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Job 24–26

24   “Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty,
    and why do those who know him never see his days?
  Some move landmarks;
    they seize flocks and pasture them.
  They drive away the donkey of the fatherless;
    they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.
  They thrust the poor off the road;
    the poor of the earth all hide themselves.
  Behold, like wild donkeys in the desert
    the poorHebrew they‘>1 go out to their toil, seeking game;
    the wasteland yields food for their children.
  They gather theirHebrew his‘>2 fodder in the field,
    and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man.
  They lie all night naked, without clothing,
    and have no covering in the cold.
  They are wet with the rain of the mountains
    and cling to the rock for lack of shelter.
  (There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast,
    and they take a pledge against the poor.)
10   They go about naked, without clothing;
    hungry, they carry the sheaves;
11   among the olive rows of the wickedHebrew their olive rows‘>3 they make oil;
    they tread the winepresses, but suffer thirst.
12   From out of the city the dyingOr the men‘>4 groan,
    and the soul of the wounded cries for help;
    yet God charges no one with wrong.

13   “There are those who rebel against the light,
    who are not acquainted with its ways,
    and do not stay in its paths.
14   The murderer rises before it is light,
    that he may kill the poor and needy,
    and in the night he is like a thief.
15   The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight,
    saying, ‘No eye will see me’;
    and he veils his face.
16   In the dark they dig through houses;
    by day they shut themselves up;
    they do not know the light.
17   For deep darkness is morning to all of them;
    for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.

18   “You say, ‘Swift are they on the face of the waters;
    their portion is cursed in the land;
    no treader turns toward their vineyards.
19   Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters;
    so does Sheol those who have sinned.
20   The womb forgets them;
    the worm finds them sweet;
  they are no longer remembered,
    so wickedness is broken like a tree.’

21   “They wrong the barren, childless woman,
    and do no good to the widow.
22   Yet GodHebrew he‘>5 prolongs the life of the mighty by his power;
    they rise up when they despair of life.
23   He gives them security, and they are supported,
    and his eyes are upon their ways.
24   They are exalted a little while, and then are gone;
    they are brought low and gathered up like all others;
    they are cut off like the heads of grain.
25   If it is not so, who will prove me a liar
    and show that there is nothing in what I say?”

Bildad Speaks: Man Cannot Be Righteous

25 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

  “Dominion and fear are with God;Hebrew him‘>6
    he makes peace in his high heaven.
  Is there any number to his armies?
    Upon whom does his light not arise?
  How then can man be in the right before God?
    How can he who is born of woman be pure?
  Behold, even the moon is not bright,
    and the stars are not pure in his eyes;
  how much less man, who is a maggot,
    and the son of man, who is a worm!”

Job Replies: God’s Majesty Is Unsearchable

26 Then Job answered and said:

  “How you have helped him who has no power!
    How you have saved the arm that has no strength!
  How you have counseled him who has no wisdom,
    and plentifully declared sound knowledge!
  With whose help have you uttered words,
    and whose breath has come out from you?
  The dead tremble
    under the waters and their inhabitants.
  Sheol is naked before God,Hebrew him‘>7
    and Abaddon has no covering.
  He stretches out the north over the void
    and hangs the earth on nothing.
  He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
    and the cloud is not split open under them.
  He covers the face of the full moonOr his throne‘>8
    and spreads over it his cloud.
10   He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters
    at the boundary between light and darkness.
11   The pillars of heaven tremble
    and are astounded at his rebuke.
12   By his power he stilled the sea;
    by his understanding he shattered Rahab.
13   By his wind the heavens were made fair;
    his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
14   Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways,
    and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
    But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

1 Thessalonians 5:12–22

Final Instructions and Benediction

12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,Or disorderly, or undisciplined‘>1 encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

Psalm 54

The Lord Upholds My Life

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A MaskilProbably a musical or liturgical term’>1 of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, “Is not David hiding among us?”

54   O God, save me by your name,
    and vindicate me by your might.
  O God, hear my prayer;
    give ear to the words of my mouth.

  For strangersSome Hebrew manuscripts and Targum insolent men (compare Psalm 86:14)’>2 have risen against me;
    ruthless men seek my life;
    they do not set God before themselves. Selah

  Behold, God is my helper;
    the Lord is the upholder of my life.
  He will return the evil to my enemies;
    in your faithfulness put an end to them.

  With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
    I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good.
  For he has delivered me from every trouble,
    and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Proverbs 22:13

13   The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!
    I shall be killed in the streets!”


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