Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

What a comfort it is to know that in our hour of darkness, the Lord will remember those things which we have done in secret for the poor and will reward us openly (Matthew 6:4)!

Job rehearsed his heart for the poor as a statement of his genuine consistency before God. He looked at his servants as his equals because he believed that "God created both me and my servants. He created us both" (Job 31:15). He ministered to the needs of those less fortunate by helping widows and caring for the fatherless (v. 18).

James said, "Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us" (James 1:27). David observed, "Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor. The Lord rescues them in times of trouble" (Psalm 41:1).

Rather than seeing it as a burden, we must look upon helping someone in need as an opportunity from God to show love. Our concern for the less fortunate may one day be revisited upon us!

Job 31:1-33:33

31 “I made a covenant with my eyesPr 4:25; 17:24; 2Pe 2:14

not to look lustfully at a young woman.Ex 20:14, 17; Dt 5:18; Mt 5:28

For what is our lotNu 26:55; Ps 11:6; 16:5; 50:18; Ecc 3:22; 5:19; 9:9 from God above,

our heritage from the Almighty on high?S Job 16:19; S 20:29

Is it not ruinS Job 21:30 for the wicked,

disasterJob 18:12 for those who do wrong?Job 34:22; Ro 2:9

Does he not see my ways2Ch 16:9; Ps 139:3; Da 4:37; 5:23

and count my every step?S ver 14; S Job 10:4

“If I have walked with falsehood

or my foot has hurried after deceitS Job 15:31

let God weigh mePs 139:23 in honest scalesS Lev 19:36; S Job 6:2

and he will know that I am blamelessS Ge 6:9; S Job 2:3; S 23:10

if my steps have turned from the path,S Job 23:11

if my heart has been led by my eyes,

or if my handsS Job 9:30 have been defiled,Ps 7:3

then may others eat what I have sown,S Job 5:5; S 20:10; Jn 4:37

and may my crops be uprooted.ver 12; Mic 6:15

“If my heart has been enticedS Dt 11:16; S Job 24:15; Jas 1:14 by a woman,Pr 5:3; 7:5

or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,

10 then may my wife grindS Jdg 16:21 another man’s grain,

and may other men sleep with her.Dt 28:30

11 For that would have been wicked,Pr 6:32-33

a sin to be judged.S Ge 38:24; S Ex 21:12; Jn 8:4-5

12 It is a fireS Job 15:30 that burns to DestructionHebrew Abaddon;S Job 26:6

it would have uprooted my harvest.S ver 8

13 “If I have denied justice to any of my servants,S Dt 5:14

whether male or female,

when they had a grievance against me,Ex 21:2-11; Lev 25:39-46; Dt 24:14-15

14 what will I do when God confronts me?Job 33:5

What will I answer when called to account?ver 4, 37; Ps 10:13, 15; 94:7; Isa 10:3; Jer 5:31; Hos 9:7; Mic 7:4; Col 4:1

15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them?S Job 4:17; Pr 22:2

Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?S Job 10:3; Eph 6:9

16 “If I have denied the desires of the poorS Lev 25:17; S Job 5:16

or let the eyes of the widowS Job 22:9; Jas 1:27 grow weary,Job 22:7

17 if I have kept my bread to myself,

not sharing it with the fatherlessS Job 6:27; S 22:7

18 but from my youth I reared them as a father would,

and from my birth I guided the widowIsa 51:18

19 if I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing,Job 22:6; Isa 58:7

or the needyS Job 24:4 without garments,

20 and their hearts did not bless meJob 29:13

for warming them with the fleeceJdg 6:37 from my sheep,

21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,S Job 22:7; Jas 1:27

knowing that I had influence in court,S Job 29:7, 9

22 then let my arm fall from the shoulder,

let it be broken off at the joint.Nu 15:30; Job 5:15; 38:15; Ps 10:15; 37:17; 137:5

