Bildad Says God Rewards the Good
8 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said,
“How long will you say these things?
And will the words of your mouth be a mighty wind?
“Does God pervert justice?
Or does [a]the Almighty pervert righteousness?
“If your children have sinned against Him,
Then He has handed them over to the power of their transgression and punished them.
“If you would [diligently] seek God
And implore the compassion and favor of the Almighty,
Then, if you are pure and upright,
Surely now He will awaken for you
And restore your righteous place.
“Though your beginning was insignificant,
Yet your end will greatly increase.
“Inquire, please, of past generations,
And consider and apply yourself to the things searched out by their fathers.
“For we are only of yesterday and know nothing,
Because our days on earth are [like] a shadow [just a breath or a vapor].
“Will they (the fathers) not teach you and tell you,
And utter words from their hearts [the deepest part of their nature]?
“Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh?
Can the rushes or reed grass grow without water?
“While it is still green (in flower) and not cut down,
Yet it withers before any other plant [when without water].
“So are the paths of all who forget God;
And the hope of the godless will perish,
For his confidence is fragile and breaks,
And his trust is [like] a spider’s web.
“He trusts in his house, but it does not stand;
He holds tightly to it, but it does not endure.
“He thrives and prospers [like a green plant] before the sun,
And his branches spread out over his garden.
“His [godless] roots are wrapped around a pile of rocks,
And he gazes at a house of stones.
“If he is snatched from his place [in the garden],
Then his place will forget him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’
“Behold, this is the joy of His way;
And from out of the dust others will spring up and grow [to take his place].
“Behold, God will not reject a man of integrity,
Nor will He strengthen or support evildoers.
“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
And your lips with joyful shouting [if you are found blameless].
“Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
And the tents of the wicked will be no longer.”
Job Says There Is No Arbitrator between God and Man
9 Then Job answered and said,
“Yes, I know it is true.
But how can a mortal man be right before God?
“If one should want to contend or dispute with Him,
He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.
“God is wise in heart and mighty in strength;
Who has [ever] defied or challenged Him and remained unharmed?
“It is God who removes the mountains, and they do not know it,
When He overturns them in His anger;
Who shakes the earth out of its place,
And its pillars tremble;
Who commands the sun, and it does not shine;
Who seals up the stars [from view];
Who alone stretches out the heavens
And tramples down the [b]waves of the sea;
Who made [the constellations] the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades,
And the [vast starry] spaces of the south;
Who does great things, [beyond understanding,] unfathomable,
Yes, marvelous and wondrous things without number.
“Behold, He passes by me, and I do not see Him;
He moves past me, but I do not perceive Him.
“Behold, He snatches away; who can restrain or turn Him back?
Who will say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’
“God will not turn back His anger;
The [proud] helpers of Rahab [the arrogant monster of the sea] bow under Him.
“How can I answer Him [and plead my case],
Choosing my words [to reason] with Him?
For though I were righteous, I could not answer.
I must appeal for mercy to my Opponent and Judge.
“If I called and He answered me,
I could not believe that He was listening to my voice.
“For He bruises me with a tempest
And multiplies my wounds without cause.
“He will not allow me to catch my breath,
But fills and saturates me with bitterness.
“If it is a matter of strength and power, behold, He is mighty!
And if of justice, who can summon and challenge Him?
“Though I am innocent and in the right, my own mouth would pronounce me guilty;
Though I am blameless, He would denounce me as guilty.
“[Though] I am blameless,
I do not care about myself;
I despise my life.
“It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He destroys [both] the blameless and the wicked.’
“When [His] scourge kills suddenly,
He mocks at the despair of the innocent.
“The earth is given into the hands of the wicked;
He covers the faces of its judges [so that they are blind to justice].
If it is not He, then who is it [that is responsible for all this injustice]?
“Now my days are swifter than a runner;
They vanish, they see no good.
“They pass by like the [swift] boats made of reeds,
Like an eagle that swoops down on its prey.
“If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will leave off my sad appearance, and be cheerful and brighten up,’
I am afraid of all my pains and worries [yet to come];
I know that You will not acquit me and leave me unpunished.
“I am accounted wicked and held guilty;
Why then should I labor in vain [to appear innocent]?
“If I were to wash myself with snow
And cleanse my hands with lye,
You would still plunge me into the pit,
And my own clothes would hate me [and refuse to cover my foul body].
“For God is not a [mere] man, as I am, that I may answer Him,
That we may go to court and judgment together.
“There is no arbitrator between us,
Who could lay his hand upon us both [would that there were].(A)
“Let Him take His rod away from me,
And let not the dread and fear of Him terrify me.
