1 Job’s three friends refused to reply further to him because he kept insisting on his innocence. 2 Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, became angry. He was angry because Job refused to admit that he had sinned and that God was right in punishing him. 3 He was also angry with Job’s three friends, for they made God appear to be wrong by their inability to answer Job’s arguments. 4 Elihu had waited for the others to speak to Job because they were older than he. 5 But when he saw that they had no further reply, he spoke out angrily. 6 Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said, “I am young and you are old, so I held back from telling you what I think. 7 I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.’ 8 But there is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent. 9 Sometimes the elders are not wise. Sometimes the aged do not understand justice. 10 So listen to me, and let me tell you what I think. 11 “I have waited all this time, listening very carefully to your arguments, listening to you grope for words. 12 I have listened, but not one of you has refuted Job or answered his arguments. 13 And don’t tell me, ‘He is too wise for us. Only God can convince him.’ 14 If Job had been arguing with me, I would not answer with your kind of logic! 15 You sit there baffled, with nothing more to say. 16 Should I continue to wait, now that you are silent? Must I also remain silent? 17 No, I will say my piece. I will speak my mind. 18 For I am full of pent-up words, and the spirit within me urges me on. 19 I am like a cask of wine without a vent, like a new wineskin ready to burst! 20 I must speak to find relief, so let me give my answers. 21 I won’t play favorites or try to flatter anyone. 22 For if I tried flattery, my Creator would soon destroy me.
1 “Listen to my words, Job; pay attention to what I have to say. 2 Now that I have begun to speak, let me continue. 3 I speak with all sincerity; I speak the truth. 4 For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 5 Answer me, if you can; make your case and take your stand. 6 Look, you and I both belong to God. I, too, was formed from clay. 7 So you don’t need to be afraid of me. I won’t come down hard on you. 8 “You have spoken in my hearing, and I have heard your very words. 9 You said, ‘I am pure; I am without sin; I am innocent; I have no guilt. 10 God is picking a quarrel with me, and he considers me his enemy. 11 He puts my feet in the stocks and watches my every move.’ 12 “But you are wrong, and I will show you why. For God is greater than any human being. 13 So why are you bringing a charge against him? Why say he does not respond to people’s complaints? 14 For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. 15 He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. 16 He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings. 17 He makes them turn from doing wrong; he keeps them from pride. 18 He protects them from the grave, from crossing over the river of death. 19 “Or God disciplines people with pain on their sickbeds, with ceaseless aching in their bones. 20 They lose their appetite for even the most delicious food. 21 Their flesh wastes away, and their bones stick out. 22 They are at death’s door; the angels of death wait for them. 23 “But if an angel from heaven appears— a special messenger to intercede for a person and declare that he is upright— 24 he will be gracious and say, ‘Rescue him from the grave, for I have found a ransom for his life.’ 25 Then his body will become as healthy as a child’s, firm and youthful again. 26 When he prays to God, he will be accepted. And God will receive him with joy and restore him to good standing. 27 He will declare to his friends, ‘I sinned and twisted the truth, but it was not worth it. 28 God rescued me from the grave, and now my life is filled with light.’ 29 “Yes, God does these things again and again for people. 30 He rescues them from the grave so they may enjoy the light of life. 31 Mark this well, Job. Listen to me, for I have more to say. 32 But if you have anything to say, go ahead. Speak, for I am anxious to see you justified. 33 But if not, then listen to me. Keep silent and I will teach you wisdom!”
1 The same thing happened in Iconium. Paul and Barnabas went to the Jewish synagogue and preached with such power that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers. 2 Some of the Jews, however, spurned God’s message and poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas. 3 But the apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders. 4 But the people of the town were divided in their opinion about them. Some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. 5 Then a mob of Gentiles and Jews, along with their leaders, decided to attack and stone them. 6 When the apostles learned of it, they fled to the region of Lycaonia—to the towns of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding area. 7 And there they preached the Good News. 8 While they were at Lystra, Paul and Barnabas came upon a man with crippled feet. He had been that way from birth, so he had never walked. He was sitting 9 and listening as Paul preached. Looking straight at him, Paul realized he had faith to be healed. 10 So Paul called to him in a loud voice, “Stand up!” And the man jumped to his feet and started walking. 11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in their local dialect, “These men are gods in human form!” 12 They decided that Barnabas was the Greek god Zeus and that Paul was Hermes, since he was the chief speaker. 13 Now the temple of Zeus was located just outside the town. So the priest of the temple and the crowd brought bulls and wreaths of flowers to the town gates, and they prepared to offer sacrifices to the apostles. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people, shouting, 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. 16 In the past he permitted all the nations to go their own ways, 17 but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts.” 18 But even with these words, Paul and Barnabas could scarcely restrain the people from sacrificing to them. 19 Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead. 20 But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe. 21 After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, 22 where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. 23 Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. 24 Then they traveled back through Pisidia to Pamphylia. 25 They preached the word in Perga, then went down to Attalia. 26 Finally, they returned by ship to Antioch of Syria, where their journey had begun. The believers there had entrusted them to the grace of God to do the work they had now completed. 27 Upon arriving in Antioch, they called the church together and reported everything God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, too. 28 And they stayed there with the believers for a long time.