23 For I dreaded destruction from God,S Job 10:3; S 30:15

and for fear of his splendorJob 13:11 I could not do such things.S Ge 20:11

24 “If I have put my trust in goldS Job 22:25

or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’Mt 6:24; Lk 12:15

25 if I have rejoiced over my great wealth,S Ge 12:16; Ps 49:6; 52:7; 62:10; Isa 10:14

the fortune my hands had gained,S Job 22:24; Eze 28:5; Lk 12:20-21

26 if I have regarded the sunS Ge 1:16 in its radiance

or the moonJob 25:5 moving in splendor,

27 so that my heart was secretly enticedS Dt 11:16; S Job 24:15; Jas 1:14

and my hand offered them a kiss of homage,Jer 8:2; 16:11

28 then these also would be sins to be judged,S Ge 38:24; Dt 17:2-7

for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.S Nu 11:20; Eze 8:16

29 “If I have rejoiced at my enemy’s misfortuneS Nu 14:1; Ps 35:15; Ob 1:12; Mt 5:44

or gloated over the trouble that came to himPr 17:5; 24:17-18

30 I have not allowed my mouth to sin

by invoking a curse against their lifeJob 5:3; Ro 12:14

31 if those of my household have never said,

‘Who has not been filled with Job’s meat?’S Job 22:7

32 but no stranger had to spend the night in the street,

for my door was always open to the travelerGe 19:2-3; Jdg 19:20; Mt 25:35; S Ro 12:13

33 if I have concealedPs 32:5; Pr 28:13 my sin as people do,Or as Adam did

by hidingS Ge 3:8 my guilt in my heart

34 because I so feared the crowdEx 23:2

and so dreaded the contempt of the clans

that I kept silentPs 32:3; 39:2 and would not go outside—

35 (“Oh, that I had someone to hear me!S Job 9:24; 30:28

I sign now my defense—let the Almighty answer me;

let my accuserJob 27:7 put his indictment in writing.

36 Surely I would wear it on my shoulder,S Ex 28:12

I would put it on like a crown.Job 29:14

37 I would give him an account of my every step;S ver 14; S Job 11:11

I would present it to him as to a ruler.S Job 21:28)—

38 “if my land cries out against meS Ge 4:10

and all its furrows are wetPs 65:10 with tears,

39 if I have devoured its yield without paymentS 1Ki 21:19

or broken the spirit of its tenants,S Lev 19:13; Jas 5:4

40 then let briersS Ge 3:18; Mt 13:7 come up instead of wheat

and stinkweedZep 2:9; Mt 13:26 instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.Ps 72:20; Jer 51:64

Elihu

32 So these three men stopped answering Job,ver 15 because he was righteous in his own eyes.S Job 2:3; S 10:7But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite,S Ge 22:21 of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himselfver 1 rather than God.S Job 13:19; 27:5; 30:21; 35:2He was also angry with the three friends,Job 42:7 because they had found no way to refute Job,ver 12-13 and yet had condemned him.Masoretic Text; an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition Job, and so had condemned GodS Job 15:13Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he.S Lev 19:32But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused.

So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said:

“I am young in years,

and you are old;Job 15:10

that is why I was fearful,

not daring to tell you what I know.

I thought, ‘Age should speak;

advanced years should teach wisdom.’S 1Ch 29:15; S 2Ch 10:6

But it is the spiritOr Spirit; also in verse 18ver 18 in a person,

the breath of the Almighty,S Job 27:3 that gives them understanding.S Job 12:13; S Ps 119:34; Jas 1:5

It is not only the oldOr many; or great who are wise,1Co 1:26

not only the agedPs 119:100 who understand what is right.S Job 12:12, 20; Lk 2:47; 1Ti 4:12

10 “Therefore I say: Listen to me;Job 33:1, 31, 33; 34:2, 16; 37:2, 14; Ps 34:11

I too will tell you what I know.S Job 5:27

11 I waited while you spoke,

I listened to your reasoning;

while you were searching for words,

12 I gave you my full attention.

But not one of you has proved Job wrong;

none of you has answered his arguments.ver 3

13 Do not say, ‘We have found wisdom;S Job 4:12; S Ecc 9:11

let God, not a man, refuteS Job 11:5 him.’

14 But Job has not marshaled his words against me,Job 23:4

and I will not answer him with your arguments.

15 “They are dismayed and have no more to say;

words have failed them.ver 1

16 Must I wait, now that they are silent,

now that they stand there with no reply?

17 I too will have my say;

I too will tell what I know.S Job 5:27; 33:3; 36:4

18 For I am full of words,

and the spiritver 8 within me compels me;Ac 4:20; 1Co 9:16; 2Co 5:14

19 inside I am like bottled-up wine,

like new wineskins ready to burst.Jer 20:9; Am 3:8; Mt 9:17

20 I must speak and find relief;

I must open my lips and reply.S Job 4:2; S Jer 6:11

21 I will show no partiality,S Lev 19:15; S 2Ch 19:7; S Job 13:10; Mt 22:16

nor will I flatter anyone;Pr 29:5; 1Th 2:5

22 for if I were skilled in flattery,

my MakerS Job 4:17; S 9:9 would soon take me away.Ps 12:2-4

33 “But now, Job, listenJob 32:10 to my words;

pay attention to everything I say.S Job 6:28; S 13:6

I am about to open my mouth;

my words are on the tip of my tongue.

