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Soulfood Daily Bible Readings

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Job 18–20

18:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

  “How long will you hunt for words?
    Consider, and then we will speak.
  Why are we counted as cattle?
    Why are we stupid in your sight?
  You who tear yourself in your anger,
    shall the earth be forsaken for you,
    or the rock be removed out of its place?
  “Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out,
    and the flame of his fire does not shine.
  The light is dark in his tent,
    and his lamp above him is put out.
  His strong steps are shortened,
    and his own schemes throw him down.
  For he is cast into a net by his own feet,
    and he walks on its mesh.
  A trap seizes him by the heel;
    a snare lays hold of him.
10   A rope is hidden for him in the ground,
    a trap for him in the path.
11   Terrors frighten him on every side,
    and chase him at his heels.
12   His strength is famished,
    and calamity is ready for his stumbling.
13   It consumes the parts of his skin;
    the firstborn of death consumes his limbs.
14   He is torn from the tent in which he trusted
    and is brought to the king of terrors.
15   In his tent dwells that which is none of his;
    sulfur is scattered over his habitation.
16   His roots dry up beneath,
    and his branches wither above.
17   His memory perishes from the earth,
    and he has no name in the street.
18   He is thrust from light into darkness,
    and driven out of the world.
19   He has no posterity or progeny among his people,
    and no survivor where he used to live.
20   They of the west are appalled at his day,
    and horror seizes them of the east.
21   Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous,
    such is the place of him who knows not God.”

19:1 Then Job answered and said:

  “How long will you torment me
    and break me in pieces with words?
  These ten times you have cast reproach upon me;
    are you not ashamed to wrong me?
  And even if it be true that I have erred,
    my error remains with myself.
  If indeed you magnify yourselves against me
    and make my disgrace an argument against me,
  know then that God has put me in the wrong
    and closed his net about me.
  Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered;
    I call for help, but there is no justice.
  He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass,
    and he has set darkness upon my paths.
  He has stripped from me my glory
    and taken the crown from my head.
10   He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
    and my hope has he pulled up like a tree.
11   He has kindled his wrath against me
    and counts me as his adversary.
12   His troops come on together;
    they have cast up their siege ramp against me
    and encamp around my tent.
13   “He has put my brothers far from me,
    and those who knew me are wholly estranged from me.
14   My relatives have failed me,
    my close friends have forgotten me.
15   The guests in my house and my maidservants count me as a stranger;
    I have become a foreigner in their eyes.
16   I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;
    I must plead with him with my mouth for mercy.
17   My breath is strange to my wife,
    and I am a stench to the children of my own mother.
18   Even young children despise me;
    when I rise they talk against me.
19   All my intimate friends abhor me,
    and those whom I loved have turned against me.
20   My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh,
    and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21   Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends,
    for the hand of God has touched me!
22   Why do you, like God, pursue me?
    Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?
23   “Oh that my words were written!
    Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24   Oh that with an iron pen and lead
    they were engraved in the rock forever!
25   For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
26   And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27   whom I shall see for myself,
    and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
    My heart faints within me!
28   If you say, ‘How we will pursue him!’
    and, ‘The root of the matter is found in him,’
29   be afraid of the sword,
    for wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
    that you may know there is a judgment.”

20:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:

  “Therefore my thoughts answer me,
    because of my haste within me.
  I hear censure that insults me,
    and out of my understanding a spirit answers me.
  Do you not know this from of old,
    since man was placed on earth,
  that the exulting of the wicked is short,
    and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
  Though his height mount up to the heavens,
    and his head reach to the clouds,
  he will perish forever like his own dung;
    those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
  He will fly away like a dream and not be found;
    he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
  The eye that saw him will see him no more,
    nor will his place any more behold him.
10   His children will seek the favor of the poor,
    and his hands will give back his wealth.
11   His bones are full of his youthful vigor,
    but it will lie down with him in the dust.
12   “Though evil is sweet in his mouth,
    though he hides it under his tongue,
13   though he is loath to let it go
    and holds it in his mouth,
14   yet his food is turned in his stomach;
    it is the venom of cobras within him.
15   He swallows down riches and vomits them up again;
    God casts them out of his belly.
16   He will suck the poison of cobras;
    the tongue of a viper will kill him.
17   He will not look upon the rivers,
    the streams flowing with honey and curds.
18   He will give back the fruit of his toil
    and will not swallow it down;
  from the profit of his trading
    he will get no enjoyment.
19   For he has crushed and abandoned the poor;
    he has seized a house that he did not build.
20   “Because he knew no contentment in his belly,
    he will not let anything in which he delights escape him.
21   There was nothing left after he had eaten;
    therefore his prosperity will not endure.
22   In the fullness of his sufficiency he will be in distress;
    the hand of everyone in misery will come against him.
23   To fill his belly to the full,
    God will send his burning anger against him
    and rain it upon him into his body.
24   He will flee from an iron weapon;
    a bronze arrow will strike him through.
25   It is drawn forth and comes out of his body;
    the glittering point comes out of his gallbladder;
    terrors come upon him.
26   Utter darkness is laid up for his treasures;
    a fire not fanned will devour him;
    what is left in his tent will be consumed.
27   The heavens will reveal his iniquity,
    and the earth will rise up against him.
28   The possessions of his house will be carried away,
    dragged off in the day of God’s wrath.
29   This is the wicked man’s portion from God,
    the heritage decreed for him by God.”

Luke 19:11–27

11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”

Psalm 55:1–11

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.

55:1   Give ear to my prayer, O God,
    and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
  Attend to me, and answer me;
    I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
  because of the noise of the enemy,
    because of the oppression of the wicked.
  For they drop trouble upon me,
    and in anger they bear a grudge against me.
  My heart is in anguish within me;
    the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
  Fear and trembling come upon me,
    and horror overwhelms me.
  And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest;
  yes, I would wander far away;
    I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
  I would hurry to find a shelter
    from the raging wind and tempest.”
  Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues;
    for I see violence and strife in the city.
10   Day and night they go around it
    on its walls,
  and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11     ruin is in its midst;
  oppression and fraud
    do not depart from its marketplace.

Proverbs 8:17–18

17   I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me diligently find me.
18   Riches and honor are with me,
    enduring wealth and righteousness.


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