Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

What a powerful witness it is to walk in the light! Paul actually states that a clean, pure walk with the Lord is what helps us to commend ourselves to others. The process is actually very simple. The Holy Spirit shines the light of Christ upon our lives, changing us "from glory to glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV). That unveiled glory is then reflected from our faces to a darkened, oppressed world whose eyes have been blinded by the "god of this evil world" (4:4).

"For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,' has made us understand that this light is the brightness of the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ" (4:6). From within these "perishable containers" (v. 7) shines out the very glory of the Creator God who spoke a billion suns into existence in one moment!

We are "full of light from the Lord" (Ephesians 5:8), and as we walk in the purity of Jesus' face, a lost world will behold Him. We walk through pressure, perplexity, and persecution with victory, so that the "life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies" (2 Corinthians 4:10).

Our greatest witness? Our radiant shine!

Job 34:1-36:33

34 Then Elihu said:

“Hear my words, you wise men;

listen to me,S Job 32:10 you men of learning.

For the ear tests words

as the tongue tastes food.Job 12:11

Let us discern for ourselves what is right;S Job 12:12; Heb 5:14

let us learn together what is good.1Th 5:21

“Job says, ‘I am innocent,S Job 10:7

but God denies me justice.S Job 6:29

Although I am right,

I am considered a liar;S Job 6:28

although I am guiltless,S Job 9:21

his arrow inflicts an incurable wound.’S Job 6:4; S 10:3; S Jer 10:19

Is there anyone like Job,

who drinks scorn like water?S Job 9:21; S 15:16

He keeps company with evildoers;

he associates with the wicked.S Job 22:15

For he says, ‘There is no profit

in trying to please God.’S Job 9:29-31; S 21:15

10 “So listen to me,Job 32:10 you men of understanding.ver 16; S Job 12:12

Far be it from God to do evil,S Ge 18:25

from the Almighty to do wrong.ver 12; Dt 32:4; Job 8:3; 36:23; Ps 92:15; Ro 3:5; 9:14

11 He repays everyone for what they have done;S Job 21:31; S Mt 16:27

he brings on them what their conduct deserves.Jer 17:10; 32:19; Eze 33:20

12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong,S ver 10; Tit 1:2; Heb 6:18

that the Almighty would pervert justice.S Job 8:3; Ps 9:16; Col 3:25; 2Th 1:6

13 Who appointedHeb 1:2 him over the earth?

Who put him in charge of the whole world?Job 36:23; 38:4, 6; Isa 40:14

14 If it were his intention

and he withdrew his spiritOr SpiritS Ge 6:3 and breath,S Nu 16:22; S Job 27:3

15 all humanity would perishS Ge 6:13; La 3:22; Mal 3:6; Jn 3:16 together

and mankind would return to the dust.S Ge 2:7; S Job 7:21; 9:22; Ps 90:10

16 “If you have understanding,S ver 10 hear this;

listen to what I say.S Job 32:10

17 Can someone who hates justice govern?ver 30; 2Sa 23:3-4; Pr 20:8, 26; 24:23-25; 28:28

Will you condemn the just and mighty One?ver 29; S Job 10:7; 40:8; Ro 3:5-6

18 Is he not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’

and to nobles,S Job 12:18 ‘You are wicked,’Ex 22:28; Isa 40:24

19 who shows no partialityS Job 13:10; S Ac 10:34 to princes

and does not favor the rich over the poor,S Lev 19:15; Jas 2:5

for they are all the work of his hands?S Job 10:3

20 They die in an instant, in the middle of the night;ver 25; S Ex 11:4; S Job 20:8

the people are shaken and they pass away;

the mighty are removed without human hand.S Job 12:19

21 “His eyes are on the ways of mortals;Jer 32:19

he sees their every step.S Job 14:16; Pr 15:3; S Heb 4:13

22 There is no deep shadow,S Job 3:5 no utter darkness,Ps 74:20

where evildoers can hide.S Ge 3:8; S Job 11:20

23 God has no need to examine people further,Ps 11:4

that they should come before him for judgment.Job 11:11

24 Without inquiry he shattersIsa 8:9; 9:4; Jer 51:20; Da 2:34 the mightyJob 12:19

and sets up others in their place.Da 2:21

25 Because he takes note of their deeds,S Job 11:11

he overthrows them in the nightS ver 20 and they are crushed.Pr 5:21-23

26 He punishes them for their wickednessS Ge 6:5; S Job 8:22; S 28:24; Ps 9:5; Jer 44:5

where everyone can see them,

27 because they turned from following himPs 14:3

and had no regard for any of his ways.S 1Sa 15:11

28 They caused the cry of the poor to come before him,

so that he heard the cry of the needy.S Ex 22:23; S Job 5:15; S 12:19

29 But if he remains silent,Ps 28:1; 83:1; 109:1 who can condemn him?S ver 17; Ro 8:34

If he hides his face,Ps 13:1 who can see him?