My words come from an upright heart;1Ki 3:6; Ps 7:10; 11:2; 64:10

my lips sincerely speak what I know.S Job 6:28

The SpiritS Ge 1:2 of God has made me;Job 10:3

the breath of the AlmightyS Job 27:3 gives me life.S Nu 16:22; S Job 12:10

Answer mever 32 then, if you can;

stand upJob 13:18 and argue your case before me.S Job 31:14

I am the same as you in God’s sight;Ac 14:15; Jas 5:17

I too am a piece of clay.S Job 4:19

No fear of me should alarm you,

nor should my hand be heavy on you.S Job 9:34; 2Co 2:4

“But you have said in my hearing—

I heard the very words—

‘I am pure,S Job 10:7 I have done no wrong;S Job 9:30; S 13:23

I am clean and free from sin.S Job 2:9

10 Yet God has found fault with me;

he considers me his enemy.S Job 13:24

11 He fastens my feet in shackles;S Job 13:27

he keeps close watch on all my paths.’Job 14:16; Pr 3:6; Isa 30:21

12 “But I tell you, in this you are not right,

for God is greater than any mortal.S Job 5:9; Ps 8:4; 50:21; Ecc 7:20; Isa 55:8-9

13 Why do you complain to himJob 40:2; Isa 45:9

that he responds to no one’s wordsOr that he does not answer for any of his actions?S Job 11:8

14 For God does speakPs 62:11—now one way, now anotherver 29

though no one perceives it.Job 4:12

15 In a dream,S Ge 20:3; Job 4:13; S Mt 27:19 in a visionAc 16:9 of the night,S Ge 15:1; Da 2:19

when deep sleepS Ge 2:21 falls on people

as they slumber in their beds,

16 he may speakJob 36:10, 15 in their ears

and terrify themS Job 6:4 with warnings,Ps 88:15-16

17 to turn them from wrongdoing

and keep them from pride,S Job 20:6

18 to preserve them from the pit,ver 22, 24, 28, 30; Ps 28:1; 30:9; 69:15; 88:6; 103:4; Pr 1:12; Isa 14:15; 38:17; Jnh 2:6; Zec 9:11

their lives from perishing by the sword.Or from crossing the riverS Job 15:22; Mt 26:52

19 “Or someone may be chastenedS Job 5:17 on a bed of painS Ge 17:1; S Dt 8:5; 2Co 12:7-10; Jas 1:3

with constant distress in their bones,S Job 16:16; Ps 6:2; 38:3; Isa 38:13

20 so that their body finds foodPs 102:4; 107:18 repulsive

and their soul loathes the choicest meal.S Job 3:24; S 6:6

21 Their flesh wastes away to nothing,

and their bones,S Job 2:5 once hidden, now stick out.S Job 16:8

22 They draw near to the pit,S ver 18

and their life to the messengers of death.Or to the place of the deadJob 38:17; Ps 9:13; 88:3; 107:18; 116:3

23 Yet if there is an angel at their side,

a messenger,Gal 3:19; Heb 8:6; 9:15 one out of a thousand,

sent to tell them how to be upright,Job 36:9-10; Mic 6:8

24 and he is gracious to that person and says to God,

‘Spare them from going down to the pit;S ver 18

I have found a ransom for themS Job 6:22

25 let their flesh be renewedPs 103:5 like a child’s;

let them be restored as in the days of their youth’2Ki 5:14

26 then that person can pray to God and find favor with him,S Job 5:15; Pr 8:35; 12:2; 18:22; Lk 2:52

they will see God’s face and shout for joy;S Ezr 3:13; S Job 22:26

he will restore them to full well-being.Ps 13:5; 50:15; 51:12; 1Jn 1:9

27 And they will go to others and say,

‘I have sinned,S Nu 22:34 I have perverted what is right,Lk 15:21

but I did not get what I deserved.S Ezr 9:13; Ps 22:27; 51:13; Ro 6:21; Jas 2:13

28 God has deliveredS Ex 15:13; Ps 34:22; 107:20 me from going down to the pit,S ver 18; S Job 17:16

and I shall live to enjoy the light of life.’S Job 22:28

29 “God does all these things to a personPs 139:16; Pr 16:9; 20:24; Jer 10:23; 1Co 12:6; Eph 1:11; Php 2:13

twice, even three timesver 14

30 to turn them backJas 5:19 from the pit,S ver 18

that the light of lifePs 49:19; 56:13; 116:9; Isa 53:11 may shine on them.Isa 60:1; Eph 5:14

31 “Pay attention, Job, and listenJer 23:18 to me;S Job 32:10

be silent,ver 33 and I will speak.

