He who loves purity of heart and speaks gracefully is the king’s friend. Proverbs 22:11

Job 34-36

Job 34

Elihu Confirms God’s Justice

1 Moreover Elihu answered,

2 “Hear my words, you wise men.
Give ear to me, you who have knowledge.
3 For the ear tries words,
as the palate tastes food.
4 Let us choose for ourselves that which is right.
Let us know among ourselves what is good.
5 For Job has said, ‘I am righteous,
yet God has divested him of justice.
6 Notwithstanding my right I am considered a liar.
My wound is incurable, though I am without disobedience.’
7 What man is like Job,
who drinks scorn like water,
8 who goes in company with the workers of iniquity,
and walks with wicked men?
9 For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
that he should delight himself with God.’

10 Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding.
far be it from God, that he should do anything wicked,
from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity.
11 For the work of a man he will repay him,
and causes each man to find according to his ways.
12 Yes surely God will not act wickedly,
nor will the Almighty pervert justice.
13 Who put him in charge of the earth?
Or who has appointed him over the whole world?
14 If he set his heart on himself,
if he gathered to himself his spirit and his breath,
15 all flesh would perish together,
and man would turn back to dust.

16 If now you have understanding, hear this.
Listen to the voice of my words.
17 Should one who hates justice govern?
Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty?—
18 Who says to a king, ‘Vile!’
or to nobles, ‘Wicked!’?
19 He is not partial to princes,
nor favors the rich over the poor,
for they all are the work of his hands.
20 In a moment they die, at midnight.
The people are shaken and pass away.
The mighty are taken away without human hand.

21 For his eyes are on the ways of a man.
He sees all his steps.
22 There is no darkness, nor thick gloom,
where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
23 For he does not need to consider a man further,
that he should go before God in judgment.
24 Without investigation, he shatters the mighty
and sets others in their place.
25 Therefore he takes knowledge of their works.
He overturns them in the night, so that they are destroyed.
26 He strikes them as wicked men
in the open sight of others,
27 because they turned away from following him,
and would not pay attention to any of his ways,
28 so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him.
He heard the cry of the afflicted.
29 When he is silent, who can condemn him?
When he hides his face, who then can see him?
He is over a nation or a man alike,
30 that the godless man may not reign,
that there be no one to ensnare the people.

31 For has any said to God,
‘I am guilty, but I will not offend any more.
32 Teach me that which I do not see.
If I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
33 Shall God’s repayment be as you desire,
when you refuse to accept it?
For you must choose, and not I.
Therefore speak what you know.
34 Men of understanding will tell me,
yes, every wise man who hears me:
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge.
His words are without wisdom.’
36 I wish that Job were tried to the end,
because of his answering like wicked men.
37 For he adds rebellion to his sin.
He claps his hands among us,
and multiplies his words against God.”

Job 35

Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Justice

1 Moreover Elihu answered,

2 “Do you think this to be your right,
or do you say, ‘My righteousness is more than God’s,’
3 that you ask, ‘What advantage will it be to you?
What profit will I have, more than if I had sinned?’
4 I will answer you,
and your companions with you.
5 Look to the heavens and see.
Consider the clouds, which are high above you.
6 If you have sinned, what effect do you have against him?
If your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
7 If you are righteous, what do you give him?
Or what does he receive from your hand?
8 Your wickedness may hurt a man like yourself,
and your righteousness may profit a man.

9 Because of all the oppression, people cry out.
They cry for help because of the arm of the mighty.
10 But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
who gives songs in the night,
11 who teaches us more than the animals of the earth,
and makes us wiser than the birds of the sky?’
12 There they cry, but no one answers,
because of the pride of evil men.
13 Surely God will not hear an empty cry,
nor will the Almighty regard it.
14 How much less when you say you do not see him.
The cause is before him, and you wait for him!
15 But now, because, in his anger, he does not punish,
does he not greatly regard arrogance?
16 Therefore Job opens his mouth with empty talk,
and he multiplies words without knowledge.”

Job 36

Elihu Shows God’s Justice and Power

1 Elihu also continued, and said,

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

5 God is mighty and does not despise anyone.
He is mighty in strength of understanding.
6 He does not preserve the life of the wicked,
but gives justice to the afflicted.
7 He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
but with kings on the throne,
he sets them forever, and they are exalted.
8 If they are bound in fetters,
and are taken in the cords of afflictions,
9 then he shows them their deeds,
and their transgressions,
how arrogantly they have behaved themselves.
10 He also opens their ears to instruction,
and commands that they return from iniquity.
11 If they listen and serve him,
they will spend their days in prosperity,
and their years in pleasures.
12 But if they do not listen,
they will perish by the sword.
They will die without knowledge.

13 But those who are godless in heart lay up anger.
They do not cry for help when he binds them.
14 They die in youth.
Their life perishes among the unclean.
15 He delivers the afflicted by their affliction,
and opens their ear in oppression.
16 Yes, he would have lured you out of distress,
into a wide place, where there is no restriction.
That which is set on your table would be full of richness.

17 But you are full of the judgment of the wicked.
Judgment and justice take hold of you.
18 Do not let riches entice you to wrath,
nor let the great size of a bribe turn you aside.
19 Would your wealth sustain you in distress,
or all the might of your strength?
20 Do not desire the night,
when people are cut off in their place.
21 Take heed, do not regard iniquity,
for you have chosen this rather than affliction.
22 God is exalted in his power.
Who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has prescribed his way for him?
Or who can say, ‘You have committed unrighteousness?’

24 Remember that you magnify his work,
about which men have sung.
25 All men have looked on it.
Man sees it afar off.
26 God is great, and we do not know him.
The number of his years is unsearchable.
27 For he draws up the drops of water,
which distill in rain from his vapor,
28 which the skies pour down
and which drop on man abundantly.
29 Yes, can any understand the spreading of the clouds,
and the thundering of his pavilion?
30 He spreads his light around him.
He covers the bottom of the sea.
31 For by these he judges the people.
He gives food in abundance.
32 He covers his hands with the lightning
and commands it to strike the mark.
33 Its noise tells about him,
and the livestock also concerning the storm that comes up.

2 Corinthians 4:1-12

The Light of the Gospel

1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, just as we obtained mercy, we do not faint. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

3 But if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God who said, “Light will shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Treasures in Jars of Clay

7 But we have this treasure in clay vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves. 8 We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; 9 pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death works in us, but life in you.

Psalm 44:1-8

Redeem Us

For the Chief Musician. By the sons of Korah. A contemplative psalm.

1 We have heard with our ears, God;
our fathers have told us what work you did in their days,
in the days of old.

2 You drove out the nations with your hand,
but you planted them.
You afflicted the peoples,
but you spread them abroad.

3 For they did not get the land in possession by their own sword,
nor did their own arm save them;
but your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face,
because you delighted in them.

4 You are my King, O God.
Command victories for Jacob!

5 Through you, will we push down our adversaries.
Through your name, we will tread down those who rise up against us.

6 For I will not trust in my bow,
nor shall my sword save me.

7 But you have saved us from our adversaries,
and have shamed those who hate us.

8 In God we have boasted all day long,
we will give thanks to your name forever.

Proverbs 22:10-12

10 Drive out the mocker, and conflict will go out.
Yes, quarrels and insults will stop.
11 He who loves purity of heart and speaks gracefully
is the king’s friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over knowledge,
but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.

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