“Then I would speak [my defense] and not fear Him;
But I am not like that in myself.
Job Despairs of God’s Dealings
10 “I am disgusted with my life and loathe it!
I will give free expression to my complaint;
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
“I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me [and declare me guilty]!
Show me why You contend and argue and struggle with me.
‘Does it indeed seem right to You to oppress,
To despise and reject the work of Your hands,
And to look with favor on the schemes of the wicked?
‘Do You have eyes of flesh?
Do You see as a man sees?
‘Are Your days as the days of a mortal,
Are Your years as man’s years,
That You seek my guilt
And search for my sin?
‘Although You know that I am not guilty or wicked,
Yet there is no one who can rescue me from Your hand.
‘Your hands have formed and made me altogether.
Would You [turn around and] destroy me?
‘Remember now, that You have made me as clay;
So will You turn me into dust again?
‘Have You not poured me out like milk
And curdled me like cheese?
‘[You have] clothed me with skin and flesh,
And knit me together with bones and sinews.
‘You have granted me life and lovingkindness;
And Your providence (divine care, supervision) has preserved my spirit.
‘Yet these [present evils] You have hidden in Your heart [since my creation]:
I know that this was within You [in Your purpose and thought].
‘If I sin, then You would take note and observe me,
And You would not acquit me of my guilt.
‘If I am wicked, woe to me [for judgment comes]!
And if I am righteous, I dare not lift up my head.
For I am sated and filled with disgrace and the sight of my misery.
‘Should I lift my head up, You would hunt me like a lion;
And again You would show Your marvelous power against me.
‘You renew Your witnesses against me
And increase Your indignation and anger toward me;
Hardship after hardship is with me [attacking me time after time].
‘Why then did You bring me out of the womb?
Would that I had perished and no eye had seen me!
‘I should have been as though I had not existed;
[I should have been] carried from the womb to the grave.’
“Would He not let my few days alone,
Withdraw from me that I may have a little cheer
Before I go—and I shall not return—
To the land of darkness and the deep shadow [of death],
The [sunless] land of utter gloom as darkness itself,
[The land] of the shadow of death, without order,
And [where] it shines as [thick] darkness.”
Zophar Rebukes Job
11 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said,
“Shall a multitude of words not be answered?
And should a talkative man [making such a long-winded defense] be acquitted?
“Should your boasts and babble silence men?
And shall you scoff and no one put you to shame?
“For you have said, ‘My teaching (doctrine) [that God knowingly afflicts the righteous] is pure,
And I am innocent in your eyes.’(B)
“But oh, that God would speak,
And open His lips [to speak] against you,
And [that He would] show you the secrets of wisdom!
For sound wisdom [c]has two sides.
Know therefore that God forgets a part of your wickedness and guilt.
“Can you discover the depths of God?
Can you [by searching] discover the limits of the Almighty [ascend to His heights, extend to His widths, and comprehend His infinite perfection]?
“His wisdom is as high as the heights of heaven. What can you do?
It is deeper than Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead). What can you know?
“It is longer in measure [and scope] than the earth,
And broader than the sea.
“If God passes by or arrests,
Or calls an assembly [of judgment], who can restrain Him?
[If He is against a man, who can call Him to account for it?]
“For He recognizes and knows false and worthless men,
And He sees wickedness, will He not consider it?
“But a hollow (empty-headed) man will become intelligent and wise
[Only] when the [d]colt of a wild donkey is born as a man.
“If you direct your heart [on the right path]
And stretch out your hands to Him,
If sin is in your hand, put it far away [from you],
And do not let wrongdoing dwell in your tents;
Then, indeed, you could lift up your face [to Him] without moral defect,
And you would be firmly established and secure and not fear.
“For you would forget your trouble;
You would remember it as waters that have passed by.
“And your [e]life would be brighter than the noonday;
Darkness [then] would be like the morning.
“Then you would trust [with confidence], because there is hope;
You would look around you and rest securely.
“You would lie down with no one to frighten you,
And many would entreat and seek your favor.
“But the eyes of the wicked will fail,
And they will not escape [the justice of God];
And their hope is to breathe their last [and die].”
1 Corinthians 15:1-28
The Fact of Christ’s Resurrection
15 Now brothers and sisters, let me remind you [once again] of the good news [of salvation] which I preached to you, which you welcomed and accepted and on which you stand [by faith]. 2 By this faith you are saved [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose], if you hold firmly to the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain [just superficially and without complete commitment].