32 If you have anything to say, answer me;ver 5

speak up, for I want to vindicate you.S Job 6:29; 35:2

33 But if not, then listen to me;S Job 32:10

be silent,ver 31 and I will teach you wisdom.S Job 6:24; Pr 10:8, 10, 19

Job’s Final Protest of Innocence

31 “I made a covenant with my eyes

not to look with lust at a young woman.

For what has God above chosen for us?

What is our inheritance from the Almighty on high?

Isn’t it calamity for the wicked

and misfortune for those who do evil?

Doesn’t he see everything I do

and every step I take?

“Have I lied to anyone

or deceived anyone?

Let God weigh me on the scales of justice,

for he knows my integrity.

If I have strayed from his pathway,

or if my heart has lusted for what my eyes have seen,

or if I am guilty of any other sin,

then let someone else eat the crops I have planted.

Let all that I have planted be uprooted.

“If my heart has been seduced by a woman,

or if I have lusted for my neighbor’s wife,

10 then let my wife serveHebrew grind for. another man;

let other men sleep with her.

11 For lust is a shameful sin,

a crime that should be punished.

12 It is a fire that burns all the way to hell.Hebrew to Abaddon.

It would wipe out everything I own.

13 “If I have been unfair to my male or female servants

when they brought their complaints to me,

14 how could I face God?

What could I say when he questioned me?

15 For God created both me and my servants.

He created us both in the womb.

16 “Have I refused to help the poor,

or crushed the hopes of widows?

17 Have I been stingy with my food

and refused to share it with orphans?

18 No, from childhood I have cared for orphans like a father,

and all my life I have cared for widows.

19 Whenever I saw the homeless without clothes

and the needy with nothing to wear,

20 did they not praise me

for providing wool clothing to keep them warm?

21 “If I raised my hand against an orphan,

knowing the judges would take my side,

22 then let my shoulder be wrenched out of place!

Let my arm be torn from its socket!

23 That would be better than facing God’s judgment.

For if the majesty of God opposes me, what hope is there?

24 “Have I put my trust in money

or felt secure because of my gold?

25 Have I gloated about my wealth

and all that I own?

26 “Have I looked at the sun shining in the skies,

or the moon walking down its silver pathway,

27 and been secretly enticed in my heart

to throw kisses at them in worship?

28 If so, I should be punished by the judges,

for it would mean I had denied the God of heaven.

29 “Have I ever rejoiced when disaster struck my enemies,

or become excited when harm came their way?

30 No, I have never sinned by cursing anyone

or by asking for revenge.

31 “My servants have never said,

‘He let others go hungry.’

32 I have never turned away a stranger

but have opened my doors to everyone.

33 “Have I tried to hide my sins like other people do,

concealing my guilt in my heart?

34 Have I feared the crowd

or the contempt of the masses,

so that I kept quiet and stayed indoors?

35 “If only someone would listen to me!

Look, I will sign my name to my defense.

Let the Almighty answer me.

Let my accuser write out the charges against me.

36 I would face the accusation proudly.

I would wear it like a crown.

37 For I would tell him exactly what I have done.

I would come before him like a prince.

38 “If my land accuses me

and all its furrows cry out together,

39 or if I have stolen its crops

or murdered its owners,

40 then let thistles grow on that land instead of wheat,

and weeds instead of barley.”

Job’s words are ended.

Elihu Responds to Job’s Friends

32 Job’s three friends refused to reply further to him because he kept insisting on his innocence.

Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, became angry. He was angry because Job refused to admit that he had sinned and that God was right in punishing him.He was also angry with Job’s three friends, for they made GodAs in ancient Hebrew scribal tradition; the Masoretic Text reads Job. appear to be wrong by their inability to answer Job’s arguments.Elihu had waited for the others to speak to Job because they were older than he.But when he saw that they had no further reply, he spoke out angrily.Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said,

“I am young and you are old,

so I held back from telling you what I think.

I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak,

for wisdom comes with age.’

