September 4- Job 35-36, Ephesians 3:14-21, Psalms 61, Proverbs 22:26-27

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Job 35-36

Elihu Condemns Job

35 And Elihu answered and said:

“Do you think this to be just?
    Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’
that you ask, ‘What advantage have I?
    How am I better off than if I had sinned?’
I will answer you
    and your friends with you.
Look at the heavens, and see;
    and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.
If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
    And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give to him?
    Or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself,
    and your righteousness a son of man.

“Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
    they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.[a]
10 But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
    who gives songs in the night,
11 who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth
    and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’
12 There they cry out, but he does not answer,
    because of the pride of evil men.
13 Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
    nor does the Almighty regard it.
14 How much less when you say that you do not see him,
    that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!
15 And now, because his anger does not punish,
    and he does not take much note of transgression,[b]
16 Job opens his mouth in empty talk;
    he multiplies words without knowledge.”

Elihu Extols God’s Greatness

36 And Elihu continued, and said:

“Bear with me a little, and I will show you,
    for I have yet something to say on God’s behalf.
I will get my knowledge from afar
    and ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
For truly my words are not false;
    one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.

“Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any;
    he is mighty in strength of understanding.
He does not keep the wicked alive,
    but gives the afflicted their right.
He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
    but with kings on the throne
    he sets them forever, and they are exalted.
And if they are bound in chains
    and caught in the cords of affliction,
then he declares to them their work
    and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.
10 He opens their ears to instruction
    and commands that they return from iniquity.
11 If they listen and serve him,
    they complete their days in prosperity,
    and their years in pleasantness.
12 But if they do not listen, they perish by the sword
    and die without knowledge.

13 “The godless in heart cherish anger;
    they do not cry for help when he binds them.
14 They die in youth,
    and their life ends among the cult prostitutes.
15 He delivers the afflicted by their affliction
    and opens their ear by adversity.
16 He also allured you out of distress
    into a broad place where there was no cramping,
    and what was set on your table was full of fatness.

17 “But you are full of the judgment on the wicked;
    judgment and justice seize you.
18 Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing,
    and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.
19 Will your cry for help avail to keep you from distress,
    or all the force of your strength?
20 Do not long for the night,
    when peoples vanish in their place.
21 Take care; do not turn to iniquity,
    for this you have chosen rather than affliction.
22 Behold, God is exalted in his power;
    who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has prescribed for him his way,
    or who can say, ‘You have done wrong’?

24 “Remember to extol his work,
    of which men have sung.
25 All mankind has looked on it;
    man beholds it from afar.
26 Behold, God is great, and we know him not;
    the number of his years is unsearchable.
27 For he draws up the drops of water;
    they distill his mist in rain,
28 which the skies pour down
    and drop on mankind abundantly.
29 Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds,
    the thunderings of his pavilion?
30 Behold, he scatters his lightning about him
    and covers the roots of the sea.
31 For by these he judges peoples;
    he gives food in abundance.
32 He covers his hands with the lightning
    and commands it to strike the mark.
33 Its crashing declares his presence;[c]
    the cattle also declare that he rises.

Ephesians 3:14-21

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 61

Lead Me to the Rock

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David.

61 Hear my cry, O God,
    listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
    when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
    that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the enemy.

Let me dwell in your tent forever!
    Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah
For you, O God, have heard my vows;
    you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

Prolong the life of the king;
    may his years endure to all generations!
May he be enthroned forever before God;
    appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!

So will I ever sing praises to your name,
    as I perform my vows day after day.

Proverbs 22:26-27

26 Be not one of those who give pledges,
    who put up security for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
    why should your bed be taken from under you?