September 1- Job 29-30, Ephesians 2:1-10, Psalms 58, Proverbs 22:17-21

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Job 29-30

Job’s Summary Defense

29 And Job again took up his discourse, and said:

“Oh, that I were as in the months of old,
    as in the days when God watched over me,
when his lamp shone upon my head,
    and by his light, I walked through darkness,
as I was in my prime,
    when the friendship of God was upon my tent,
when the Almighty was yet with me,
    when my children were all around me,
when my steps were washed with butter,
    and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
When I went out to the gate of the city,
    when I prepared my seat in the square,
the young men saw me and withdrew,
    and the aged rose and stood;
the princes refrained from talking
    and laid their hand on their mouth;
10 the voice of the nobles was hushed,
    and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.
11 When the ear heard, it called me blessed,
    and when the eye saw, it approved,
12 because I delivered the poor who cried for help,
    and the fatherless who had none to help him.
13 The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me,
    and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
    my justice was like a robe and a turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind
    and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy,
    and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.
17 I broke the fangs of the unrighteous
    and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
18 Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest,
    and I shall multiply my days as the sand,
19 my roots spread out to the waters,
    with the dew all night on my branches,
20 my glory fresh with me,
    and my bow ever new in my hand.’

21 “Men listened to me and waited
    and kept silence for my counsel.
22 After I spoke they did not speak again,
    and my word dropped upon them.
23 They waited for me as for the rain,
    and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
    and the light of my face they did not cast down.
25 I chose their way and sat as chief,
    and I lived like a king among his troops,
    like one who comforts mourners.

30 “But now they laugh at me,
    men who are younger than I,
whose fathers I would have disdained
    to set with the dogs of my flock.
What could I gain from the strength of their hands,
    men whose vigor is gone?
Through want and hard hunger
    they gnaw the dry ground by night in waste and desolation;
they pick saltwort and the leaves of bushes,
    and the roots of the broom tree for their food.
They are driven out from human company;
    they shout after them as after a thief.
In the gullies of the torrents they must dwell,
    in holes of the earth and of the rocks.
Among the bushes they bray;
    under the nettles they huddle together.
A senseless, a nameless brood,
    they have been whipped out of the land.

“And now I have become their song;
    I am a byword to them.
10 They abhor me; they keep aloof from me;
    they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.
11 Because God has loosed my cord and humbled me,
    they have cast off restraint in my presence.
12 On my right hand the rabble rise;
    they push away my feet;
    they cast up against me their ways of destruction.
13 They break up my path;
    they promote my calamity;
    they need no one to help them.
14 As through a wide breach they come;
    amid the crash they roll on.
15 Terrors are turned upon me;
    my honor is pursued as by the wind,
    and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.

16 “And now my soul is poured out within me;
    days of affliction have taken hold of me.
17 The night racks my bones,
    and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.
18 With great force my garment is disfigured;
    it binds me about like the collar of my tunic.
19 God has cast me into the mire,
    and I have become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry to you for help and you do not answer me;
    I stand, and you only look at me.
21 You have turned cruel to me;
    with the might of your hand you persecute me.
22 You lift me up on the wind; you make me ride on it,
    and you toss me about in the roar of the storm.
23 For I know that you will bring me to death
    and to the house appointed for all living.

24 “Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand,
    and in his disaster cry for help?
25 Did not I weep for him whose day was hard?
    Was not my soul grieved for the needy?
26 But when I hoped for good, evil came,
    and when I waited for light, darkness came.
27 My inward parts are in turmoil and never still;
    days of affliction come to meet me.
28 I go about darkened, but not by the sun;
    I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29 I am a brother of jackals
    and a companion of ostriches.
30 My skin turns black and falls from me,
    and my bones burn with heat.
31 My lyre is turned to mourning,
    and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.

Ephesians 2:1-10

By Grace Through Faith

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Psalm 58

God Who Judges the Earth

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David.

58 Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?[b]
    Do you judge the children of man uprightly?
No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
    your hands deal out violence on earth.

The wicked are estranged from the womb;
    they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
    like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
    or of the cunning enchanter.

O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
    tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
Let them vanish like water that runs away;
    when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.
Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime,
    like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
    whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away![c]

10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
    he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
    surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

Proverbs 22:17-21

Words of the Wise

17 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
    and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
    if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 That your trust may be in the Lord,
    I have made them known to you today, even to you.
20 Have I not written for you thirty sayings
    of counsel and knowledge,
21 to make you know what is right and true,
    that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?