But there is a spiritOr Spirit; also in 32:18. within people,

the breath of the Almighty within them,

that makes them intelligent.

Sometimes the elders are not wise.

Sometimes the aged do not understand justice.

10 So listen to me,

and let me tell you what I think.

11 “I have waited all this time,

listening very carefully to your arguments,

listening to you grope for words.

12 I have listened,

but not one of you has refuted Job

or answered his arguments.

13 And don’t tell me, ‘He is too wise for us.

Only God can convince him.’

14 If Job had been arguing with me,

I would not answer with your kind of logic!

15 You sit there baffled,

with nothing more to say.

16 Should I continue to wait, now that you are silent?

Must I also remain silent?

17 No, I will say my piece.

I will speak my mind.

18 For I am full of pent-up words,

and the spirit within me urges me on.

19 I am like a cask of wine without a vent,

like a new wineskin ready to burst!

20 I must speak to find relief,

so let me give my answers.

21 I won’t play favorites

or try to flatter anyone.

22 For if I tried flattery,

my Creator would soon destroy me.

Elihu Presents His Case against Job

33 “Listen to my words, Job;

pay attention to what I have to say.

Now that I have begun to speak,

let me continue.

I speak with all sincerity;

I speak the truth.

For the Spirit of God has made me,

and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Answer me, if you can;

make your case and take your stand.

Look, you and I both belong to God.

I, too, was formed from clay.

So you don’t need to be afraid of me.

I won’t come down hard on you.

“You have spoken in my hearing,

and I have heard your very words.

You said, ‘I am pure; I am without sin;

I am innocent; I have no guilt.

10 God is picking a quarrel with me,

and he considers me his enemy.

11 He puts my feet in the stocks

and watches my every move.’

12 “But you are wrong, and I will show you why.

For God is greater than any human being.

13 So why are you bringing a charge against him?

Why say he does not respond to people’s complaints?

14 For God speaks again and again,

though people do not recognize it.

15 He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night,

when deep sleep falls on people

as they lie in their beds.

16 He whispers in their ears

and terrifies them with warnings.

17 He makes them turn from doing wrong;

he keeps them from pride.

18 He protects them from the grave,

from crossing over the river of death.

19 “Or God disciplines people with pain on their sickbeds,

with ceaseless aching in their bones.

20 They lose their appetite

for even the most delicious food.

21 Their flesh wastes away,

and their bones stick out.

22 They are at death’s door;

the angels of death wait for them.

23 “But if an angel from heaven appears—

a special messenger to intercede for a person

and declare that he is upright—

24 he will be gracious and say,

‘Rescue him from the grave,

for I have found a ransom for his life.’

25 Then his body will become as healthy as a child’s,

firm and youthful again.

26 When he prays to God,

he will be accepted.

And God will receive him with joy

and restore him to good standing.

27 He will declare to his friends,

‘I sinned and twisted the truth,

but it was not worth it.Greek version reads but he [God] did not punish me as my sin deserved.

28 God rescued me from the grave,

and now my life is filled with light.’

29 “Yes, God does these things

again and again for people.

30 He rescues them from the grave

so they may enjoy the light of life.

31 Mark this well, Job. Listen to me,

for I have more to say.

32 But if you have anything to say, go ahead.

Speak, for I am anxious to see you justified.

33 But if not, then listen to me.

Keep silent and I will teach you wisdom!”

31 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?

Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?

Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?

If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;

Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.

If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;

Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.

If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour's door;

10 Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her.

11 For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.

12 For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.

13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;

14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?

15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?

16 If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;

17 Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof;

18 (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother's womb;)

19 If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;

20 If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;

21 If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate:

22 Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.

23 For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.

24 If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;

25 If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;

26 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;

27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:

28 This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.

29 If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him:

30 Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.

31 If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied.

32 The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.

33 If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:

34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?

35 Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.

36 Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me.

37 I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.

38 If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain;

39 If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life:

40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.

32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.

Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.

Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.

When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.

And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.

I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.

But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.

10 Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion.

11 Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say.

12 Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words:

13 Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man.

14 Now he hath not directed his words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches.

15 They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking.

16 When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;)

17 I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion.

18 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.

19 Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.

20 I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.

21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.

22 For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.

33 Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches, and hearken to all my words.

Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue hath spoken in my mouth.

My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly.

The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up.

Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay.

Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee.

Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying,

I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me.

10 Behold, he findeth occasions against me, he counteth me for his enemy,

11 He putteth my feet in the stocks, he marketh all my paths.

12 Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man.