Yet he is over individual and nation alike,Ps 83:18; 97:9

30 to keep the godlessS Job 8:13 from ruling,S ver 17

from laying snares for the people.Ps 25:15; 31:4; 91:3; 124:7; 140:5; Pr 29:2-12

31 “Suppose someone says to God,

‘I am guiltyPs 51:5; Lk 15:21; Ro 7:24; 1Jn 1:8, 10 but will offend no more.

32 Teach me what I cannot see;Ex 33:13; Job 35:11; 38:36; Ps 15:2; 25:4; 27:11; 51:6; 86:11; 139:23-24; 143:8

if I have done wrong, I will not do so again.’Job 33:27; S Lk 19:8

33 Should God then reward you on your terms,

when you refuse to repent?S 2Ki 17:13; Job 33:23; 36:10, 15, 18, 21; 41:11; 42:6; Pr 17:23; Jnh 3:8

You must decide, not I;

so tell me what you know.

34 “Men of understanding declare,

wise men who hear me say to me,

35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge;Job 35:16; 38:2; 42:3

his words lack insight.’Job 26:3

36 Oh, that Job might be tested to the utmost

for answering like a wicked man!S Job 6:29; S 22:15

37 To his sin he adds rebellion;

scornfully he claps his handsS Job 27:23 among us

and multiplies his wordsJob 35:16 against God.”Job 23:2

35 Then Elihu said:

“Do you think this is just?

You say, ‘I am in the right,S Job 33:32 not God.’S Job 2:9; S 32:2

Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me,Or you

and what do I gain by not sinning?’S Job 9:29-31; S 21:15

“I would like to reply to you

and to your friends with you.

Look up at the heavensS Ge 15:5; S Dt 10:14 and see;

gaze at the clouds so high above you.S Job 11:7-9; Ps 19:1-4

If you sin, how does that affect him?

If your sins are many, what does that do to him?S Job 7:20

If you are righteous, what do you give to him,Ro 11:35

or what does he receive1Co 4:7 from your hand?S Job 22:2-3; Lk 17:10

Your wickedness only affects humans like yourself,Eze 18:24

and your righteousness only other people.Eze 18:5-9; Zec 7:9-10

“People cry outEx 2:23 under a load of oppression;S Job 20:19

they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful.S Job 5:15; S 12:19

10 But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,S Job 4:17

who gives songsS Job 8:21 in the night,Ps 42:8; 77:6; 119:62; 149:5; Ac 16:25

11 who teachesS Job 21:22; Lk 12:24 usJob 12:7 more than he teachesOr night, / 11 who teaches us by the beasts of the earth

and makes us wiser thanOr us wise by the birds in the sky?’

12 He does not answerS 1Sa 8:18 when people cry out

because of the arroganceS Job 15:25 of the wicked.Ps 66:18

13 Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea;

the Almighty pays no attention to it.S Dt 1:45; S 1Sa 8:18; S Job 15:31; S Pr 15:8

14 How much less, then, will he listen

when you say that you do not see him,S Job 9:11

that your casePs 37:6 is before him

and you must wait for him,Job 31:35

15 and further, that his anger never punishesS Job 9:24

and he does not take the least notice of wickedness.Symmachus, Theodotion and Vulgate; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.S Job 18:5; Ps 10:11; Hos 7:2; Am 8:7

16 So Job opens his mouth with empty talk;Tit 1:10

without knowledge he multiplies words.”S Job 34:35, 37; 1Co 4:20; Jude 1:10

36 Elihu continued:

“Bear with me a little longer and I will show you

that there is more to be said in God’s behalf.

