September 1: Job 33–34; 2 Thessalonians 2:13–3:5; Psalm 58; Proverbs 22:17–21


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Job 33–34

Elihu Rebukes Job

33   “But now, hear my speech, O Job,
    and listen to all my words.
  Behold, I open my mouth;
    the tongue in my mouth speaks.
  My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
    and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
  The Spirit of God has made me,
    and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
  Answer me, if you can;
    set your words in order before me; take your stand.
  Behold, I am toward God as you are;
    I too was pinched off from a piece of clay.
  Behold, no fear of me need terrify you;
    my pressure will not be heavy upon you.

  “Surely you have spoken in my ears,
    and I have heard the sound of your words.
  You say, ‘I am pure, without transgression;
    I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.
10   Behold, he finds occasions against me,
    he counts me as his enemy,
11   he puts my feet in the stocks
    and watches all my paths.’

12   “Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you,
    for God is greater than man.
13   Why do you contend against him,
    saying, ‘He will answer none of man’sHebrew his‘>1 words’?Or He will not answer for any of his own words‘>2
14   For God speaks in one way,
    and in two, though man does not perceive it.
15   In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on men,
    while they slumber on their beds,
16   then he opens the ears of men
    and terrifiesOr seals‘>3 them with warnings,
17   that he may turn man aside from his deed
    and conceal pride from a man;
18   he keeps back his soul from the pit,
    his life from perishing by the sword.

19   “Man is also rebuked with pain on his bed
    and with continual strife in his bones,
20   so that his life loathes bread,
    and his appetite the choicest food.
21   His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen,
    and his bones that were not seen stick out.
22   His soul draws near the pit,
    and his life to those who bring death.
23   If there be for him an angel,
    a mediator, one of the thousand,
    to declare to man what is right for him,
24   and he is merciful to him, and says,
    ‘Deliver him from going down into the pit;
    I have found a ransom;
25   let his flesh become fresh with youth;
    let him return to the days of his youthful vigor’;
26   then manHebrew he‘>4 prays to God, and he accepts him;
    he sees his face with a shout of joy,
  and he restores to man his righteousness.
27     He sings before men and says:
  ‘I sinned and perverted what was right,
    and it was not repaid to me.
28   He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit,
    and my life shall look upon the light.’

29   “Behold, God does all these things,
    twice, three times, with a man,
30   to bring back his soul from the pit,
    that he may be lighted with the light of life.
31   Pay attention, O Job, listen to me;
    be silent, and I will speak.
32   If you have any words, answer me;
    speak, for I desire to justify you.
33   If not, listen to me;
    be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

Elihu Asserts God’s Justice

34 Then Elihu answered and said:

  “Hear my words, you wise men,
    and give ear to me, you who know;
  for the ear tests words
    as the palate tastes food.
  Let us choose what is right;
    let us know among ourselves what is good.
  For Job has said, ‘I am in the right,
    and God has taken away my right;
  in spite of my right I am counted a liar;
    my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
  What man is like Job,
    who drinks up scoffing like water,
  who travels in company with evildoers
    and walks with wicked men?
  For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
    that he should take delight in God.’

10   “Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding:
    far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
    and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
11   For according to the work of a man he will repay him,
    and according to his ways he will make it befall him.
12   Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
    and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
13   Who gave him charge over the earth,
    and who laid on himHebrew lacks on him‘>5 the whole world?
14   If he should set his heart to it
    and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,
15   all flesh would perish together,
    and man would return to dust.

16   “If you have understanding, hear this;
    listen to what I say.
17   Shall one who hates justice govern?
    Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty,
18   who says to a king, ‘Worthless one,’
    and to nobles, ‘Wicked man,’
19   who shows no partiality to princes,
    nor regards the rich more than the poor,
    for they are all the work of his hands?
20   In a moment they die;
    at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
    and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.

21   “For his eyes are on the ways of a man,
    and he sees all his steps.
22   There is no gloom or deep darkness
    where evildoers may hide themselves.
23   For GodHebrew he‘>6 has no need to consider a man further,
    that he should go before God in judgment.
24   He shatters the mighty without investigation
    and sets others in their place.
25   Thus, knowing their works,
    he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
26   He strikes them for their wickedness
    in a place for all to see,
27   because they turned aside from following him
    and had no regard for any of his ways,
28   so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
    and he heard the cry of the afflicted—
29   When he is quiet, who can condemn?
    When he hides his face, who can behold him,
    whether it be a nation or a man?—
30   that a godless man should not reign,
    that he should not ensnare the people.

31   “For has anyone said to God,
    ‘I have borne punishment; I will not offend any more;
32   teach me what I do not see;
    if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
33   Will he then make repayment to suit you,
    because you reject it?
  For you must choose, and not I;
    therefore declare what you know.The meaning of the Hebrew in verses 29–33 is uncertain’>7
34   Men of understanding will say to me,
    and the wise man who hears me will say:
35   ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
    his words are without insight.’
36   Would that Job were tried to the end,
    because he answers like wicked men.
37   For he adds rebellion to his sin;
    he claps his hands among us
    and multiplies his words against God.”

2 Thessalonians 2:13–3:5

Stand Firm

13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruitsSome manuscripts chose you from the beginning‘>1 to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Pray for Us

Finally, brothers,Or brothers and sisters; also verses 6, 13′>2 pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored,Or glorified‘>3 as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.Or evil‘>4 And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Psalm 58

God Who Judges the Earth

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A MiktamProbably a musical or liturgical term’>1 of David.

58   Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?Or you mighty lords (by revocalization; Hebrew in silence)’>2
    Do you judge the children of man uprightly?
  No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
    your hands deal out violence on earth.

  The wicked are estranged from the womb;
    they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
  They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
    like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
  so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
    or of the cunning enchanter.

  O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
    tear out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD!
  Let them vanish like water that runs away;
    when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.
  Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime,
    like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
  Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
    whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain’>3

10   The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
    he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11   Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
    surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

Proverbs 22:17–21

Words of the Wise

17   Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
    and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18   for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
    if all of them are ready on your lips.
19   That your trust may be in the LORD,
    I have made them known to you today, even to you.
20   Have I not written for you thirty sayings
    of counsel and knowledge,
21   to make you know what is right and true,
    that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?


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