Day 188

Daily Bible Reading

(ESV: Through The Bible)

Job 35-37 (Listen)

Elihu Condemns Job

35:1 And Elihu answered and said:

“Do you think this to be just?
  Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’
that you ask, ‘What advantage have I?
  How am I better off than if I had sinned?’
I will answer you
  and your friends with you.
Look at the heavens, and see;
  and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.
If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
  And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give to him?
  Or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself,
  and your righteousness a son of man.

“Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
  they call for help because of the arm of the mighty. [1]
But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
  who gives songs in the night,
who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth
  and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’
There they cry out, but he does not answer,
  because of the pride of evil men.
Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
  nor does the Almighty regard it.
How much less when you say that you do not see him,
  that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!
And now, because his anger does not punish,
  and he does not take much note of transgression, [2]
Job opens his mouth in empty talk;
  he multiplies words without knowledge.”

Elihu Extols God's Greatness

36:1 And Elihu continued, and said:

“Bear with me a little, and I will show you,
  for I have yet something to say on God's behalf.
I will get my knowledge from afar
  and ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
For truly my words are not false;
  one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.

“Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any;
  he is mighty in strength of understanding.
He does not keep the wicked alive,
  but gives the afflicted their right.
He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
  but with kings on the throne
  he sets them forever, and they are exalted.
And if they are bound in chains
  and caught in the cords of affliction,
then he declares to them their work
  and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.
He opens their ears to instruction
  and commands that they return from iniquity.
If they listen and serve him,
  they complete their days in prosperity,
  and their years in pleasantness.
But if they do not listen, they perish by the sword
  and die without knowledge.

“The godless in heart cherish anger;
  they do not cry for help when he binds them.
They die in youth,
  and their life ends among the cult prostitutes.
He delivers the afflicted by their affliction
  and opens their ear by adversity.
He also allured you out of distress
  into a broad place where there was no cramping,
  and what was set on your table was full of fatness.

“But you are full of the judgment on the wicked;
  judgment and justice seize you.
Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing,
  and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.
Will your cry for help avail to keep you from distress,
  or all the force of your strength?
Do not long for the night,
  when peoples vanish in their place.
Take care; do not turn to iniquity,
  for this you have chosen rather than affliction.
Behold, God is exalted in his power;
  who is a teacher like him?
Who has prescribed for him his way,
  or who can say, ‘You have done wrong’?

“Remember to extol his work,
  of which men have sung.
All mankind has looked on it;
  man beholds it from afar.
Behold, God is great, and we know him not;
  the number of his years is unsearchable.
For he draws up the drops of water;
  they distill his mist in rain,
which the skies pour down
  and drop on mankind abundantly.
Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds,
  the thunderings of his pavilion?
Behold, he scatters his lightning about him
  and covers the roots of the sea.
For by these he judges peoples;
  he gives food in abundance.
He covers his hands with the lightning
  and commands it to strike the mark.
Its crashing declares his presence; [3]
  the cattle also declare that he rises.

Elihu Proclaims God's Majesty

37:1 “At this also my heart trembles
  and leaps out of its place.
Keep listening to the thunder of his voice
  and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
Under the whole heaven he lets it go,
  and his lightning to the corners of the earth.
After it his voice roars;
  he thunders with his majestic voice,
  and he does not restrain the lightnings [4] when his voice is heard.
God thunders wondrously with his voice;
  he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
  likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.
He seals up the hand of every man,
  that all men whom he made may know it.
Then the beasts go into their lairs,
  and remain in their dens.
From its chamber comes the whirlwind,
  and cold from the scattering winds.
By the breath of God ice is given,
  and the broad waters are frozen fast.
He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
  the clouds scatter his lightning.
They turn around and around by his guidance,
  to accomplish all that he commands them
  on the face of the habitable world.
Whether for correction or for his land
  or for love, he causes it to happen.

“Hear this, O Job;
  stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
Do you know how God lays his command upon them
  and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
Do you know the balancings [5] of the clouds,
  the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge,
you whose garments are hot
  when the earth is still because of the south wind?
Can you, like him, spread out the skies,
  hard as a cast metal mirror?
Teach us what we shall say to him;
  we cannot draw up our case because of darkness.
Shall it be told him that I would speak?
  Did a man ever wish that he would be swallowed up?

“And now no one looks on the light
  when it is bright in the skies,
  when the wind has passed and cleared them.
Out of the north comes golden splendor;
  God is clothed with awesome majesty.
The Almighty—we cannot find him;
  he is great in power;
  justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate.
Therefore men fear him;
  he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.” [6]

Acts 14 (Listen)

Paul and Barnabas at Iconium

14:1 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. [7] So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, and there they continued to preach the gospel.

Paul and Barnabas at Lystra

Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, [8] said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.

Paul Stoned at Lystra

But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch in Syria

Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they remained no little time with the disciples.


[1] 35:9 Or the many
[2] 35:15 Theodotion, Symmachus (compare Vulgate); the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[3] 36:33 Hebrew declares concerning him
[4] 37:4 Hebrew them
[5] 37:16 Or hoverings
[6] 37:24 Hebrew in heart
[7] 14:2 Or brothers and sisters
[8] 14:9 Or be saved



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