Elihu Continues: Listen, Everyone
Elihu continued to speak to Job and his friends,
2 “Listen to my words, you wise men.
Open your ears to me, you intelligent men.
3 The ear tests words
like the tongue tastes food.
4 Let’s decide for ourselves what is right
and agree among ourselves as to what is good,
5 because Job has said,
‘I’m righteous, but God has taken away my rights.
6 I’m considered a liar in spite of my rights.
I’ve been wounded by a deadly arrow,
though I haven’t been disobedient.’
7 What person is like Job,
who drinks scorn like water,
8 who travels with troublemakers
and associates with evil people?
9 He says, ‘It doesn’t do any good to try to please God.’
10 “You people who have understanding, listen to me.
It is unthinkable that God would ever do evil
or that the Almighty would ever do wicked things.
11 God will repay humanity for what it has done
and will give each person what he deserves.
12 Certainly, God will never do anything evil,
and the Almighty will never pervert justice.
13 Who put him in charge of the earth?
Who appointed him to be over the whole world?
14 If he thought only of himself
and withdrew his Spirit and his breath,
15 all living beings would die together,
and humanity would return to dust.
God Is Fair
16 “If you understand, listen to this.
Open your ears to my words!
17 Should anyone who hates justice be allowed to govern?
Will you condemn the one who is righteous and mighty?
18 Should anyone even say to a king,
‘You good-for-nothing scoundrel!’
or to nobles, ‘You wicked people!’
19 The one who is righteous and mighty
does not grant special favors to princes
or prefer important people over poor people
because his hands made them all.
20 They die suddenly in the middle of the night.
People have seizures and pass away.
Mighty people are taken away but not by human hands.
21 God’s eyes are on a person’s ways.
He sees all his steps.
22 There’s no darkness or deep shadow
where troublemakers can hide.
23 He doesn’t have to set a time for a person
in order to bring him to divine judgment.
24 He breaks mighty people into pieces without examining them
and puts others in their places.
25 He knows what they do,
so he overthrows them at night, and they’re crushed.
26 In return for their evil, he strikes them in public,
27 because they turned away from following him
and didn’t consider any of his ways.
28 They forced the poor to cry out to him,
and he hears the cry of those who suffer.
29 If he keeps quiet, who can condemn him?
If he hides his face, who can see him
whether it is a nation or a single person?
30 He does this so that godless people cannot rule
and so that they cannot trap people.
31 “But suppose such a person says to God, ‘I am guilty,
I will stop my immoral behavior.
32 Teach me what I cannot see.
If I’ve done wrong, I won’t do it again.’
33 Should God reward you on your own terms since you have rejected his?
You must choose, not I.
Tell me what you know. Speak!
Elihu Makes an Appeal to God
34 “People of understanding, the wise people
who listen to me, will say,
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge.
His words show no insight.’
36 “My Father, let Job be thoroughly tested
for giving answers like wicked people do.
37 He adds disobedience to his sin.
He claps his hands to insult us.
He multiplies his words against God.”
Elihu Continues: I Will Answer You and Your Friends, Job
Elihu continued to speak to Job and his friends,
2 “Do you think this is right
when you say, ‘My case is more just than God’s,’
3 when you ask, ‘What benefit is it to you?’
and, ‘What would I gain by sinning?’
4 I will answer you and your friends.
Human Behavior Cannot Change God
5 “Look at the heavens and see.
Observe the clouds high above you.
6 If you’ve sinned, what effect can you have on God?
If you’ve done many wrongs, what can you do to him?
7 If you’re righteous, what can you give him,
or what can he get from you?
8 Your wickedness affects only someone like yourself.
Your righteousness affects only the descendants of Adam.
9 The weight of oppression makes them cry out.
The power of mighty people makes them call for help.
10 But no one asks,
‘Where is God, my Creator,
who inspires songs in the night,
11 who teaches us more than he teaches the animals of the earth,
who makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?’
12 Then they cry out, but he doesn’t answer them
because of the arrogance of those evil people.
13 “Surely, God doesn’t listen to idle complaints.
The Almighty doesn’t even pay attention to them.
14 Although you say that you pay attention to him,
your case is in front of him, but you’ll have to wait for him.
15 And now you say that his anger doesn’t punish anyone
and he isn’t too concerned about evil.[a]
16 Job opens his mouth for no good reason
and talks a lot without having any knowledge.”
Elihu Continues: Hear Me Out
Elihu continued to speak to Job,
2 “Be patient with me a little longer, and I will show you
that there is more to be said in God’s defense.
3 I will get my knowledge from far away
and prove that my Creator is fair.
4 Certainly, my words are not lies.
The one who knows everything is speaking with you.