I get my knowledge from afar;S Job 6:28

I will ascribe justice to my Maker.S Job 4:17

Be assured that my words are not false;S Job 6:28; S 13:6

one who has perfect knowledgeJob 37:5, 16, 23 is with you.S Job 32:17

“God is mighty,S Job 9:4 but despises no one;Ps 5:2; 22:24; 31:22; 69:33; 102:17; 103:10

he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.S Nu 23:19; Ro 11:29

He does not keep the wicked aliveS Job 34:26

but gives the afflicted their rights.S Job 4:10

He does not take his eyes off the righteous;S Job 11:11; Ps 11:5; 33:18; 34:15; Mt 6:18

he enthrones them with kingsPs 113:8; Isa 22:23

and exalts them forever.S 1Sa 2:7-8; S Job 4:7

But if people are bound in chains,S 2Sa 3:34; 2Ki 23:33; Ps 107:10, 14

held fast by cords of affliction,ver 10, 15, 21; Ps 119:67, 71

he tells them what they have done—

that they have sinned arrogantly.S Job 15:25

10 He makes them listenS Job 33:16 to correctionS Job 5:17

and commands them to repent of their evil.S ver 8; S Jdg 6:8; S Job 34:33; 1Th 5:22

11 If they obey and serve him,S Lev 26:33; Dt 28:1; Isa 1:19; Hag 1:12

they will spend the rest of their days in prosperityS Dt 30:15; S Job 8:7

and their years in contentment.S Ex 8:22; S Dt 8:1; Jn 14:21; 1Ti 4:8

12 But if they do not listen,

they will perish by the swordOr will cross the riverS Lev 26:38; S Job 15:22

and die without knowledge.S Job 4:21; Eph 4:18

13 “The godless in heartS Job 15:12; Ro 2:5 harbor resentment;S Job 5:2

even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.S Job 4:17; Am 4:11

14 They die in their youth,S Job 15:32

among male prostitutes of the shrines.S Dt 23:17

15 But those who sufferS Job 5:15 he delivers in their suffering;2Co 12:10

he speaksS Job 33:16 to them in their affliction.S ver 8; S Job 34:33

16 “He is wooingHos 2:14 you from the jaws of distress

to a spacious placeS 2Sa 22:20; Ps 18:19 free from restriction,Ps 118:5

to the comfort of your tablePs 23:5; 78:19 laden with choice food.S Ge 17:1; S Job 15:11

17 But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked;S Job 20:29

judgment and justice have taken hold of you.Job 22:11

18 Be careful that no one entices you by riches;

do not let a large bribeS Ex 23:8; Am 5:12 turn you aside.S Job 34:33

19 Would your wealthPs 49:6; Jer 9:23 or even all your mighty efforts

sustain you so you would not be in distress?

20 Do not long for the night,Job 34:20, 25

to drag people away from their homes.The meaning of the Hebrew for verses 18-20 is uncertain.

21 Beware of turning to evil,S Job 34:33; Ps 66:18

which you seem to prefer to affliction.S ver 8; Heb 11:25

22 “God is exalted in his power.S Job 5:9; S 9:4

Who is a teacher like him?S Job 21:22; S Ro 11:34

23 Who has prescribed his waysJob 27:11 for him,S Job 34:13; Ro 11:33

or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’?S Ge 18:25; S Job 34:10

24 Remember to extol his work,1Ch 16:24; Ps 35:27; 92:5; 111:2; 138:5; 145:10

which people have praised in song.S Ex 15:1; Rev 15:3

25 All humanity has seen it;Ro 1:20

mortals gaze on it from afar.

26 How great is God—beyond our understanding!S Job 5:9; 1Co 13:12

The number of his years is past finding out.S Ge 21:33; S Job 10:5; Heb 1:12

27 “He draws up the drops of water,S Job 26:8

which distill as rain to the streamsOr distill from the mist as rain;S 2Sa 1:21; Job 28:26; 38:28; Isa 55:10

28 the clouds pour down their moisture

and abundant showersPs 65:10; 72:6; Joel 2:23 fall on mankind.S Job 5:10; S 22:11; S 28:26; Mt 5:45

29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,

how he thundersPs 29:3; Jer 10:13 from his pavilion?S Job 9:6; 37:16; Ps 18:7-15; 19:4, 5; 104:2; Pr 8:28; Isa 40:22

30 See how he scatters his lightningEx 19:16; Job 37:11, 15; Ps 18:12, 14; 97:4; Jer 10:13; Hab 3:11 about him,

bathing the depths of the sea.Ps 68:22; Isa 51:10

31 This is the way he governsOr nourishes the nationsDt 28:23-24; 1Ki 17:1; Job 37:13; Am 4:7-8

and provides foodPs 145:15 in abundance.Ps 104:14-15, 27-28; Isa 30:23; Ac 14:17

32 He fills his hands with lightning

and commands it to strike its mark.S Job 28:24; 37:12, 15; Ps 18:14; 29:7-9

33 His thunder announces the coming storm;Job 37:5; 40:9

even the cattle make known its approach.Or announces his coming— / the One zealous against evilS Job 28:26

Elihu Accuses Job of Arrogance

34 Then Elihu said:

“Listen to me, you wise men.

