary to drink,
    and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
The man with power possessed the land,
    and the favored man lived in it.
You have sent widows away empty,
    and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.
10 Therefore snares are all around you,
    and sudden terror overwhelms you,
11 or darkness, so that you cannot see,
    and a flood of water covers you.

12 “Is not God high in the heavens?
    See the highest stars, how lofty they are!
13 But you say, ‘What does God know?
    Can he judge through the deep darkness?
14 Thick clouds veil him, so that he does not see,
    and he walks on the vault of heaven.’
15 Will you keep to the old way
    that wicked men have trod?
16 They were snatched away before their time;
    their foundation was washed away.[a]
17 They said to God, ‘Depart from us,’
    and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’[b]
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things—
    but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
19 The righteous see it and are glad;
    the innocent one mocks at them,
20 saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off,
    and what they left the fire has consumed.’

21 “Agree with God, and be at peace;
    thereby good will come to you.
22 Receive instruction from his mouth,
    and lay up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty you will be built up;
    if you remove injustice far from your tents,
24 if you lay gold in the dust,
    and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed,
25 then the Almighty will be your gold
    and your precious silver.
26 For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty
    and lift up your face to God.
27 You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you,
    and you will pay your vows.
28 You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
    and light will shine on your ways.
29 For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride’;[c]
    but he saves the lowly.
30 He delivers even the one who is not innocent,
    who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

Job Replies: Where Is God?

23 Then Job answered and said:

“Today also my complaint is bitter;[d]
    my hand is heavy on account of my groaning.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him,
    that I might come even to his seat!
I would lay my case before him
    and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know what he would answer me
    and understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
    No; he would pay attention to me.
There an upright man could argue with him,
    and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.

“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there,
    and backward, but I do not perceive him;
on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;
    he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
    when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
11 My foot has held fast to his steps;
    I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
    I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
13 But he is unchangeable,[e] and who can turn him back?
    What he desires, that he does.
14 For he will complete what he appoints for me,
    and many such things are in his mind.
15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
    when I consider, I am in dread of him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
    the Almighty has terrified me;
17 yet I am not silenced because of the darkness,
    nor because thick darkness covers my face.

Galatians 6

Bear One Another’s Burdens

Brothers,[a] if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Final Warning and Benediction

11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which[b] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

Psalm 55

Cast Your Burden on the Lord

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil[a] of David.

55 Give ear to my prayer, O God,
    and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me;
    I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
because of the noise of the enemy,
    because of the oppression of the wicked.
For they drop trouble upon me,
    and in anger they bear a grudge against me.

My heart is in anguish within me;
    the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
    and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest;
yes, I would wander far away;
    I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter
    from the raging wind and tempest.”

Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues;
    for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around it
    on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11     ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
    do not depart from its marketplace.

12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
    then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
    then I could hide from him.
13 But it is you, a man, my equal,
    my companion, my familiar friend.
14 We used to take sweet counsel together;
    within God’s house we walked in the throng.
15 Let death steal over them;
    let them go down to Sheol alive;
    for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.

16 But I call to God,
    and the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon
    I utter my complaint and moan,
    and he hears my voice.
18 He redeems my soul in safety
    from the battle that I wage,
    for many are arrayed against me.
19 God will give ear and humble them,
    he who is enthroned from of old, Selah
because they do not change
    and do not fear God.

20 My companion[b] stretched out his hand against his friends;
    he violated his covenant.
21 His speech was smooth as butter,
    yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil,
    yet they were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
    and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved.

23 But you, O God, will cast them down
    into the pit of destruction;
men of blood and treachery
    shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.

Proverbs 22:14

14 The mouth of forbidden[a] women is a deep pit;
    he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.