He stretches out the north over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. Job 26:7

Job 23-27

Job 23

Job Responds: He Longs for God

1 Then Job answered,

2 “Today my complaint is bitter.
His hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
3 Oh that I knew where I might find him!
That I might come to his seat!
4 I would set my cause in order before him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would know the words which he would answer me
and understand what he would tell me.
6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
No, but he would listen to me.
7 There the upright might reason with him,
so I should be delivered forever from my judge.

8 “If I go east, he is not there,
if west, I cannot find him.
9 He is at work to the north, but I cannot see him.
He turns south, but I cannot catch a glimpse of him.
10 But he knows the way that I take.
When he has tried me, I will come out like gold.
11 My foot has held fast to his steps.
I have kept his way and not turned away.
12 I have not gone back from the commandment of his lips.
I have treasured up the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

13 But he stands alone, and who can oppose him?
Whatever he desires, that, he does.
14 He accomplishes that which is appointed for me.
Many such things, he has planned.
15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence.
When I contemplate, I am afraid of him.
16 For God has made my heart faint.
The Almighty has terrified me.
17 Because I was not cut off before the darkness,
nor did he cover the thick darkness from my face.

Job 24

Job: Why are the Wicked Unpunished?

1 “Why are times not appointed by the Almighty?
Why do those who know him not see his days?
2 There are people who remove the landmarks.
They steal flocks and pasture them.
3 They drive away the donkey of the fatherless,
and they take the widow’s ox as a pledge.
4 They thrust the needy out of the way.
The poor of the earth all hide themselves.

5 Like wild donkeys in the desert,
they go out to their work, seeking diligently for food.
The wilderness yields bread for their children.
6 They harvest fields not their own
and glean the vineyard of the wicked.
7 They lie all night naked without clothing,
and have no covering in the cold.
8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains,
and embrace the rock for lack of a shelter.

9 There are people who snatch the fatherless from the breast,
taking a pledge from the poor.
10 Without clothing, they go around naked.
While they are hungry, they carry the sheaves.
11 They make oil within the walls of these men.
They tread wine presses, while they suffer from thirst.
12 From out of the populous city, men groan.
The soul of the wounded cries out,
yet God does not regard the wrong done to them.

13 These are the ones who rebel against the light.
They do not know its ways,
nor stay in its paths.
14 The murderer rises with the light.
He kills the poor and needy.
In the night he is like a thief.
15 The eye also of the adulterer waits for the twilight,
saying, ‘No eye will see me.’
He disguises his face.
16 In the dark they dig through houses.
They shut themselves up in the daytime.
They do not know the light.
17 For the morning is to all of them like thick darkness,
for they know the terrors of the thick darkness.

18 They are foam on the surface of the waters.
Their portion is cursed in the earth.
They do not turn into the way of the vineyards.
19 As drought and heat consume the melted snow,
so Sheol takes away those who have sinned.
20 The womb will forget him.
The worm will feed sweetly on him.
He will be remembered no more.
Unrighteousness will be broken like a tree.
21 He devours the barren who does not bear.
He shows no kindness to the widow.

22 Yet God pulls the mighty down by his power.
Though he rises, he has no assurance of life.
23 God gives them security, and they rest in it,
yet his eyes are on their ways.
24 They are exalted, yet a little while, and they are gone.
Yes, they are brought low. They are taken out of the way like all the others
and are cut off like the tops of the ears of grain.
25 If it is not so now, who will prove me a liar
and make my speech worth nothing?”

Job 25

Bildad: Man Cannot Be Righteous

1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered,

2 “Dominion and fear belong to him.
He establishes peace in his high places.
3 Can his armies be counted?
On whom does his light not shine?
4 How then can man be right before God?
Or how can he who is born of a woman be clean?
5 Even the moon has no brightness,
and the stars are not pure in his sight.
6 How much less man, who is a worm,
the son of man, who is a worm!”

Job 26

Job: Who Can Understand God’s Majesty

1 Then Job answered,

2 “How have you helped him who is without power!
How have you saved the arm that has no strength!
3 How have you counseled him who has no wisdom,
and plentifully declared sound knowledge!
4 To whom have you uttered words?
Whose spirit came from you?

5 The departed spirits tremble,
those beneath the waters and all that live in them.
6 Sheol is naked before God,
and Abaddon has no covering.

7 He stretches out the north over empty space
and hangs the earth on nothing.
8 He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
and the cloud is not burst under them.
9 He covers the face of the moon,
and spreads his cloud over it.
10 He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters,
at the boundary between light and darkness.