Pay attention, you who have knowledge.

Job said, ‘The ear tests the words it hears

just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.’

So let us discern for ourselves what is right;

let us learn together what is good.

For Job also said, ‘I am innocent,

but God has taken away my rights.

I am innocent, but they call me a liar.

My suffering is incurable, though I have not sinned.’

“Tell me, has there ever been a man like Job,

with his thirst for irreverent talk?

He chooses evil people as companions.

He spends his time with wicked men.

He has even said, ‘Why waste time

trying to please God?’

10 “Listen to me, you who have understanding.

Everyone knows that God doesn’t sin!

The Almighty can do no wrong.

11 He repays people according to their deeds.

He treats people as they deserve.

12 Truly, God will not do wrong.

The Almighty will not twist justice.

13 Did someone else put the world in his care?

Who set the whole world in place?

14 If God were to take back his spirit

and withdraw his breath,

15 all life would cease,

and humanity would turn again to dust.

16 “Now listen to me if you are wise.

Pay attention to what I say.

17 Could God govern if he hated justice?

Are you going to condemn the almighty judge?

18 For he says to kings, ‘You are wicked,’

and to nobles, ‘You are unjust.’

19 He doesn’t care how great a person may be,

and he pays no more attention to the rich than to the poor.

He made them all.

20 In a moment they die.

In the middle of the night they pass away;

the mighty are removed without human hand.

21 “For God watches how people live;

he sees everything they do.

22 No darkness is thick enough

to hide the wicked from his eyes.

23 We don’t set the time

when we will come before God in judgment.

24 He brings the mighty to ruin without asking anyone,

and he sets up others in their place.

25 He knows what they do,

and in the night he overturns and destroys them.

26 He strikes them down because they are wicked,

doing it openly for all to see.

27 For they turned away from following him.

They have no respect for any of his ways.

28 They cause the poor to cry out, catching God’s attention.

He hears the cries of the needy.

29 But if he chooses to remain quiet,

who can criticize him?

When he hides his face, no one can find him,

whether an individual or a nation.

30 He prevents the godless from ruling

so they cannot be a snare to the people.

31 “Why don’t people say to God, ‘I have sinned,

but I will sin no more’?

32 Or ‘I don’t know what evil I have done—tell me.

If I have done wrong, I will stop at once’?

33 “Must God tailor his justice to your demands?

But you have rejected him!

The choice is yours, not mine.

Go ahead, share your wisdom with us.

34 After all, bright people will tell me,

and wise people will hear me say,

35 ‘Job speaks out of ignorance;

his words lack insight.’

36 Job, you deserve the maximum penalty

for the wicked way you have talked.

37 For you have added rebellion to your sin;

you show no respect,

and you speak many angry words against God.”

Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Justice

35 Then Elihu said:

“Do you think it is right for you to claim,

‘I am righteous before God’?

For you also ask, ‘What’s in it for me?

What’s the use of living a righteous life?’

“I will answer you

and all your friends, too.

Look up into the sky,

and see the clouds high above you.

If you sin, how does that affect God?

Even if you sin again and again,

what effect will it have on him?

If you are good, is this some great gift to him?

What could you possibly give him?

No, your sins affect only people like yourself,

and your good deeds also affect only humans.

“People cry out when they are oppressed.

They groan beneath the power of the mighty.

10 Yet they don’t ask, ‘Where is God my Creator,

the one who gives songs in the night?

11 Where is the one who makes us smarter than the animals

and wiser than the birds of the sky?’

12 And when they cry out, God does not answer

because of their pride.

13 But it is wrong to say God doesn’t listen,

to say the Almighty isn’t concerned.

14 You say you can’t see him,

but he will bring justice if you will only wait.These verses can also be translated as follows: 13 Indeed, God doesn’t listen to their empty plea; / the Almighty is not concerned. / 14 How much less will he listen when you say you don’t see him, / and that your case is before him and you’re waiting for justice.

