August 25: Job 17–19; 1 Thessalonians 2:17–3:13; Psalm 51; Proverbs 22:7


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Job 17–19

Job Continues: Where Then Is My Hope?

17   “My spirit is broken; my days are extinct;
    the graveyard is ready for me.
  Surely there are mockers about me,
    and my eye dwells on their provocation.

  “Lay down a pledge for me with you;
    who is there who will put up security for me?
  Since you have closed their hearts to understanding,
    therefore you will not let them triumph.
  He who informs against his friends to get a share of their property—
    the eyes of his children will fail.

  “He has made me a byword of the peoples,
    and I am one before whom men spit.
  My eye has grown dim from vexation,
    and all my members are like a shadow.
  The upright are appalled at this,
    and the innocent stirs himself up against the godless.
  Yet the righteous holds to his way,
    and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.
10   But you, come on again, all of you,
    and I shall not find a wise man among you.
11   My days are past; my plans are broken off,
    the desires of my heart.
12   They make night into day:
    ‘The light,’ they say, ‘is near to the darkness.’The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain’>1
13   If I hope for Sheol as my house,
    if I make my bed in darkness,
14   if I say to the pit, ‘You are my father,’
    and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’
15   where then is my hope?
    Who will see my hope?
16   Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
    Shall we descend together into the dust?”Or Will they go down to the bars of Sheol? Is rest to be found together in the dust?‘>2

Bildad Speaks: God Punishes the Wicked

18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

  “How long will you hunt for words?
    Consider, and then we will speak.
  Why are we counted as cattle?
    Why are we stupid in your sight?
  You who tear yourself in your anger,
    shall the earth be forsaken for you,
    or the rock be removed out of its place?

  “Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out,
    and the flame of his fire does not shine.
  The light is dark in his tent,
    and his lamp above him is put out.
  His strong steps are shortened,
    and his own schemes throw him down.
  For he is cast into a net by his own feet,
    and he walks on its mesh.
  A trap seizes him by the heel;
    a snare lays hold of him.
10   A rope is hidden for him in the ground,
    a trap for him in the path.
11   Terrors frighten him on every side,
    and chase him at his heels.
12   His strength is famished,
    and calamity is ready for his stumbling.
13   It consumes the parts of his skin;
    the firstborn of death consumes his limbs.
14   He is torn from the tent in which he trusted
    and is brought to the king of terrors.
15   In his tent dwells that which is none of his;
    sulfur is scattered over his habitation.
16   His roots dry up beneath,
    and his branches wither above.
17   His memory perishes from the earth,
    and he has no name in the street.
18   He is thrust from light into darkness,
    and driven out of the world.
19   He has no posterity or progeny among his people,
    and no survivor where he used to live.
20   They of the west are appalled at his day,
    and horror seizes them of the east.
21   Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous,
    such is the place of him who knows not God.”

Job Replies: My Redeemer Lives

19 Then Job answered and said:

  “How long will you torment me
    and break me in pieces with words?
  These ten times you have cast reproach upon me;
    are you not ashamed to wrong me?
  And even if it be true that I have erred,
    my error remains with myself.
  If indeed you magnify yourselves against me
    and make my disgrace an argument against me,
  know then that God has put me in the wrong
    and closed his net about me.
  Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered;
    I call 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 from me my glory
    and taken the crown from my head.
10   He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
    and my hope has he pulled up like a tree.
11   He has kindled his wrath against me
    and counts me as his adversary.
12   His troops come on together;
    they have cast up their siege rampHebrew their way‘>3 against me
    and encamp around my tent.

13   “He has put my brothers far from me,
    and those who knew me are wholly estranged from me.
14   My relatives have failed me,
    my close friends have forgotten me.
15   The guests in my house and my maidservants count me as a stranger;
    I have become a foreigner in their eyes.
16   I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;
    I must plead with him with my mouth for mercy.
17   My breath is strange to my wife,
    and I am a stench to the children of my own mother.
18   Even young children despise me;
    when I rise they talk against me.
19   All my intimate friends abhor me,
    and those whom I loved have turned against me.
20   My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh,
    and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21   Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends,
    for the hand of God has touched me!
22   Why do you, like God, pursue me?
    Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?

23   “Oh that my words were written!
    Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24   Oh that with an iron pen and lead
    they were engraved in the rock forever!
25   For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at the last he will stand upon the earth.Hebrew dust‘>4
26   And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet inOr without‘>5 my flesh I shall see God,
27   whom I shall see for myself,
    and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
    My heart faints within me!
28   If you say, ‘How we will pursue him!’
    and, ‘The root of the matter is found in him,’Many Hebrew manuscripts in me‘>6
29   be afraid of the sword,
    for wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
    that you may know there is a judgment.”

1 Thessalonians 2:17–3:13

Paul’s Longing to See Them Again

17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworkerSome manuscripts servant‘>1 in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.

Timothy’s Encouraging Report

But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you—for this reason, brothers,Or brothers and sisters‘>2 in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?

11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Psalm 51

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

51   Have mercy on me,Or Be gracious to me‘>1 O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
  according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!

  For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
  Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
  so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.
  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
  Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
  Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
  Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10   Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a rightOr steadfast‘>2 spirit within me.
11   Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12   Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13   Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
14   Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15   O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16   For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17   The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18   Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
    build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19   then will you delight in right sacrifices,
    in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Proverbs 22:7

  The rich rules over the poor,
    and the borrower is the slave of the lender.


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