Job Says Friends Are Sorry Comforters
16 Then Job answered and said,
“I have heard many such things;
Wearisome and miserable comforters are you all.
“Is there no end to [your futile] words of wind?
Or what plagues you [so much] that you [so boldly] answer [me like this]?
“I also could speak like you,
If you were in my place;
I could compose and join words together against you
And shake my head at you.
“[But instead] I could strengthen and encourage you with [the words of] my mouth,
And the consolation and solace of my lips would soothe your suffering and lessen your anguish.
Job Says God Shattered Him
“If I speak [to you miserable comforters], my pain is not relieved;
And if I refrain [from speaking], what [pain or anguish] leaves me?
“But now God has exhausted me.
You [O Lord] have destroyed all my family and my household.
“You have taken a firm hold on me and have shriveled me up,
It has become a witness [against me];
And my leanness [and infirmity] rises up [as evidence] against me,
It testifies to my face [about my guilt].
“His wrath has torn me and hunted me down,
He has gnashed at me with his teeth;
My adversary sharpens His gaze and glares [with piercing eyes] at me.
“They have gaped at me with their mouths,
With contempt they have struck me on the cheek;
They massed themselves together [and conspired] against me.(A)
“God hands me over to [a]criminals
And tosses me [headlong] into the hands of the wicked.
“I was [living] at ease, but He crushed me and broke me apart,
And He has seized me by the neck and has shaken me to pieces;
He has also set me up as His target.
“His arrows surround me.
He pierces my kidneys (vital organs) without mercy;
He pours out my gall on the ground.
“He attacks me, making wound after wound;
He runs at me like a warrior.
“I have sewed sackcloth over my skin [as a sign of mourning]
And have defiled my horn (symbol of strength) in the dust.
“My face is red and swollen with weeping,
And on my eyelids is the shadow of death [my eyes are dimmed],
Although there is no violence or wrongdoing in my hands,
And my prayer is pure.
“O earth, do not cover my blood,
And let there be no [resting] place for my cry [where it will cease being heard].
“Even now, behold, my Witness is in heaven,
And my Advocate [who vouches and testifies for me] is on high.(B)
“My friends are scoffers [who ridicule];
My eye pours out tears to God.
“Oh, that a man would mediate and plead with God [for me]
Just as a man [mediates and pleads] with his neighbor and friend.(C)
“For when a few years are past,
I shall go the way of no return.
Job Says He Has Become a Byword
17 “My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished,
The grave is ready for me.
“Surely there are mockers and mockery with me,
And my eye gazes on their obstinacy and provocation.
“Give me a pledge (guarantee, promise) with Yourself [acknowledge my innocence before my death];
Who is there that will [b]be my guarantor and give security for me?
“But You [Lord] have closed their hearts to understanding,
Therefore You will not exalt them [by giving a verdict against me].
“He who denounces and informs against his friends for a share of the spoil,
The eyes of his children will also languish and fail.
“But He has made me a byword and mockery among the people,
And I have become one in whose face people spit.
“My eye has grown dim (unexpressive) because of grief,
And all my [body’s] members are [wasted away] like a shadow.
“The upright will be [astonished and] appalled at this,
And the innocent will stir himself up against the godless and polluted.
“Nevertheless the righteous will hold to his ways,
And he who has clean hands will grow stronger and stronger.(D)
“But as for all of you, come back again,
Even though I do not find a wise man among you.
“My days are past, my purposes and plans are frustrated and torn apart;
The wishes of my heart [are broken].
“These [thoughts try to] make the night into the day;
‘The light is near,’ they say in the presence of darkness [but they pervert the truth].
“But if I look to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead) as my home,
If I make my bed in the darkness,
If I call out to the pit (grave), ‘You are my father’;
And to the worm [that feeds on decay], ‘You are my mother and my sister [because I will soon be closest to you],’
Where now is my hope?
And who regards or considers or is even concerned about my hope?