15 You say he does not respond to sinners with anger

and is not greatly concerned about wickedness.As in Greek and Latin versions; the meaning of this Hebrew word is uncertain.

16 But you are talking nonsense, Job.

You have spoken like a fool.”

36 Elihu continued speaking:

“Let me go on, and I will show you the truth.

For I have not finished defending God!

I will present profound arguments

for the righteousness of my Creator.

I am telling you nothing but the truth,

for I am a man of great knowledge.

“God is mighty, but he does not despise anyone!

He is mighty in both power and understanding.

He does not let the wicked live

but gives justice to the afflicted.

He never takes his eyes off the innocent,

but he sets them on thrones with kings

and exalts them forever.

If they are bound in chains

and caught up in a web of trouble,

he shows them the reason.

He shows them their sins of pride.

10 He gets their attention

and commands that they turn from evil.

11 “If they listen and obey God,

they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives.

All their years will be pleasant.

12 But if they refuse to listen to him,

they will cross over the river of death,

dying from lack of understanding.

13 For the godless are full of resentment.

Even when he punishes them,

they refuse to cry out to him for help.

14 They die when they are young,

after wasting their lives in immoral living.

15 But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer.

For he gets their attention through adversity.

16 “God is leading you away from danger, Job,

to a place free from distress.

He is setting your table with the best food.

17 But you are obsessed with whether the godless will be judged.

Don’t worry, judgment and justice will be upheld.

18 But watch out, or you may be seduced by wealth.Or But don’t let your anger lead you to mockery.

Don’t let yourself be bribed into sin.

19 Could all your wealthOr Could all your cries for help.

or all your mighty efforts

keep you from distress?

20 Do not long for the cover of night,

for that is when people will be destroyed.The meaning of the Hebrew in this passage is uncertain.

21 Be on guard! Turn back from evil,

for God sent this suffering

to keep you from a life of evil.

Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Power

22 “Look, God is all-powerful.

Who is a teacher like him?

23 No one can tell him what to do,

or say to him, ‘You have done wrong.’

24 Instead, glorify his mighty works,

singing songs of praise.

25 Everyone has seen these things,

though only from a distance.

26 “Look, God is greater than we can understand.

His years cannot be counted.

27 He draws up the water vapor

and then distills it into rain.

28 The rain pours down from the clouds,

and everyone benefits.

29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds

and the thunder that rolls forth from heaven?

30 See how he spreads the lightning around him

and how it lights up the depths of the sea.

31 By these mighty acts he nourishesOr he governs. the people,

giving them food in abundance.

32 He fills his hands with lightning bolts

and hurls each at its target.

33 The thunder announces his presence;

the storm announces his indignant anger.Or even the cattle know when a storm is coming. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

34 Furthermore Elihu answered and said,

Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge.

For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.

Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.

For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment.

Should I lie against my right? my wound is incurable without transgression.

What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water?

Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men.

For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God.

10 Therefore hearken unto me ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity.

11 For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.

12 Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.

13 Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?

14 If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath;

15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.

16 If now thou hast understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words.

17 Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just?

18 Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly?

19 How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands.

20 In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.

21 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.

22 There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

23 For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God.

24 He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead.

25 Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed.

26 He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others;

27 Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways:

28 So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted.

29 When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:

30 That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.

31 Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more:

32 That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.

33 Should it be according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest.

34 Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me.

35 Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom.

36 My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men.

37 For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God.

35 Elihu spake moreover, and said,

Thinkest thou this to be right, that thou saidst, My righteousness is more than God's?

For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?

I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee.

Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou.

If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?

If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?

Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.

By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.

10 But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;

11 Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?

12 There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men.

13 Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.

14 Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.

15 But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:

16 Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge.

36 Elihu also proceeded, and said,

Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God's behalf.

I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.

Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.

He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.

He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.

And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction;

Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.

10 He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.

11 If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.

12 But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.

13 But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he bindeth them.

14 They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean.

15 He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression.

16 Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness.

17 But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee.

18 Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.

19 Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.

20 Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place.

21 Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than affliction.

22 Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him?

23 Who hath enjoined him his way? or who can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity?

24 Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.

25 Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off.

26 Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.

27 For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:

28 Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.

29 Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?

30 Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea.