3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold],(A) 4 and that He was buried, and that He was [bodily] raised on the third day according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold],(B) 5 and that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the [a]Twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, the majority of whom are still alive, but some have fallen asleep [in death]. 7 Then He was seen by James, then by all the apostles, 8 and last of all, as to one [b]untimely (prematurely, traumatically) born, He appeared to me also.(C) 9 For I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I [at one time] fiercely oppressed and violently persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the [remarkable] grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not without effect. In fact, I worked harder than all of the apostles, though it was not I, but the grace of God [His unmerited favor and blessing which was] with me. 11 So whether it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed and trusted in and relied on with confidence.
12 Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how is it that [c]some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain [useless, amounting to nothing], and your faith is also vain [imaginary, unfounded, devoid of value and benefit—not based on truth]. 15 We are even discovered to be false witnesses [misrepresenting] God, because we testified concerning Him that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised, either; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and powerless [mere delusion]; you are still in your sins [and under the control and penalty of sin]. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hoped only in this life [and this is all there is], then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied.
The Order of Resurrection
20 But now [as things really are] Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, [and He became] the first fruits [that is, the first to be resurrected with an incorruptible, immortal body, foreshadowing the resurrection] of those who have fallen asleep [in death].(D) 21 For since [it was] by a man that death came [into the world], it is also by a Man that the resurrection of the dead has come. 22 For just as [d]in Adam all die, so also [e]in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s [own will be resurrected with incorruptible, immortal bodies] at His coming. 24 After that comes the end (completion), when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after He has made inoperative and abolished every ruler and every authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign [as King] until He has put all His enemies under His feet.(E) 26 The last enemy to be abolished and put to an end is death. 27 For He (the Father) has put all things in subjection under His (Christ’s) feet. But when He says, “All things have been put in subjection [under Christ],” it is clear that He (the Father) who put all things in subjection to Him (Christ) is excepted [since the Father is not in subjection to His own Son].(F) 28 However, when all things are subjected to Him (Christ), then the Son Himself will also be subjected to the One (the Father) who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all [manifesting His glory without any opposition, the supreme indwelling and controlling factor of life].
- 1 Corinthians 15:5 A title referring to the original disciples chosen by Jesus (including Judas). A few hours after betraying Jesus, Judas committed suicide (Matt 27:5) leaving only the eleven (Matt 28:16; Mark 16:14; Luke 24:9, 33).
- 1 Corinthians 15:8 Paul’s life-changing encounter with the resurrected Christ occurred on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).
- 1 Corinthians 15:12 Perhaps these were converted Sadducees, who as a sect denied the possibility of a resurrection (Acts 23:8).
- 1 Corinthians 15:22 Because of our physical nature as descendants of Adam.
- 1 Corinthians 15:22 Because of our spiritual nature as born-again believers in Christ.
Prayer in Time of Discipline.
A Psalm of David; to bring to remembrance.
38 O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath,
Nor discipline me in Your burning anger.
For Your arrows have sunk into me and penetrate deeply,
And Your hand has pressed down on me and greatly disciplined me.
There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your indignation;
There is no health in my bones because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head [like the waves of a flood];
As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.
My wounds are loathsome and foul
Because of my foolishness.
I am bent over and greatly bowed down;
I go about mourning all day long.
For my sides are filled with burning,
And there is no health in my flesh.
I am numb and greatly bruised [deadly cold and completely worn out];
I groan because of the disquiet and moaning of my heart.
Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.
My heart throbs violently, my strength fails me;
And as for the light of my eyes, even that has also gone from me.
My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague;
And my neighbors stand far away.(A)
Those who seek my life lay snares for me,
And those who seek to injure me threaten mischievous things and destruction;
They devise treachery all the day long.
But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
I am like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
Yes, I am like a man who does not hear,
In whose mouth are no arguments.
For in You, O Lord, I hope;
You will answer, O Lord my God.
For I pray, “May they not rejoice over me,
Who, when my foot slips, would boast against me.”
For I am ready to fall;
My sorrow is continually before me.
For I do confess my guilt and iniquity;
I am filled with anxiety because of my sin.(B)
But my [numerous] enemies are vigorous and strong,
And those who hate me without cause are many.
They repay evil for good, they attack and try to kill me,
Because I follow what is good.
Do not abandon me, O Lord;
O my God, do not be far from me.
Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my Salvation.
A false witness will perish,
But a man who listens to the truth will speak forever and go unchallenged.
A wicked man puts on a bold face,
But as for the upright, he considers, directs, and establishes his way [with the confidence of integrity].