1 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: 2 “God is powerful and dreadful. He enforces peace in the heavens. 3 Who is able to count his heavenly army? Doesn’t his light shine on all the earth? 4 How can a mortal be innocent before God? Can anyone born of a woman be pure? 5 God is more glorious than the moon; he shines brighter than the stars. 6 In comparison, people are maggots; we mortals are mere worms.”
1 Then Job spoke again: 2 “How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the weak! 3 How you have enlightened my stupidity! What wise advice you have offered! 4 Where have you gotten all these wise sayings? Whose spirit speaks through you? 5 “The dead tremble— those who live beneath the waters. 6 The underworld is naked in God’s presence. The place of destruction is uncovered. 7 God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. 8 He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds don’t burst with the weight. 9 He covers the face of the moon, shrouding it with his clouds. 10 He created the horizon when he separated the waters; he set the boundary between day and night. 11 The foundations of heaven tremble; they shudder at his rebuke. 12 By his power the sea grew calm. By his skill he crushed the great sea monster. 13 His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and his power pierced the gliding serpent. 14 These are just the beginning of all that he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of his power?”
1 Job continued speaking: 2 “I vow by the living God, who has taken away my rights, by the Almighty who has embittered my soul— 3 As long as I live, while I have breath from God, 4 my lips will speak no evil, and my tongue will speak no lies. 5 I will never concede that you are right; I will defend my integrity until I die. 6 I will maintain my innocence without wavering. My conscience is clear for as long as I live. 7 “May my enemy be punished like the wicked, my adversary like those who do evil. 8 For what hope do the godless have when God cuts them off and takes away their life? 9 Will God listen to their cry when trouble comes upon them? 10 Can they take delight in the Almighty? Can they call to God at any time? 11 I will teach you about God’s power. I will not conceal anything concerning the Almighty. 12 But you have seen all this, yet you say all these useless things to me. 13 “This is what the wicked will receive from God; this is their inheritance from the Almighty. 14 They may have many children, but the children will die in war or starve to death. 15 Those who survive will die of a plague, and not even their widows will mourn them. 16 “Evil people may have piles of money and may store away mounds of clothing. 17 But the righteous will wear that clothing, and the innocent will divide that money. 18 The wicked build houses as fragile as a spider’s web, as flimsy as a shelter made of branches. 19 The wicked go to bed rich but wake to find that all their wealth is gone. 20 Terror overwhelms them like a flood, and they are blown away in the storms of the night. 21 The east wind carries them away, and they are gone. It sweeps them away. 22 It whirls down on them without mercy. They struggle to flee from its power. 23 But everyone jeers at them and mocks them.
1 About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. 2 He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. 3 When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration. ) 4 Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. 5 But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. 6 The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. 7 Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. 8 Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. 9 So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. 10 They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him. 11 Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!” 12 When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. 13 He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!” 15 “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.” 16 Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. 17 He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place. 18 At dawn there was a great commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter. 19 Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for him. When he couldn’t be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death. Afterward Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while. 20 Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they sent a delegation to make peace with him because their cities were dependent upon Herod’s country for food. The delegates won the support of Blastus, Herod’s personal assistant, 21 and an appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. 22 The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!” 23 Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died. 24 Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers. 25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission to Jerusalem, they returned, taking John Mark with them.