Elihu continued to speak [to Job],
"Be patient with me a little longer, and I will show you that there is more to be said in God's defense.
I will get my knowledge from far away and prove that my Creator is fair.
Certainly, my words are not lies. The one who knows everything is [speaking] with you.
"Certainly, God is mighty. He doesn't despise anyone. He is mighty and brave.
He doesn't allow the wicked person to live. He grants justice to those who are oppressed.
He doesn't take his eyes off righteous people. He seats them on thrones with kings to honor them forever.
However, if righteous people are bound in chains and tangled in ropes of misery,
he tells them what they've done wrong and that they've behaved arrogantly.
He makes them listen to his warning and orders them to turn away from wrong.
"If righteous people listen and serve [him], they will live out their days in prosperity and their years in comfort.
But if they don't listen, they will cross the River [of Death] and die like those who have no knowledge.
But those who have godless hearts remain angry. They don't even call for help when he chains them up.
They die while they're young, or they live on as male prostitutes in the temples of idols.
He rescues suffering people through their suffering, and he opens their ears through distress.
"Yes, he lured you away from the jaws of trouble into an open area where you were not restrained, and your table was covered with rich foods.
But you are given the judgment evil people deserve. A fair judgment will be upheld.
Be careful that you are not led astray with riches. Don't let a large bribe turn you [to evil ways].
Will your riches save you from having to suffer? Will all your mighty strength help you?
Don't look forward to the night, when people disappear from their places.
Be careful! Don't turn to evil, because you have chosen evil instead of suffering.
"God does great things by his power. Is there any teacher like him?
Who can tell him which way he should go? Who can say to him, 'You did wrong'?
Remember that you should praise his work. People have sung about it.
Every person has seen it. Mortals have looked at it from a distance.
"Certainly, God is so great that he is beyond our understanding. The number of his years cannot be counted.
He collects drops of water. He distills rain from his mist,
which then drips from the clouds. It pours down on many people.
Can anyone really understand how clouds spread out or how he thunders from his dwelling place?
Look, he scatters his flashes of lightning around him and covers the depths of the sea.
This is how he uses the rains to provide for people and to give them more than enough food.
He fills his hands with lightning and orders it to hit the target.
The thunder announces his coming. The storm announces his angry wrath.
"My heart pounds because of this and jumps out of its place.
Listen! Listen to the roar of God's voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
He flashes his lightning everywhere under heaven. His light flashes to the ends of the earth.
It is followed by the roar of his voice. He thunders with his majestic voice. He doesn't hold the lightning back when his thunder is heard.
God's voice thunders in miraculous ways. It does great things that we cannot understand.
"He says to the snow, 'Fall to the ground,' and to the pouring rain, 'Rain harder!'
He makes it impossible to do anything so that people will recognize his work.
Animals go into their dens and stay in their lairs.
A storm comes out of its chamber. It is cold because of the strong winds.
God's breath produces ice, and the seas freeze over.
Yes, he loads the thick clouds with moisture and scatters his lightning from the clouds.
He guides the clouds as they churn round and round over the face of the inhabited earth to do everything he orders them.
Whether for discipline, or for [the good of] his earth, or out of mercy, he makes the storm appear.
"Open your ears to this, Job. Stop and consider God's miracles.
Do you know how God controls them and makes the lightning flash from his clouds?
Do you know how the clouds drift (these are the miracles of the one who knows everything),
you whose clothes are hot and sweaty, when the earth is calm under a south wind?
Can you stretch out the skies with him and make them as firm as a mirror made of metal?
Teach us what we should say to him. We are unable to prepare [a case] because of darkness.
Should he be told that I want to speak? Can a person speak when he is confused?
People can't look at the sun when it's bright among the clouds or after the wind has blown and cleared those clouds away.
A golden light comes from the north. A terrifying majesty is around God.
The Almighty, whom we can't reach, is great in power and judgment, has more than enough righteousness, and does not oppress.
That is why people should fear him. He does not respect those who think they're wise."
Then the apostles, the spiritual leaders, and the whole church decided to choose some of their men to send with Paul and Barnabas to the city of Antioch. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, who were leaders among the believers.
They wrote this letter for them to deliver: From the apostles and the spiritual leaders, your brothers. To their non-Jewish brothers and sisters in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Dear brothers and sisters,
We have heard that some individuals who came from us have confused you with statements that disturb you. We did not authorize these men [to speak].
So we have come to a unanimous decision that we should choose men and send them to you with our dear Barnabas and Paul.
Barnabas and Paul have dedicated their lives to our Lord, the one named Jesus Christ.
We have sent Judas and Silas to report to you on our decision.
The Holy Spirit and we have agreed not to place any additional burdens on you. Do only what is necessary
by keeping away from food sacrificed to false gods, from eating bloody meat, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual sins. If you avoid these things, you will be doing what's right. Farewell!
So the men were sent on their way and arrived in the city of Antioch. They gathered the congregation together and delivered the letter.
When the people read the letter, they were pleased with the encouragement it brought them.
Judas and Silas, who were also prophets, spoke a long time to encourage and strengthen the believers.
After Judas and Silas had stayed in Antioch for some time, the congregation sent them back to Jerusalem with friendly greetings to those who had sent them.
Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch. They and many others taught people about the Lord's word and spread the Good News.
After a while Paul said to Barnabas, "Let's go back to every city where we spread the Lord's word. We'll visit the believers to see how they're doing."
Barnabas wanted to take John Mark along.
However, Paul didn't think it was right to take a person like him along. John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to work.
Paul and Barnabas disagreed so sharply that they parted ways. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed to the island of Cyprus.
Paul chose Silas and left after the believers entrusted him to the Lord's care.
Paul went through the provinces of Syria and Cilicia and strengthened the churches.