God’s Justice Is Beyond Human Understanding
5 “Certainly, God is mighty.
He doesn’t despise anyone.
He is mighty and brave.
6 He doesn’t allow the wicked person to live.
He grants justice to those who are oppressed.
7 He doesn’t take his eyes off righteous people.
He seats them on thrones with kings to honor them forever.
8 However, if righteous people are bound in chains
and tangled in ropes of misery,
9 he tells them what they’ve done wrong
and that they’ve behaved arrogantly.
10 He makes them listen to his warning
and orders them to turn away from wrong.
11 “If righteous people listen and serve him,
they will live out their days in prosperity
and their years in comfort.
12 But if they don’t listen,
they will cross the River of Death
and die like those who have no knowledge.
13 But those who have godless hearts remain angry.
They don’t even call for help when he chains them up.
14 They die while they’re young,
or they live on as male prostitutes in the temples of idols.
15 He rescues suffering people through their suffering,
and he opens their ears through distress.
16 “Yes, he lured you away from the jaws of trouble
into an open area where you were not restrained,
and your table was covered with rich foods.
17 But you are given the judgment evil people deserve.
A fair judgment will be upheld.
18 Be careful that you are not led astray with riches.
Don’t let a large bribe turn you to evil ways.
19 Will your riches save you from having to suffer?
Will all your mighty strength help you?
20 Don’t look forward to the night,
when people disappear from their places.
21 Be careful! Don’t turn to evil,
because you have chosen evil instead of suffering.[b]
22 “God does great things by his power.
Is there any teacher like him?
23 Who can tell him which way he should go?
Who can say to him, ‘You did wrong’?
24 Remember that you should praise his work.
People have sung about it.
25 Every person has seen it.
Mortals have looked at it from a distance.
26 “Certainly, God is so great
that he is beyond our understanding.
The number of his years cannot be counted.
27 He collects drops of water.
He distills rain from his mist,
28 which then drips from the clouds.
It pours down on many people.
29 Can anyone really understand how clouds spread out
or how he thunders from his dwelling place?
30 Look, he scatters his flashes of lightning around him
and covers the depths of the sea.
31 This is how he uses the rains to provide for people
and to give them more than enough food.
32 He fills his hands with lightning
and orders it to hit the target.
33 The thunder announces his coming.
The storm announces his angry wrath.
2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Paul Is Never Discouraged
4 We don’t become discouraged, since God has given us this ministry through his mercy. 2 Instead, we have refused to use secret and shameful ways. We don’t use tricks, and we don’t distort God’s word. As God watches, we clearly reveal the truth to everyone. This is our letter of recommendation.
3 So if the Good News that we tell others is covered with a veil, it is hidden from those who are dying. 4 The god of this world has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. As a result, they don’t see the light of the Good News about Christ’s glory. It is Christ who is God’s image.
5 Our message is not about ourselves. It is about Jesus Christ as the Lord. We are your servants for his sake. 6 We are his servants because the same God who said that light should shine out of darkness has given us light. For that reason we bring to light the knowledge about God’s glory which shines from Christ’s face.
7 Our bodies are made of clay, yet we have the treasure of the Good News in them. This shows that the superior power of this treasure belongs to God and doesn’t come from us. 8 In every way we’re troubled, but we aren’t crushed by our troubles. We’re frustrated, but we don’t give up. 9 We’re persecuted, but we’re not abandoned. We’re captured, but we’re not killed. 10 We always carry around the death of Jesus in our bodies so that the life of Jesus is also shown in our bodies. 11 While we are alive, we are constantly handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus is also shown in our mortal nature. 12 Death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
For the choir director; a maskil by Korah’s descendants.
1 O God,
we have heard it with our own ears.
Our ancestors have told us
about the miracle you performed in their day,
in days long ago.
2 By your power you forced nations out of the land,
but you planted our ancestors there.
You shattered many groups of people,
but you set our ancestors free.[a]
3 It was not with their swords that they took possession of the land.
They did not gain victory with their own strength.
It was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your presence that did it,
because you were pleased with them.
4 You alone are my king, O God.
You won those victories for Jacob.
5 With you we can walk over our enemies.
With your name we can trample those who attack us.
6 I do not rely on my bow,
and my sword will never save me.
7 But you saved us from our enemies.
You put to shame those who hate us.
8 All day long we praise our God.
We give thanks to you forever. Selah
- Psalm 44:2 Or “and you sent them away.”
10 Drive out a mocker, and conflict will leave.
Quarreling and abuse will stop.
11 Whoever loves a pure heart and whoever speaks graciously
has a king as his friend.
12 The Lord’s eyes watch over knowledge,
but he overturns the words of a treacherous person.