Soulfood Daily Bible Readings

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Job 35–37

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.”

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.
10   He opens their ears to instruction
    and commands that they return from iniquity.
11   If they listen and serve him,
    they complete their days in prosperity,
    and their years in pleasantness.
12   But if they do not listen, they perish by the sword
    and die without knowledge.
13   “The godless in heart cherish anger;
    they do not cry for help when he binds them.
14   They die in youth,
    and their life ends among the cult prostitutes.
15   He delivers the afflicted by their affliction
    and opens their ear by adversity.
16   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.
17   “But you are full of the judgment on the wicked;
    judgment and justice seize you.
18   Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing,
    and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.
19   Will your cry for help avail to keep you from distress,
    or all the force of your strength?
20   Do not long for the night,
    when peoples vanish in their place.
21   Take care; do not turn to iniquity,
    for this you have chosen rather than affliction.
22   Behold, God is exalted in his power;
    who is a teacher like him?
23   Who has prescribed for him his way,
    or who can say, ‘You have done wrong’?
24   “Remember to extol his work,
    of which men have sung.
25   All mankind has looked on it;
    man beholds it from afar.
26   Behold, God is great, and we know him not;
    the number of his years is unsearchable.
27   For he draws up the drops of water;
    they distill his mist in rain,
28   which the skies pour down
    and drop on mankind abundantly.
29   Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds,
    the thunderings of his pavilion?
30   Behold, he scatters his lightning about him
    and covers the roots of the sea.
31   For by these he judges peoples;
    he gives food in abundance.
32   He covers his hands with the lightning
    and commands it to strike the mark.
33   Its crashing declares his presence;
    the cattle also declare that he rises.

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 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.
10   By the breath of God ice is given,
    and the broad waters are frozen fast.
11   He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
    the clouds scatter his lightning.
12   They turn around and around by his guidance,
    to accomplish all that he commands them
    on the face of the habitable world.
13   Whether for correction or for his land
    or for love, he causes it to happen.
14   “Hear this, O Job;
    stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
15   Do you know how God lays his command upon them
    and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
16   Do you know the balancings of the clouds,
    the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge,
17   you whose garments are hot
    when the earth is still because of the south wind?
18   Can you, like him, spread out the skies,
    hard as a cast metal mirror?
19   Teach us what we shall say to him;
    we cannot draw up our case because of darkness.
20   Shall it be told him that I would speak?
    Did a man ever wish that he would be swallowed up?
21   “And now no one looks on the light
    when it is bright in the skies,
    when the wind has passed and cleared them.
22   Out of the north comes golden splendor;
    God is clothed with awesome majesty.
23   The Almighty—we cannot find him;
    he is great in power;
    justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate.
24   Therefore men fear him;
    he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”

Luke 20:20–26

20 So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” 23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.

Psalm 69:19–36

19   You know my reproach,
    and my shame and my dishonor;
    my foes are all known to you.
20   Reproaches have broken my heart,
    so that I am in despair.
  I looked for pity, but there was none,
    and for comforters, but I found none.
21   They gave me poison for food,
    and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.
22   Let their own table before them become a snare;
    and when they are at peace, let it become a trap.
23   Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see,
    and make their loins tremble continually.
24   Pour out your indignation upon them,
    and let your burning anger overtake them.
25   May their camp be a desolation;
    let no one dwell in their tents.
26   For they persecute him whom you have struck down,
    and they recount the pain of those you have wounded.
27   Add to them punishment upon punishment;
    may they have no acquittal from you.
28   Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
    let them not be enrolled among the righteous.
29   But I am afflicted and in pain;
    let your salvation, O God, set me on high!
30   I will praise the name of God with a song;
    I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31   This will please the LORD more than an ox
    or a bull with horns and hoofs.
32   When the humble see it they will be glad;
    you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
33   For the LORD hears the needy
    and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.
34   Let heaven and earth praise him,
    the seas and everything that moves in them.
35   For God will save Zion
    and build up the cities of Judah,
  and people shall dwell there and possess it;
36     the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,
    and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

Proverbs 8:30–31

30     then I was beside him, like a master workman,
  and I was daily his delight,
    rejoicing before him always,
31   rejoicing in his inhabited world
    and delighting in the children of man.


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