“Will my hope go down with me to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead)?
Shall we go down together in the dust?”
Bildad Speaks of the Wicked
18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said,
“How long will you hunt for words and continue these speeches?
Do some clear thinking and show understanding and then we can talk.
“Why are we regarded as beasts,
As if [we are] stupid (senseless) in your eyes?
“You who tear yourself apart in anger,
Is the earth to be abandoned for your sake,
Or the rock to be moved out of its place?
“Indeed, the light of the wicked will be put out,
And the flame of his fire will not shine.(E)
“The light will be dark in his tent,
And his lamp beside him will be put out.(F)
“The vigorous stride will be shortened,
And his own counsel and the scheme [in which he trusted] will bring his downfall.
“For the wicked is thrown into a net by his own feet (wickedness),
And he steps on the webbing [of the lattice-covered pit].
“A snare catches him by the heel,
And a trap snaps shut on him.
“A noose is hidden for him on the ground,
And a trap for him on the path.
“Terrors frighten him on every side
And chase at his heels.
“The strength [of the wicked] is famished and weakened,
And disaster is ready at his side [if he stops].
“His skin is devoured by disease;
The firstborn of death [the worst of diseases] consumes his limbs.
“He is torn from his tent which he trusted [for safety],
And he is marched and brought to the king of terrors (death).
“Nothing of his dwells in his tent;
Brimstone (burning sulfur) is scattered over his dwelling [to purify it].
“The roots [of the wicked] are dried up below,
And above, his branch is cut off and withers.
“Memory of him perishes from the earth,
And he has no name on the street.
“He is driven and propelled from light into darkness,
And chased from the inhabited world.
“He has no offspring or prosperity among his people,
Nor any survivor where he sojourned.
“Those in the west are astonished and appalled at his fate,
And those in the east are seized with horror.
“Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked and the ungodly,
And such is the place of him who does not know or recognize or honor God.”
Job Feels Insulted
19 Then Job answered and said,
“How long will you torment and exasperate me
And crush me with words?
“These ten times you have insulted me;
You are not ashamed to wrong me [and harden your hearts against me].
“And if it were true that I have erred,
My error would remain with me [and I would be conscious of it].
“If indeed you [braggarts] vaunt and magnify yourselves over me
And prove my disgrace (humiliation) to me,
Know then that God has wronged me and overthrown me
And has closed His net around me.
Everything Is Against Him
“Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not heard;
I shout for help, but there is no justice.
“He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass,
And He has set darkness upon my paths.
“He has stripped me of my honor
And removed the crown from my head.
“He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone;
He has uprooted my hope like a tree.
“He has also kindled His wrath [like a fire] against me
And He considers and counts me as one of His adversaries.
“His troops come together
And build up their way and siege works against me
And camp around my tent.
“He has put my brothers far from me,
And my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.
“My relatives have failed [me],
And my intimate friends have forgotten me.
“Those who live [temporarily] in my house and my maids consider me a stranger;
I am a foreigner in their sight.
“I call to my servant, but he does not answer;
I have to implore him with words.
“My breath is repulsive to my wife,
And I am loathsome to my own brothers.
“Even young children despise me;
When I get up, they speak against me.
“All the men of my council hate me;
Those I love have turned against me.
“My bone clings to my skin and to my flesh,
And I have escaped [death] by the skin of my teeth.
“Have pity on me! Have pity on me, O you my friends,
For the hand of God has touched me.
“Why do you persecute me as God does?
Why are you not satisfied with my flesh (anguish)?
Job Says, “My Redeemer Lives”
“Oh, that the words I now speak were written!
Oh, that they were recorded in a scroll!
“That with an iron stylus and [molten] lead
They were engraved in the rock forever!
“For I know that my Redeemer and Vindicator lives,
And at the last He will take His stand upon the earth.(G)
“Even after my [mortal] skin is destroyed [by death],
Yet from my [immortal] flesh I will see God,
Whom I, even I, will see for myself,
And my eyes will see Him and not another!
