Acts 7:23-60; Acts 8:1; Deuteronomy 31; Deuteronomy 32; Job 19

Acts 7:23-60

23 "As he was approaching the age of 40, he decided to visit his brothers, the sons of Israel. 24 When he saw one of them being mistreated, he came to his rescue and avenged the oppressed man by striking down the Egyptian. 25 He assumed his brothers would understand that God would give them deliverance through him, but they did not understand. 26 The next day he showed up while they were fighting and tried to reconcile them peacefully, saying, 'Men, you are brothers. Why are you mistreating each other?' 27 "But the one who was mistreating his neighbor pushed him away, saying: Who appointed you a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Do you want to kill me, the same way you killed the Egyptian yesterday? 29 "At this disclosure, Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, where he fathered two sons. 30 After 40 years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the desert of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight. As he was approaching to look at it, the voice of the Lord came: 32 I am the God of your forefathers-the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. So Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look. 33 "Then the Lord said to him: Take the sandals off your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and have come down to rescue them. And now, come, I will send you to Egypt. 35 "This Moses, whom they rejected when they said, Who appointed you a ruler and a judge? -this one God sent as a ruler and a redeemer by means of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 This man led them out and performed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the desert for 40 years.

Israel's Rebellion against God

37 "This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your brothers. 38 He is the one who was in the congregation in the desert together with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our forefathers. He received living oracles to give to us. 39 Our forefathers were unwilling to obey him, but pushed him away, and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. 40 They told Aaron: Make us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we don't know what's become of him. 41 They even made a calf in those days, offered sacrifice to the idol, and were celebrating what their hands had made. 42 Then God turned away and gave them up to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: Did you bring Me offerings and sacrifices for 40 years in the desert, O house of Israel? 43 No, you took up the tent of Moloch and the star of your god Rephan, the images that you made to worship. So I will deport you beyond Babylon!

God's Real Tabernacle

44 "Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the desert, just as He who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. 45 Our forefathers in turn received it and with Joshua brought it in when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers, until the days of David. 46 He found favor in God's sight and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built Him a house. 48 However, the Most High does not dwell in sanctuaries made with hands, as the prophet says: 49 Heaven is My throne, and earth My footstool. What sort of house will you build for Me? says the Lord, or what is My resting place? 50 Did not My hand make all these things?

Resisting the Holy Spirit

51 "You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your forefathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They even killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become. 53 You received the law under the direction of angels and yet have not kept it."

The First Christian Martyr

54 When they heard these things, they were enraged in their hearts and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, filled by the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw God's glory, with Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, 56 "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" 57 Then they screamed at the top of their voices, stopped their ears, and rushed together against him. 58 They threw him out of the city and began to stone him. And the witnesses laid their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 They were stoning Stephen as he called out: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin!" And saying this, he fell asleep.

Acts 8:1

Saul the Persecutor

1 Saul agreed with putting him to death. On that day a severe persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the land of Judea and Samaria.

