28, December 2018

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Today’s Readings

Job 32–35 ()

( to me;
    let me also declare my opinion.’
11   “Behold, I waited for your words,
    I listened for your wise sayings,
    while you searched out what to say.
12   I gave you my attention,
    and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job
    or who answered his words.
13   Beware lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom;
    God may vanquish him, not a man.’
14   He has not directed his words against me,
    and I will not answer him with your speeches.
15   “They are dismayed; they answer no more;
    they have not a word to say.
16   And shall I wait, because they do not speak,
    because they stand there, and answer no more?
17   I also will answer with my share;
    I also will declare my opinion.
18   For I am full of words;
    the spirit within me constrains me.
19   Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent;
    like new wineskins ready to burst.
20   I must speak, that I may find relief;
    I must open my lips and answer.
21   I will not show partiality to any man
    or use flattery toward any person.
22   For I do not know how to flatter,
    else my Maker would soon take me away.

33:1   “But now, hear my speech, O Job,
    and listen to all my words.
  Behold, I open my mouth;
    the tongue in my mouth speaks.
  My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
    and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
  The Spirit of God has made me,
    and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
  Answer me, if you can;
    set your words in order before me; take your stand.
  Behold, I am toward God as you are;
    I too was pinched off from a piece of clay.
  Behold, no fear of me need terrify you;
    my pressure will not be heavy upon you.
  “Surely you have spoken in my ears,
    and I have heard the sound of your words.
  You say, ‘I am pure, without transgression;
    I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.
10   Behold, he finds occasions against me,
    he counts me as his enemy,
11   he puts my feet in the stocks
    and watches all my paths.’
12   “Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you,
    for God is greater than man.
13   Why do you contend against him,
    saying, ‘He will answer none of man's words’?
14   For God speaks in one way,
    and in two, though man does not perceive it.
15   In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on men,
    while they slumber on their beds,
16   then he opens the ears of men
    and terrifies them with warnings,
17   that he may turn man aside from his deed
    and conceal pride from a man;
18   he keeps back his soul from the pit,
    his life from perishing by the sword.
19   “Man is also rebuked with pain on his bed
    and with continual strife in his bones,
20   so that his life loathes bread,
    and his appetite the choicest food.
21   His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen,
    and his bones that were not seen stick out.
22   His soul draws near the pit,
    and his life to those who bring death.
23   If there be for him an angel,
    a mediator, one of the thousand,
    to declare to man what is right for him,
24   and he is merciful to him, and says,
    ‘Deliver him from going down into the pit;
    I have found a ransom;
25   let his flesh become fresh with youth;
    let him return to the days of his youthful vigor’;
26   then man prays to God, and he accepts him;
    he sees his face with a shout of joy,
  and he restores to man his righteousness.
27     He sings before men and says:
  ‘I sinned and perverted what was right,
    and it was not repaid to me.
28   He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit,
    and my life shall look upon the light.’
29   “Behold, God does all these things,
    twice, three times, with a man,
30   to bring back his soul from the pit,
    that he may be lighted with the light of life.
31   Pay attention, O Job, listen to me;
    be silent, and I will speak.
32   If you have any words, answer me;
    speak, for I desire to justify you.
33   If not, listen to me;
    be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

34:1 Then Elihu answered and said:

  “Hear my words, you wise men,
    and give ear to me, you who know;
  for the ear tests words
    as the palate tastes food.
  Let us choose what is right;
    let us know among ourselves what is good.
  For Job has said, ‘I am in the right,
    and God has taken away my right;
  in spite of my right I am counted a liar;
    my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
  What man is like Job,
    who drinks up scoffing like water,
  who travels in company with evildoers
    and walks with wicked men?
  For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
    that he should take delight in God.’
10   “Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding:
    far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
    and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
11   For according to the work of a man he will repay him,
    and according to his ways he will make it befall him.
12   Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
    and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
13   Who gave him charge over the earth,
    and who laid on him the whole world?
14   If he should set his heart to it
    and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,
15   all flesh would perish together,
    and man would return to dust.
16   “If you have understanding, hear this;
    listen to what I say.
17   Shall one who hates justice govern?
    Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty,
18   who says to a king, ‘Worthless one,’
    and to nobles, ‘Wicked man,’
19   who shows no partiality to princes,
    nor regards the rich more than the poor,
    for they are all the work of his hands?
20   In a moment they die;
    at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
    and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.
21   “For his eyes are on the ways of a man,
    and he sees all his steps.
22   There is no gloom or deep darkness
    where evildoers may hide themselves.
23   For God has no need to consider a man further,
    that he should go before God in judgment.
24   He shatters the mighty without investigation
    and sets others in their place.
25   Thus, knowing their works,
    he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
26   He strikes them for their wickedness
    in a place for all to see,
27   because they turned aside from following him
    and had no regard for any of his ways,
28   so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
    and he heard the cry of the afflicted—
29   When he is quiet, who can condemn?
    When he hides his face, who can behold him,
    whether it be a nation or a man?—
30   that a godless man should not reign,
    that he should not ensnare the people.
31   “For has anyone said to God,
    ‘I have borne punishment; I will not offend any more;
32   teach me what I do not see;
    if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
33   Will he then make repayment to suit you,
    because you reject it?
  For you must choose, and not I;
    therefore declare what you know.
34   Men of understanding will say to me,
    and the wise man who hears me will say:
35   ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
    his words are without insight.’
36   Would that Job were tried to the end,
    because he answers like wicked men.
37   For he adds rebellion to his sin;
    he claps his hands among us
    and multiplies his words against God.”

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

Luke 2:21–33 ()

()

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29   “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
    according to your word;
30   for my eyes have seen your salvation
31     that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32   a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.

Psalm 97 ()

()

97:1   The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;
    let the many coastlands be glad!
  Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
    righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
  Fire goes before him
    and burns up his adversaries all around.
  His lightnings light up the world;
    the earth sees and trembles.
  The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
  The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
    and all the peoples see his glory.
  All worshipers of images are put to shame,
    who make their boast in worthless idols;
    worship him, all you gods!
  Zion hears and is glad,
    and the daughters of Judah rejoice,
    because of your judgments, O LORD.
  For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth;
    you are exalted far above all gods.
10   O you who love the LORD, hate evil!
    He preserves the lives of his saints;
    he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11   Light is sown for the righteous,
    and joy for the upright in heart.
12   Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous,
    and give thanks to his holy name!

Ecclesiastes 10:15–11:3 ()

()

15   The toil of a fool wearies him,
    for he does not know the way to the city.
16   Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child,
    and your princes feast in the morning!
17   Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility,
    and your princes feast at the proper time,
    for strength, and not for drunkenness!
18   Through sloth the roof sinks in,
    and through indolence the house leaks.
19   Bread is made for laughter,
    and wine gladdens life,
    and money answers everything.
20   Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king,
    nor in your bedroom curse the rich,
  for a bird of the air will carry your voice,
    or some winged creature tell the matter.

11:1   Cast your bread upon the waters,
    for you will find it after many days.
  Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
    for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.
  If the clouds are full of rain,
    they empty themselves on the earth,
  and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.

28, December 2018

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