My heart faints within me.
“If you say, ‘How shall we [continue to] persecute him?’
And ‘What pretext for a case against him can we find [since we claim the root of these afflictions is found in him]?’
“Then beware and be afraid of the sword [of divine vengeance] for yourselves,
For wrathful are the punishments of that sword,
So that you may know there is judgment.”
1 Corinthians 16
Instructions and Greetings
16 Now concerning the money collected for [the relief of] the saints [in Jerusalem], you are to do the same as I directed the churches of Galatia to do. 2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put something aside, in proportion to his prosperity, and save it so that no collections [will need to] be made when I come. 3 When I arrive, I will send whomever you approve with letters [of authorization] to take your gift [of charity and love] to Jerusalem; 4 and if it is fitting for me to go too, they will accompany me.
5 I will visit you after I go through Macedonia, for I am only passing through Macedonia; 6 but it may be that I will stay with you [for a while], or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way to wherever I may go afterward. 7 For I do not wish to see you right now just in passing, but I hope to remain with you for some time [later on], if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay in Ephesus until [a]Pentecost, 9 because a wide door for effective service has opened to me [in Ephesus, a very promising opportunity], and there are many adversaries.(A)
10 If Timothy comes, see to it that [you put him at ease, so that] he has nothing to fear in regard to you, for he is [devotedly] doing the Lord’s work, just as I am. 11 So allow no one to treat him with disdain [as if he were inconsequential]. But send him off [cordially, and speed him on his way] in peace, so that he may come to me, for I am expecting him [to come along] with the other brothers.
12 As for our brother Apollos, I have strongly encouraged him to visit you with the other brothers. It was not at all his desire to come now, but he will come when he has the opportunity.
13 Be on guard; stand firm in your faith [in God, respecting His precepts and keeping your doctrine sound]. Act like [mature] men and be courageous; be strong.(B) 14 Let everything you do be done in love [motivated and inspired by God’s love for us].
15 Brothers and sisters, you know that those of the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to [b]God’s people—now I urge you 16 to be subject to such leaders [treating them with courtesy and respect], and to everyone who helps in the work and labors [for the benefit of yourselves and the church]. 17 I rejoice because Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus have arrived, for they have made up for your absence. 18 They have refreshed my spirit as well as yours. So fully acknowledge such men and deeply appreciate them.
19 The churches of Asia send you their greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church [that meets] in their house, send you their warm greetings in the Lord. 20 All the believers greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21 This greeting is in my own hand—Paul. 22 If anyone does not love the Lord [does not obey and respect and believe in Jesus Christ and His message], he is to be accursed. Maranatha (O our Lord, come)! 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus [His unmerited favor, His spiritual blessing, His profound mercy] be with you. 24 My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.
God Sustains His Servant.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
40 I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of a horrible pit [of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock, steadying my footsteps and establishing my path.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear [with great reverence]
And will trust confidently in the Lord.(A)
Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who makes the Lord his trust,
And does not regard the proud nor those who lapse into lies.
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonderful works which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of your wonders,
They would be too many to count.
Sacrifice and meal offering You do not desire, nor do You delight in them;
You have opened my ears and given me the capacity to hear [and obey Your word];
Burnt offerings and sin offerings You do not require.(B)
Then I said, “Behold, I come [to the throne];
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
“I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your law is within my heart.”(C)
I have proclaimed good news of righteousness [and the joy that comes from obedience to You] in the great assembly;
Behold, I will not restrain my lips [from proclaiming Your righteousness],
As You know, O Lord.
I have not concealed Your righteousness within my heart;
I have proclaimed Your faithfulness and Your salvation.
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly.(D)
On Life and Conduct
22 A good name [earned by honorable behavior, godly wisdom, moral courage, and personal integrity] is more desirable than great riches;
And favor is better than silver and gold.