Job Wonders What Sin He May Have Committed
“I have made an agreement with my eyes.
Then how can I look with lust at a virgin?
2 What would God above do to me?
What would be my inheritance from the Almighty on high?
3 Aren’t there catastrophes for wicked people
and disasters for those who do wrong?
4 Doesn’t he see my ways
and count all my steps?
5 “If I have walked with lies
or my feet have run after deception,
6 then let God weigh me on honest scales,
and he will know I have integrity.
7 “If my steps have left the proper path,
or my heart has followed the desire of my eyes,
or my hands are stained with sin,
8 then let someone else eat what I have planted,
and let my crops be uprooted.
9 “If I have been seduced by a woman
or I have secretly waited near my neighbor’s door,
10 then let my wife grind for another man,
and let other men kneel over her.
11 That would be a scandal,
and that would be a criminal offense.
12 It would be a fire that burns even in Abaddon.
It would uproot my entire harvest.
13 “If I have abused the rights of my servants, male or female,
when they have disagreed with me,
14 then what could I do if God rises up?
If he examines me, how could I answer him?
15 Didn’t he who made me in my mother’s belly make them?
Didn’t the same God form us in the womb?
16 “If I have refused the requests of the poor
or made a widow’s eyes stop looking for help,
17 or have eaten my food alone
without letting the orphan eat any of it. . . .
18 (From my youth the orphan grew up with me
as though I were his father,
and from my birth I treated the widow kindly.)
19 If I have seen anyone die because he had no clothes
or a poor person going naked. . . .
20 (If his body didn’t bless me,
or the wool from my sheep didn’t keep him warm. . . .)
21 If I have shaken my fist at an orphan
because I knew that others would back me up in court,
22 then let my shoulder fall out of its socket,
and let my arm be broken at the elbow.
23 “A disaster from God terrifies me.
In the presence of his majesty I can do nothing.
24 “If I put my confidence in gold
or said to fine gold, ‘I trust you’. . . .
25 If I enjoyed being very rich
because my hand had found great wealth. . . .
26 If I saw the light shine
or the moon move along in its splendor
27 so that my heart was secretly tempted,
and I threw them a kiss with my hand,
28 then that, too, would be a criminal offense,
and I would have denied God above.
29 “If I enjoyed the ruin of my enemy
or celebrated when harm came to him
30 (even though I didn’t speak sinfully
by calling down a curse on his life). . . .
31 “If the people who were in my tent had said,
‘We wish we had never filled our stomachs with his food’. . . .
32 (The visitor never spent the night outside,
because I opened my door to the traveler.)
33 “If I have covered my disobedience like Adam
and kept my sin to myself,
34 because I dreaded the large, noisy crowd
and because the contempt of the local mobs terrified me
so that I kept quiet and didn’t go outside. . . .
35 “If only I had someone who would listen to me!
Look, here is my signature!
Let the Almighty answer me.
Let the prosecutor write his complaint on a scroll.
36 I would certainly carry it on my shoulder
and place it on my head like a crown.
37 I would tell him the number of my steps
and approach him like a prince.
38 “If my land has cried out against me,
and its furrows have wept. . . .
39 If I have eaten its produce without paying for it
and made its owners breathe their last,
40 then let it grow thistles instead of wheat,
and foul-smelling weeds instead of barley.”
This is the end of Job’s words.
Elihu Decides to Speak to Job
32 These three men stopped answering Job because Job thought he was righteous. 2 Then Elihu, son of Barachel, a descendant of Buz from the family of Ram, became very angry with Job because Job thought he was more righteous than God. 3 Elihu was also very angry with Job’s three friends because they had found no answer. They made it look as if God[a] were wrong. 4 Elihu waited as they spoke to Job because they were older than he was. 5 When Elihu saw that the three men had no further responses, he became very angry.
Elihu Speaks: The Reason for Elihu’s Discourse
6 So Elihu, son of Barachel, the descendant of Buz, replied to Job,
“I am young, and you are old.
That’s why I refrained from speaking
and was afraid to tell you what I know.
7 I thought, ‘Age should speak,
and experience should teach wisdom.’
8 However, there is in humans a Spirit,
the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
9 People do not become wise merely because they live long.
They don’t understand what justice is merely because they’re old.
10 “That is why I say, ‘Listen to me!
Let me tell you what I know.’
11 I waited for you to speak.
I listened for you to share your understanding
until you could find the right words.
12 I’ve paid close attention to you,
but none of you refuted Job.
None of you has an answer to what he says.
13 So don’t say, ‘We’ve found wisdom.
Let God, not humans, defeat him.’
14 Job did not choose his words to refute me,
so I won’t answer him with your speeches.
15 “Job’s friends have been overwhelmed and don’t have any more answers.
They don’t have another word to say.
16 Should I wait because they don’t speak,
because they stand there and don’t have any more answers?
17 “I’ll give my answer.
I’ll tell you what I know.
18 I’m full of words.
The Spirit within me forces me to speak.
19 My belly is like a bottle of wine that has not been opened,
like new wineskins that are ready to burst.
20 I must speak to get relief.
I must open my mouth and answer.
21 I won’t be partial toward anyone
or flatter anyone.
22 I don’t know how to flatter.
If I did, my maker would soon carry me away.
