1 Then Elihu said: 2 “Listen to me, you wise men. Pay attention, you who have knowledge. 3 Job said, ‘The ear tests the words it hears just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.’ 4 So let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good. 5 For Job also said, ‘I am innocent, but God has taken away my rights. 6 I am innocent, but they call me a liar. My suffering is incurable, though I have not sinned.’ 7 “Tell me, has there ever been a man like Job, with his thirst for irreverent talk? 8 He chooses evil people as companions. He spends his time with wicked men. 9 He has even said, ‘Why waste time trying to please God?’ 10 “Listen to me, you who have understanding. Everyone knows that God doesn’t sin! The Almighty can do no wrong. 11 He repays people according to their deeds. He treats people as they deserve. 12 Truly, God will not do wrong. The Almighty will not twist justice. 13 Did someone else put the world in his care? Who set the whole world in place? 14 If God were to take back his spirit and withdraw his breath, 15 all life would cease, and humanity would turn again to dust. 16 “Now listen to me if you are wise. Pay attention to what I say. 17 Could God govern if he hated justice? Are you going to condemn the almighty judge? 18 For he says to kings, ‘You are wicked,’ and to nobles, ‘You are unjust.’ 19 He doesn’t care how great a person may be, and he pays no more attention to the rich than to the poor. He made them all. 20 In a moment they die. In the middle of the night they pass away; the mighty are removed without human hand. 21 “For God watches how people live; he sees everything they do. 22 No darkness is thick enough to hide the wicked from his eyes. 23 We don’t set the time when we will come before God in judgment. 24 He brings the mighty to ruin without asking anyone, and he sets up others in their place. 25 He knows what they do, and in the night he overturns and destroys them. 26 He strikes them down because they are wicked, doing it openly for all to see. 27 For they turned away from following him. They have no respect for any of his ways. 28 They cause the poor to cry out, catching God’s attention. He hears the cries of the needy. 29 But if he chooses to remain quiet, who can criticize him? When he hides his face, no one can find him, whether an individual or a nation. 30 He prevents the godless from ruling so they cannot be a snare to the people. 31 “Why don’t people say to God, ‘I have sinned, but I will sin no more’? 32 Or ‘I don’t know what evil I have done—tell me. If I have done wrong, I will stop at once’? 33 “Must God tailor his justice to your demands? But you have rejected him! The choice is yours, not mine. Go ahead, share your wisdom with us. 34 After all, bright people will tell me, and wise people will hear me say, 35 ‘Job speaks out of ignorance; his words lack insight.’ 36 Job, you deserve the maximum penalty for the wicked way you have talked. 37 For you have added rebellion to your sin; you show no respect, and you speak many angry words against God.”
1 Then Elihu said: 2 “Do you think it is right for you to claim, ‘I am righteous before God’? 3 For you also ask, ‘What’s in it for me? What’s the use of living a righteous life?’ 4 “I will answer you and all your friends, too. 5 Look up into the sky, and see the clouds high above you. 6 If you sin, how does that affect God? Even if you sin again and again, what effect will it have on him? 7 If you are good, is this some great gift to him? What could you possibly give him? 8 No, your sins affect only people like yourself, and your good deeds also affect only humans. 9 “People cry out when they are oppressed. They groan beneath the power of the mighty. 10 Yet they don’t ask, ‘Where is God my Creator, the one who gives songs in the night? 11 Where is the one who makes us smarter than the animals and wiser than the birds of the sky?’ 12 And when they cry out, God does not answer because of their pride. 13 But it is wrong to say God doesn’t listen, to say the Almighty isn’t concerned. 14 You say you can’t see him, but he will bring justice if you will only wait. 15 You say he does not respond to sinners with anger and is not greatly concerned about wickedness. 16 But you are talking nonsense, Job. You have spoken like a fool.”
1 While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers : “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them, arguing vehemently. Finally, the church decided to send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, accompanied by some local believers, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent the delegates to Jerusalem, and they stopped along the way in Phoenicia and Samaria to visit the believers. They told them—much to everyone’s joy—that the Gentiles, too, were being converted. 4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God had done through them. 5 But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.” 6 So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue. 7 At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe. 8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. 10 So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? 11 We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” 12 Everyone listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Peter has told you about the time God first visited the Gentiles to take from them a people for himself. 15 And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted. As it is written: 16 ‘Afterward I will return and restore the fallen house of David. I will rebuild its ruins and restore it, 17 so that the rest of humanity might seek the LORD, including the Gentiles— all those I have called to be mine. The LORD has spoken— 18 he who made these things known so long ago.’ 19 “And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood. 21 For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.”