September 2- Job 31-32, Ephesians 2:11-22, Psalms 59, Proverbs 22:22-23

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Job 31-32

Job’s Final Appeal

31 “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
    how then could I gaze at a virgin?
What would be my portion from God above
    and my heritage from the Almighty on high?
Is not calamity for the unrighteous,
    and disaster for the workers of iniquity?
Does not he see my ways
    and number all my steps?

“If I have walked with falsehood
    and my foot has hastened to deceit;
(Let me be weighed in a just balance,
    and let God know my integrity!)
if my step has turned aside from the way
    and my heart has gone after my eyes,
    and if any spot has stuck to my hands,
then let me sow, and another eat,
    and let what grows for me[a] be rooted out.

“If my heart has been enticed toward a woman,
    and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door,
10 then let my wife grind for another,
    and let others bow down on her.
11 For that would be a heinous crime;
    that would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges;
12 for that would be a fire that consumes as far as Abaddon,
    and it would burn to the root all my increase.

13 “If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant,
    when they brought a complaint against me,
14 what then shall I do when God rises up?
    When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him?
15 Did not he who made me in the womb make him?
    And did not one fashion us in the womb?

16 “If I have withheld anything that the poor desired,
    or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
17 or have eaten my morsel alone,
    and the fatherless has not eaten of it
18 (for from my youth the fatherless[b] grew up with me as with a father,
    and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow[c]),
19 if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
    or the needy without covering,
20 if his body has not blessed me,[d]
    and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,
21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
    because I saw my help in the gate,
22 then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder,
    and let my arm be broken from its socket.
23 For I was in terror of calamity from God,
    and I could not have faced his majesty.

24 “If I have made gold my trust
    or called fine gold my confidence,
25 if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant
    or because my hand had found much,
26 if I have looked at the sun[e] when it shone,
    or the moon moving in splendor,
27 and my heart has been secretly enticed,
    and my mouth has kissed my hand,
28 this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges,
    for I would have been false to God above.

29 “If I have rejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me,
    or exulted when evil overtook him
30 (I have not let my mouth sin
    by asking for his life with a curse),
31 if the men of my tent have not said,
    ‘Who is there that has not been filled with his meat?’
32 (the sojourner has not lodged in the street;
    I have opened my doors to the traveler),
33 if I have concealed my transgressions as others do[f]
    by hiding my iniquity in my heart,
34 because I stood in great fear of the multitude,
    and the contempt of families terrified me,
    so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors—
35 Oh, that I had one to hear me!
    (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!)
    Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary!
36 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder;
    I would bind it on me as a crown;
37 I would give him an account of all my steps;
    like a prince I would approach him.

38 “If my land has cried out against me
    and its furrows have wept together,
39 if I have eaten its yield without payment
    and made its owners breathe their last,
40 let thorns grow instead of wheat,
    and foul weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.

Elihu Rebukes Job’s Three Friends

32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. He burned with anger also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.

And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:

“I am young in years,
    and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
    to declare my opinion to you.
I said, ‘Let days speak,
    and many years teach wisdom.’
But it is the spirit in man,
    the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
It is not the old[g] who are wise,
    nor the aged who understand what is right.
10 Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me;
    let me also declare my opinion.’

11 “Behold, I waited for your words,
    I listened for your wise sayings,
    while you searched out what to say.
12 I gave you my attention,
    and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job
    or who answered his words.
13 Beware lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom;
    God may vanquish him, not a man.’
14 He has not directed his words against me,
    and I will not answer him with your speeches.

15 “They are dismayed; they answer no more;
    they have not a word to say.
16 And shall I wait, because they do not speak,
    because they stand there, and answer no more?
17 I also will answer with my share;
    I also will declare my opinion.
18 For I am full of words;
    the spirit within me constrains me.
19 Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent;
    like new wineskins ready to burst.
20 I must speak, that I may find relief;
    I must open my lips and answer.
21 I will not show partiality to any man
    or use flattery toward any person.
22 For I do not know how to flatter,
    else my Maker would soon take me away.

Ephesians 2:11-22

One in Christ

11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,[a] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by[b] the Spirit.

Psalm 59

Deliver Me from My Enemies

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam[a] of David, when Saul sent men to watch his house in order to kill him.

59 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
    protect me from those who rise up against me;
deliver me from those who work evil,
    and save me from bloodthirsty men.

For behold, they lie in wait for my life;
    fierce men stir up strife against me.
For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord,
    for no fault of mine, they run and make ready.
Awake, come to meet me, and see!
    You, Lord God of hosts, are God of Israel.
Rouse yourself to punish all the nations;
    spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah

Each evening they come back,
    howling like dogs
    and prowling about the city.
There they are, bellowing with their mouths
    with swords in their lips—
    for “Who,” they think,[b] “will hear us?”

But you, O Lord, laugh at them;
    you hold all the nations in derision.
O my Strength, I will watch for you,
    for you, O God, are my fortress.
10 My God in his steadfast love[c] will meet me;
    God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.

11 Kill them not, lest my people forget;
    make them totter[d] by your power and bring them down,
    O Lord, our shield!
12 For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips,
    let them be trapped in their pride.
For the cursing and lies that they utter,
13     consume them in wrath;
    consume them till they are no more,
that they may know that God rules over Jacob
    to the ends of the earth. Selah

14 Each evening they come back,
    howling like dogs
    and prowling about the city.
15 They wander about for food
    and growl if they do not get their fill.

16 But I will sing of your strength;
    I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
    and a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
    for you, O God, are my fortress,
    the God who shows me steadfast love.

Proverbs 22:22-23

22 Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
    or crush the afflicted at the gate,
23 for the Lord will plead their cause
    and rob of life those who rob them.