13 Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.

14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.

15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;

16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,

17 That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.

18 He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.

19 He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:

20 So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat.

21 His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out.

22 Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.

23 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:

24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

25 His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth:

26 He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.

27 He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not;

28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.

29 Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man,

30 To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.

31 Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak.

32 If thou hast anything to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee.

33 If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom.

2 Corinthians 3:1-18

Are we beginning to commend ourselvesRo 16:1; 2Co 5:12; 10:12, 18; 12:11 again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendationAc 18:27; Ro 16:1; 1Co 16:3 to you or from you?You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.1Co 9:2You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God,S Mt 16:16 not on tablets of stonever 7; Ex 24:12; 31:18; 32:15, 16 but on tablets of human hearts.Pr 3:3; 7:3; Jer 31:33; Eze 36:26

Such confidenceS Eph 3:12 we have through Christ before God.Not that we are competent in ourselves2Co 2:16 to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.1Co 15:10He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenantS Lk 22:20—not of the letterRo 2:29; 7:6 but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.Jn 6:63

The Greater Glory of the New Covenant

Now if the ministry that brought death,ver 9; S Ro 4:15 which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory,ver 13; Ex 34:29-35; Isa 42:21 transitory though it was,will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?If the ministry that brought condemnationver 7; Dt 27:26 was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!Ro 1:17; 3:21, 2210 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

12 Therefore, since we have such a hope,Ro 5:4, 5; 8:24, 25 we are very bold.S Ac 4:2913 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his facever 7; Ex 34:33 to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away.14 But their minds were made dull,Ro 11:7, 8; 2Co 4:4 for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenantAc 13:15; 15:21 is read.ver 6 It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away.15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord,Ro 11:23 the veil is taken away.Ex 34:34; Isa 25:717 Now the Lord is the Spirit,Isa 61:1, 2; Gal 4:6, 7 and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.S Jn 8:3218 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplateOr reflect1Co 13:12 the Lord’s glory,Jn 17:22, 24; 2Co 4:4, 6 are being transformed into his imageS Ro 8:29 with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not!The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in ourSome manuscripts read your. hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you.Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ.It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

The Glory of the New Covenant

The old way,Or ministry; also in 3:8, 9, 10, 11, 12. with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away.Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God!10 In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way.11 So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!

12 Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.13 We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away.14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ.15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.

16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Psalm 43:1-5

Psalm 43In many Hebrew manuscripts Psalms 42 and 43 constitute one psalm.

Vindicate me, my God,

and plead my causeS Jdg 6:31

against an unfaithful nation.

Rescue meS Ps 25:20 from those who are

deceitful and wicked.S Ps 36:3; 109:2

You are God my stronghold.

Why have you rejectedPs 44:9; 74:1; 88:14; 89:38 me?

Why must I go about mourning,S Ps 35:14

oppressed by the enemy?S Ps 42:9

Send me your lightPs 27:1 and your faithful care,S Ps 26:3

let them lead me;S Ps 25:5

let them bring me to your holy mountain,Ps 2:6

to the place where you dwell.S 2Sa 15:25

Then I will goS Ps 42:2 to the altarPs 26:6; 84:3 of God,

to God, my joyS Ps 21:6 and my delight.Ps 16:3

I will praise you with the lyre,S Ge 4:21

O God, my God.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.S Ps 42:6

Psalm 43

Declare me innocent, O God!

Defend me against these ungodly people.

Rescue me from these unjust liars.

For you are God, my only safe haven.

Why have you tossed me aside?

Why must I wander around in grief,

oppressed by my enemies?

Send out your light and your truth;

let them guide me.

Let them lead me to your holy mountain,

to the place where you live.

There I will go to the altar of God,

to God—the source of all my joy.

I will praise you with my harp,

O God, my God!

Why am I discouraged?

Why is my heart so sad?

I will put my hope in God!

I will praise him again—

my Savior and my God!

43 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.

For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Proverbs 22:8-9

Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity,S Ex 1:20; S Job 4:8; Gal 6:7-8

and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.Hos 8:7

The generous will themselves be blessed,S Dt 14:29

for they share their food with the poor.S Pr 11:25; S 19:17; 28:27

Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster,

and their reign of terror will come to an end.The Greek version includes an additional proverb: God blesses a man who gives cheerfully, / but his worthless deeds will come to an end. Compare 2 Cor 9:7.

Blessed are those who are generous,

because they feed the poor.

He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.

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