The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Tuesday August 21, 2018 (NIV)

Job 1-3

Job and His Family

Many years ago, a man named Job lived in the land of Uz.[a] He was a truly good person, who respected God and refused to do evil.

Job had seven sons and three daughters. He owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred pair of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and a large number of servants. He was the richest person in the East.

Job’s sons took turns having feasts in their homes, and they always invited their three sisters to join in the eating and drinking. After each feast, Job would send for his children and perform a ceremony, as a way of asking God to forgive them of any wrongs they may have done. He would get up early the next morning and offer a sacrifice for each of them, just in case they had sinned or silently cursed God.

Angels, the Lord, and Satan

One day, when the angels[b] had gathered around the Lord, and Satan[c] was there with them, the Lord asked, “Satan, where have you been?”

Satan replied, “I have been going all over the earth.”

Then the Lord asked, “What do you think of my servant Job? No one on earth is like him—he is a truly good person, who respects me and refuses to do evil.”

“Why shouldn’t he respect you?” Satan remarked. 10 “You are like a wall protecting not only him, but his entire family and all his property. You make him successful in whatever he does, and his flocks and herds are everywhere. 11 Try taking away everything he owns, and he will curse you to your face.”

12 The Lord replied, “All right, Satan, do what you want with anything that belongs to him, but don’t harm Job.”

Then Satan left.

Job Loses Everything

13 Job’s sons and daughters were having a feast in the home of his oldest son, 14 when someone rushed up to Job and said, “While your servants were plowing with your oxen, and your donkeys were nearby eating grass, 15 a gang of Sabeans[d] attacked and stole the oxen and donkeys! Your other servants were killed, and I was the only one who escaped to tell you.”

16 That servant was still speaking, when a second one came running up and saying, “God sent down a fire that killed your sheep and your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

17 Before that servant finished speaking, a third one raced up and said, “Three gangs of Chaldeans[e] attacked and stole your camels! All of your other servants were killed, and I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

18 That servant was still speaking, when a fourth one dashed up and said, “Your children were having a feast and drinking wine at the home of your oldest son, 19 when suddenly a windstorm from the desert blew the house down, crushing all of your children. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

20 When Job heard this, he tore his clothes and shaved his head because of his great sorrow. He knelt on the ground, then worshiped God 21 and said:

“We bring nothing at birth;
we take nothing
with us at death.
The Lord alone gives and takes.
Praise the name of the Lord!”

22 In spite of everything, Job did not sin or accuse God of doing wrong.

Job Loses His Health

When the angels[f] gathered around the Lord again, Satan[g] was there with them, and the Lord asked, “Satan, where have you been?”

Satan replied, “I have been going all over the earth.”

Then the Lord asked, “What do you think of my servant Job? No one on earth is like him—he is a truly good person, who respects me and refuses to do evil. And he hasn’t changed, even though you persuaded me to destroy him for no reason.”

Satan answered, “There’s no pain like your own.[h] People will do anything to stay alive. Try striking Job’s own body with pain, and he will curse you to your face.”

“All right!” the Lord replied. “Make Job suffer as much as you want, but just don’t kill him.” Satan left and caused painful sores to break out all over Job’s body—from head to toe.

Then Job sat on the ash-heap to show his sorrow. And while he was scraping his sores with a broken piece of pottery, his wife asked, “Why do you still trust God? Why don’t you curse him and die?”

10 Job replied, “Don’t talk like a fool! If we accept blessings from God, we must accept trouble as well.” In all that happened, Job never once said anything against God.

Job’s Three Friends

11 Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuah, and Zophar from Naamah[i] were three of Job’s friends, and they heard about his troubles. So they agreed to visit Job and comfort him. 12 When they came near enough to see Job, they could hardly recognize him. And in their great sorrow, they tore their clothes, then sprinkled dust on their heads and cried bitterly. 13 For seven days and nights, they sat silently on the ground beside him, because they realized what terrible pain he was in.

Job’s First Speech

Blot Out the Day of My Birth

Finally, Job cursed the day
of his birth
by saying to God:
Blot out the day of my birth
and the night when my parents
created a son.
Forget about that day,
cover it with darkness,
and send thick, gloomy shadows
to fill it with dread.
Erase that night from the calendar
and conceal it with darkness.
Don’t let children be created
or joyful shouts be heard
ever again in that night.
Let those with magic powers[j]
place a curse on that day.
Darken its morning stars
and remove all hope of light,
10 because it let me be born
into a world of trouble.

Why Didn’t I Die at Birth?

11 Why didn’t I die at birth?
12 Why was I accepted[k]
and allowed to nurse
at my mother’s breast?
13 Now I would be at peace
in the silent world below
14 with kings and their advisors
whose palaces lie in ruins,
15 and with rulers once rich
with silver and gold.
16 I wish I had been born dead
and then buried,
never to see
the light of day.
17 In the world of the dead,
the wicked and the weary rest
without a worry.
18 Everyone is there—
19 where captives and slaves
are free at last.

Why Does God Let Me Live?