11 The pillars of heaven tremble
and are astonished at his rebuke.
12 He stirs up the sea with his power,
and by his understanding he strikes through Rahab.
13 By his Spirit the heavens are garnished.
His hand has pierced the swift serpent.
14 These are but the outskirts of his ways.
How small a whisper do we hear of him!
But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

Job 27

Job Affirms his Integrity

1 Job again took up his parable and said,

2 “As God lives, who has denied me justice,
the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,
3 as long as I still have life in me,
and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
4 surely my lips will not speak unrighteousness,
nor will my tongue utter deceit.
5 Far be it from me that I should justify you.
Until I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
6 I hold fast to my righteousness and will not let it go.
My heart will not reproach me so long as I live.

The State of the Godless

7 Let my enemy be as the wicked.
Let him who rises up against me be as the unrighteous.
8 For what is the hope of the godless,
when he is cut off, when God takes away his life?
9 Will God hear his cry when trouble comes on him?
10 Will he delight himself in the Almighty,
and call on God at all times?
11 I will teach you about the hand of God.
I will not conceal that which is with the Almighty.
12 All of you have seen it yourselves.
Why then do you utter nonsense?

13 This is the portion of a wicked man with God,
the heritage of oppressors, which they receive from the Almighty.
14 If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword.
His offspring will not be satisfied with bread.
15 Those who remain of him will be buried in death.
His widows will make no lamentation.
16 Though he heap up silver like the dust
and prepare clothing as the clay,
17 he may prepare it, but the just will put it on,
and the innocent will divide the silver.

18 He builds his house like the moth,
like a booth which the watchman makes.
19 He lies down rich, but he will not do so again.
He opens his eyes, and he is not.
20 Terrors overtake him like waters.
A storm steals him away in the night.
21 The east wind carries him away, and he departs.
It sweeps him out of his place.
22 For it hurls at him and does not spare,
as he flees away from his hand.
23 Men will clap their hands at him
and will hiss him out of his place.

2 Corinthians 1:12 – 2:11

Paul’s Change of Plans

12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly toward you. 13 For we write no other things to you than what you read or even acknowledge, and I hope you will acknowledge to the end, 14 as also you acknowledged us in part, that we are the reason for your boasting, as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.

15 With this confidence, I was determined to come first to you, that you might have a second benefit, 16 and with your assistance to pass into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come back to you, to be sent forth by you on my journey to Judea. 17 When I therefore was determined to do this, was I fickle? Or the things that I purpose, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be the “Yes, yes” and “No, no?” at the same time? 18 But as God is faithful, our word toward you was not “Yes and no.” 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, by me, Silvanus, and Timothy, was not “Yes and no,” but in him is “Yes.” 20 For however many are the promises of God, in him is the “Yes.” Therefore also through him is the “Amen”, to the glory of God through us. 21 Now he who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 who also sealed us, and gave us the down payment of the Spirit in our hearts.

23 But I call God as a witness to my soul, that I did not come to Corinth to spare you. 24 We do not control your faith, but are fellow workers with you for your joy. For you stand firm in faith.

2 Corinthians 2

Reaffirm Your Love

1 But I determined this for myself, that I would not come to you on another painful visit. 2 For if I make you grieve, then who will make me glad but the one whom I grieved? 3 And I wrote this very thing to you, so that when I came, I would not be grieved by the ones in whom I ought to rejoice, for I am confident that all of you would share my joy. 4 With a greatly afflicted and anguished heart, through many tears, I wrote to you, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love that I have so abundantly for you.

5 But if any has caused pain, he has caused it, not to me, but in part (that I not put it too severely) to all of you. 6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for someone like this, 7 so that on the contrary you should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means he should be overwhelmed with his excessive sorrow. 8 Therefore I beg you to confirm your love toward him. 9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might have proof of whether you are obedient in all things. 10 Now I also forgive whomever you forgive anything. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

Psalm 41

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.

1 Blessed is he who considers the poor.
The Lord will deliver him in the time of trouble.
2 The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive.
He shall be blessed on the earth,
and he will not surrender him to the will of his enemies.
3 The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed,
and restore him from his bed of illness.

4 I said, “Lord, have mercy on me!
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.”
5 My enemies speak with malice against me:
“When will he die and his name vanish?”
6 If he comes to see me, he speaks deceit.
His heart’s intent is to gather slander.
to go out and tell it.

7 All who hate me whisper together against me.
They imagine the worst for me.
8 “A fatal disease”, they say, “has afflicted him.
Now that he is bedridden, he will never get up again.”
9 Yes, my own close friend, in whom I trusted,
who ate bread with me,
has turned against me.

10 But you, O Lord, have mercy on me, and raise me up,
that I may repay them.
11 By this I know that you delight in me,
because my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 As for me, you uphold me in my integrity,
and set me in your presence forever.

13 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
from everlasting and to everlasting!
Amen and amen.

Proverbs 22:5-6

5 Thorns and snares are in the path of the wicked:
whoever guards his soul stays from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.

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