Elihu Continues: Listen, Job
“Please, Job, listen to my words
and consider everything I say.
2 I’ve opened my mouth.
The words are on the tip of my tongue.
3 My words are straight from the heart,
and I sincerely speak the knowledge that is on my lips.
4 “God’s Spirit has made me.
The breath of the Almighty gives me life.
5 Answer me if you can.
Present your case to me, and take your stand.
6 Indeed, I stand in front of God as you do.
I, too, was formed from a piece of clay.
7 You certainly don’t need to be terrified of me.
I won’t put too much pressure on you.
God Doesn’t Have to Answer You, Job
8 “But you spoke directly to me,
and I listened to your words.
9 You said, ‘I’m pure—without any rebellious acts against God.
I’m clean; I have no sin.
10 God is only looking for an excuse to attack me.
He considers me his enemy.
11 He puts my feet in the stocks and watches all my paths.’
12 You aren’t right about this!
I’ve got an answer for you:
God is greater than any mortal.
13 Why do you quarrel with him
since he doesn’t answer any questions?
Two Ways God Warns People
14 “God speaks in one way,
even in two ways without people noticing it:
15 In a dream, a prophetic vision at night,
when people fall into a deep sleep,
when they sleep on their beds,
16 he opens people’s ears
and terrifies them with warnings.
17 He warns them to turn away from doing wrong
and to stop being arrogant.[b]
18 He keeps their souls from the pit
and their lives from crossing the River of Death.
19 In pain on their sickbeds, they are disciplined
with endless aching in their bones
20 so that their whole being hates food
and they lose their appetite for a delicious meal.
21 Their flesh becomes so thin that it can’t be seen.
Their bones, not seen before, will be exposed.
22 Their souls approach the pit.
Their lives come close to those already dead.
A Third Way God Warns People
23 “If they have a messenger for them,
a spokesman, one in a thousand,
to tell people what is right for them,
24 then he will have pity on them and say,
‘Free them from going into the pit.
I have found a ransom.’
25 Then their flesh will become softer than a child’s.
They will go back to the days of their youth.
26 They will pray to God, who will be pleased with them.
They will see God’s face and shout for joy
as he restores their righteousness.[c]
27 Each one sings in front of other people and says,
‘I sinned and did wrong instead of what was right,
and it did me no good.
28 The messenger has freed my soul from going into the pit,
and my life will see the light.’
29 Truly, God does all this two or three times with people
30 to turn their souls away from the pit
and to enlighten them with the light of life.
Pay Attention, Job
31 “Pay attention, Job! Listen to me!
Keep quiet, and let me speak.
32 If you have a response, answer me.
Speak, because I’d be happy if you were right.
33 If not, you listen to me.
Keep quiet, and I’ll teach you wisdom.”
2 Corinthians 3
The Ministry That Comes from Christ Is Greater Than Moses’ Ministry
3 Do we have to show you our qualifications again? Do we, like some people, need letters that recommend us to you or letters from you that recommend us to others? 2 You’re our letter of recommendation written in our hearts that everyone knows and reads. 3 It’s clear that you are Christ’s letter, written as a result of our ministry. You are a letter written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, a letter written not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4 Christ gives us confidence about you in God’s presence. 5 By ourselves we are not qualified in any way to claim that we can do anything. Rather, God makes us qualified. 6 He has also qualified us to be ministers of a new promise,[a] a spiritual promise, not a written one. Clearly, what was written brings death, but the Spirit brings life.
7 The ministry that brought death was inscribed on stone. Yet, it came with such glory that the people of Israel couldn’t look at Moses’ face. His face was shining with glory, even though that glory was fading. 8 Won’t the ministry that brings the Spirit have even more glory? 9 If the ministry that brings punishment has glory, then the ministry that brings God’s approval has an overwhelming glory. 10 In fact, the ministry that brings punishment lost its glory because of the superior glory of the other ministry. 11 If that former ministry faded away despite its glory, how much more does that ministry which remains continue to be glorious?
12 Since we have confidence in the new promise, we speak very boldly. 13 We are not like Moses. He kept covering his face with a veil. He didn’t want the people of Israel to see the glory fading away. 14 However, their minds became closed. In fact, to this day the same veil is still there when they read the Old Testament. It isn’t removed, because only Christ can remove it. 15 Yet, even today, when they read the books of Moses, a veil covers their minds. 16 But whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17 This Lord is the Spirit. Wherever the Lord’s Spirit is, there is freedom. 18 As all of us reflect the Lord’s glory with faces that are not covered with veils, we are being changed into his image with ever-increasing glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
- 2 Corinthians 3:6 Or “covenant.”
1 Judge me, O God,
and plead my case against an ungodly nation.
Rescue me from deceitful and unjust people.
2 You are my fortress, O God!
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I walk around in mourning
while the enemy oppresses me?
3 Send your light and your truth.
Let them guide me.
Let them bring me to your holy mountain
and to your dwelling place.
4 Then let me go to the altar of God, to God my highest joy,
and I will give thanks to you on the lyre, O God, my God.
5 Why are you discouraged, my soul?
Why are you so restless?
Put your hope in God,
because I will still praise him.
He is my savior and my God.
8 Whoever plants injustice will harvest trouble,
and this weapon of his own fury will be destroyed.
9 Whoever is generous will be blessed
because he has shared his food with the poor.