20 Why does God let me live
when life is miserable
and so bitter?
21 I keep longing for death
more than I would seek
a valuable treasure.
22 Nothing could make me happier
than to be in the grave.
23 Why do I go on living
when God has me surrounded,
and I can’t see the road?
24 Moaning and groaning
are my food and drink,
25 and my worst fears
have all come true.
26 I have no peace or rest—
only troubles and worries.


  1. 1.1 Uz: The exact location of this place is unknown, though it was possibly somewhere in northwest Arabia.
  2. 1.6 angels: See the note at 15.8.
  3. 1.6 Satan: Hebrew “the accuser.”
  4. 1.15 Sabeans: Perhaps the people of Sheba in what is now southwest Arabia (see Isaiah 60.6).
  5. 1.17 Chaldeans: People from the region of Babylonia, northeast of Palestine.
  6. 2.1 angels: See the note at 15.8.
  7. 2.1 Satan: See the note at 1.6.
  8. 2.4 There’s no pain like your own: The Hebrew text has “Skin for skin,” which was probably a popular saying.
  9. 2.11 Teman. . . Shuah. . . Naamah: Teman was a place in northern Edom; Shuah may have been a town on the Euphrates River or else further south, near the towns of Dedan and Sheba; Naamah may have been located on the road between Beirut and Damascus, though its exact location is unknown.
  10. 3.8 those with magic powers: The Hebrew text has “those who can place a curse on the day and rouse up Leviathan,” which was some kind of sea monster. God’s victory over this monster sometimes stood for God’s power over all creation and sometimes for his defeat of his enemies (see Isaiah 27.1). In Job 41.1, Leviathan is either a sea monster or a crocodile with almost supernatural powers.
  11. 3.12 Why was I accepted: The Hebrew text has “Why were there knees to receive me,” which may refer either to Job’s mother or to his father, who would have placed Job on his knees to show that he had accepted him as his child.

1 Corinthians 14:1-17

Speaking Unknown Languages and Prophesying

14 Love should be your guide. Be eager to have the gifts that come from the Holy Spirit, especially the gift of prophecy. If you speak languages that others don’t know, God will understand what you are saying, though no one else will know what you mean. You will be talking about mysteries that only the Spirit understands. But when you prophesy, you will be understood, and others will be helped. They will be encouraged and made to feel better.

By speaking languages that others don’t know, you help only yourself. But by prophesying you help everyone in the church. I am glad for you to speak unknown languages, although I had rather for you to prophesy. In fact, prophesying does much more good than speaking unknown languages, unless someone can help the church by explaining what you mean.

My friends, what good would it do, if I came and spoke unknown languages to you and didn’t explain what I meant? How would I help you, unless I told you what God had shown me or gave you some knowledge or prophecy or teaching? If all musical instruments sounded alike, how would you know the difference between a flute and a harp? If a bugle call isn’t clear, how would you know to get ready for battle?

That’s how it is when you speak unknown languages. If no one can understand what you are talking about, you will only be talking to the wind. 10 There are many different languages in this world, and all of them make sense. 11 But if I don’t understand the language that someone is using, we will be like foreigners to each other. 12 If you really want spiritual gifts, choose the ones that will be most helpful to the church.

13 When we speak languages that others don’t know, we should pray for the power to explain what we mean. 14 For example, if I use an unknown language in my prayers, my spirit prays but my mind is useless. 15 Then what should I do? There are times when I should pray with my spirit, and times when I should pray with my mind. Sometimes I should sing with my spirit, and at other times I should sing with my mind.

16 Suppose some strangers are in your worship service, when you are praising God with your spirit. If they don’t understand you, how will they know to say, “Amen”? 17 You may be worshiping God in a wonderful way, but no one else will be helped.

Psalm 37:12-29

12 Merciless people make plots
against good people
and snarl like animals,
13 but the Lord laughs and knows
their time is coming soon.
14 The wicked kill with swords
and shoot arrows
to murder
the poor and the needy
and all who do right.
15 But they will be killed
by their own swords,
and their arrows
will be broken.

16 It is better to live right
and be poor
than to be sinful and rich.
17 The wicked will lose all
of their power,
but the Lord gives strength
to everyone who is good.

18 Those who obey the Lord
are daily in his care,
and what he has given them
will be theirs forever.
19 They won’t be in trouble
when times are bad,
and they will have plenty
when food is scarce.

20 Wicked people are enemies
of the Lord
and will vanish like smoke
from a field on fire.

21 An evil person borrows
and never pays back;
a good person is generous
and never stops giving.
22 Everyone the Lord blesses
will receive the land;
everyone the Lord curses
will be destroyed.

23 If you do what the Lord wants,
he will make certain
each step you take is sure.
24 The Lord will hold your hand,
and if you stumble,
you still won’t fall.

25 As long as I can remember,
good people have never
been left helpless,
and their children have never
gone begging for food.
26 They gladly give and lend,
and their children
turn out good.

27 If you stop sinning
and start doing right,
you will keep living
and be secure forever.
28 The Lord loves justice,
and he won’t ever desert
his faithful people.
He always protects them,
but destroys the children
of the wicked.
29 God’s people will own the land
and live here forever.

Proverbs 21:25-26

25 If you want too much
and are too lazy to work,
it could be fatal.
26 But people who obey God
are always generous.