31 For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance.

32 With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.

33 The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour.

2 Corinthians 4:1-12

Present Weakness and Resurrection Life

Therefore, since through God’s mercy1Co 7:25; 1Ti 1:13, 16 we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.ver 16; Ps 18:45; Isa 40:31Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways;Ro 6:21; S 1Co 4:5 we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.2Co 2:17; S Heb 4:12 On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience2Co 5:11 in the sight of God.And even if our gospelS 2Co 2:12 is veiled,2Co 3:14 it is veiled to those who are perishing.S 1Co 1:18The godS Jn 12:31 of this ageS 1Co 1:20 has blinded2Co 3:14 the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ,ver 6 who is the image of God.S Jn 14:9For what we preach is not ourselves,1Co 1:13 but Jesus Christ as Lord,1Co 1:23 and ourselves as your servants1Co 9:19 for Jesus’ sake.For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”Gen. 1:3Ge 1:3; Ps 18:28 made his light shine in our hearts2Pe 1:19 to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.ver 4

But we have this treasure in jars of clayJob 4:19; Isa 64:8; 2Ti 2:20 to show that this all-surpassing power is from GodJdg 7:2; 1Co 2:5; 2Co 6:7 and not from us.We are hard pressed on every side,2Co 7:5 but not crushed; perplexed,Gal 4:20 but not in despair;persecuted,Jn 15:20; Ro 8:35 but not abandoned;Heb 13:5 struck down, but not destroyed.Ps 37:24; Pr 24:1610 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,S Ro 6:6; S 2Co 1:5 so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.S Ro 6:511 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake,Ro 8:36 so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.2Co 13:9

Treasure in Fragile Clay Jars

Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way,Or ministry. we never give up.We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing.Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake.For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.Greek We now have this treasure in clay jars. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

Psalm 44:1-8

Psalm 44In Hebrew texts 44:1-26 is numbered 44:2-27.

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil.Title: Probably a literary or musical term

We have heard it with our ears,2Sa 7:22; 1Ch 17:20; Jer 26:11 O God;

our ancestors have told usS Jdg 6:13

what you did in their days,

in days long ago.S Dt 32:7; S Job 37:23

With your hand you drove outS Jos 3:10; Ac 7:45 the nations

and plantedS Ex 15:17; S Isa 60:21 our ancestors;

you crushedS Jdg 4:23; S 2Ch 14:13 the peoples

and made our ancestors flourish.Ps 80:9; Jer 32:23

It was not by their swordJos 24:12 that they won the land,

nor did their arm bring them victory;

it was your right hand,Ps 78:54 your arm,Ex 15:16; Ps 77:15; 79:11; 89:10; 98:1; Isa 40:10; 52:10; 63:5

and the lightPs 89:15 of your face, for you lovedS Dt 4:37 them.

You are my KingS Ps 24:7 and my God,Ps 5:2

who decreesSeptuagint, Aquila and Syriac; Hebrew King, O God; / command victoriesS Ps 21:5 for Jacob.

Through you we push backS Jos 23:5 our enemies;

through your name we tramplePs 60:12; 108:13 our foes.

I put no trust in my bow,Ge 48:22; Hos 1:7

my sword does not bring me victory;

but you give us victoryS Dt 20:4 over our enemies,

you put our adversaries to shame.S Job 8:22

In God we make our boastS Ps 34:2; 1Co 1:31; 2Co 10:17 all day long,Ps 52:1

and we will praise your name forever.The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.S Ps 30:12

Psalm 44

For the choir director: A psalmHebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term. of the descendants of Korah.

O God, we have heard it with our own ears—

our ancestors have told us

of all you did in their day,

in days long ago:

You drove out the pagan nations by your power

and gave all the land to our ancestors.

You crushed their enemies

and set our ancestors free.

They did not conquer the land with their swords;

it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory.

It was your right hand and strong arm

and the blinding light from your face that helped them,

for you loved them.

You are my King and my God.

You command victories for Israel.Hebrew for Jacob. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation.

Only by your power can we push back our enemies;

only in your name can we trample our foes.

I do not trust in my bow;

I do not count on my sword to save me.

You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;

you disgrace those who hate us.

O God, we give glory to you all day long

and constantly praise your name. Interlude

44 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.

How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out.

For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.

Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.

Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.

For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.

But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.

In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.

Proverbs 22:10-12

10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;

quarrels and insults are ended.Pr 26:20

11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace

will have the king for a friend.Pr 16:13; Mt 5:8

12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,

but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.

10 Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too.

Quarrels and insults will disappear.

11 Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech

will have the king as a friend.

12 The Lord preserves those with knowledge,

but he ruins the plans of the treacherous.

10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.

12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.

Aug 29 Aug 31
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