Deuteronomy 31

Joshua Takes Moses' Place

1 Then Moses continued to speak these words to all Israel, 2 saying, "I am now 120 years old; I can no longer act as your leader. The Lord has told me, 'You will not cross this Jordan.' 3 The Lord your God is the One who will cross ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will drive them out. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, as the Lord has said. 4 The Lord will deal with them as He did Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and their land when He destroyed them. 5 The Lord will deliver them over to you, and you must do to them exactly as I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous; don't be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you." 7 Moses then summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you will go with this people into the land the Lord swore to give to their fathers. You will enable them to take possession of it. 8 The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged." 9 Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the Lord's covenant, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Moses commanded them, "At the end of [every] seven years, at the appointed time in the year of debt cancellation, during the Festival of Booths, 11 when all Israel assembles in the presence of the Lord your God at the place He chooses, you are to read this law aloud before all Israel. 12 Gather the people-men, women, children, and foreigners living within your gates-so that they may listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and be careful to follow all the words of this law. 13 Then their children who do not know [the law] will listen and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess." 14 The Lord said to Moses, "The time of your death is now approaching. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, so that I may commission him." When Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting, 15 the Lord appeared at the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood at the entrance to the tent. 16 The Lord said to Moses, "You are about to rest with your fathers, and this people will soon commit adultery with the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will abandon Me and break the covenant I have made with them. 17 My anger will burn against them on that day; I will abandon them and hide My face from them so that they will become easy prey. Many troubles and afflictions will come to them. On that day they will say, 'Haven't these troubles come to us because our God is no longer with us?' 18 I will certainly hide My face on that day because of all the evil they have done by turning to other gods. 19 Therefore write down this song for yourselves and teach it to the Israelites; have them recite it, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the Israelites. 20 When I bring them into the land I swore to [give] their fathers, [a land] flowing with milk and honey, they will eat their fill and prosper. They will turn to other gods and worship them, despising Me and breaking My covenant. 21 And when many troubles and afflictions come to them, this song will testify against them, because their descendants will not have forgotten it. For I know what they are prone to do, even before I bring them into the land I swore [to give them]." 22 So Moses wrote down this song on that day and taught it to the Israelites. 23 The Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun, "Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I swore to them, and I will be with you."

Moses Warns the People

24 When Moses had finished writing down on a scroll every single word of this law, 25 he commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the Lord's covenant, 26 "Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, so that it may remain there as a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you are rebelling against the Lord now, while I am still alive, how much more [will you rebel] after I am dead! 28 Assemble all your tribal elders and officers before me, so that I may speak these words directly to them and call heaven and earth as witnesses against them. 29 For I know that after my death you will become completely corrupt and turn from the path I have commanded you. Disaster will come to you in the future, because you will do what is evil in the Lord's sight, infuriating Him with what your hands have made." 30 Then Moses recited aloud every single word of this song to the entire assembly of Israel:

Deuteronomy 32

Song of Moses

1 Pay attention, heavens, and I will speak; listen, earth, to the words of my mouth. 2 Let my teaching fall like rain and my word settle like dew, like gentle rain on new grass and showers on tender plants. 3 For I will proclaim the Lord's name. Declare the greatness of our God! 4 The Rock-His work is perfect; all His ways are entirely just. A faithful God, without prejudice, He is righteous and true. 5 His people have acted corruptly toward Him; this is their defect-they are not His children but a devious and crooked generation. 6 Is this how you repay the Lord, you foolish and senseless people? Isn't He your Father and Creator? Didn't He make you and sustain you? 7 Remember the days of old; consider the years long past. Ask your father, and he will tell you, your elders, and they will teach you. 8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance and divided the human race, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the people of Israel. 9 But the Lord's portion is His people, Jacob, His own inheritance. 10 He found him in a desolate land, in a barren, howling wilderness; He surrounded him, cared for him, and guarded him as the pupil of His eye. 11 He watches over His nest like an eagle and hovers over His young; He spreads His wings, catches him, and lifts him up on His pinions. 12 The Lord alone led him, with no help from a foreign god. 13 He made him ride on the heights of the land and eat the produce of the field. He nourished him with honey from the rock and oil from flintlike rock, 14 cream from the herd and milk from the flock, with the fat of lambs, rams from Bashan, and goats, with the choicest grains of wheat; you drank wine from the finest grapes. 15 Then Jeshurun became fat and rebelled- you became fat, bloated, and gorged. He abandoned the God who made him and scorned the Rock of his salvation. 16 They provoked His jealousy with foreign gods; they enraged Him with detestable practices. 17 They sacrificed to demons, not God, to gods they had not known, new gods that had just arrived, which your fathers did not fear. 18 You ignored the Rock who gave you birth; you forgot the God who brought you forth. 19 When the Lord saw [this], He despised [them], provoked [to anger] by His sons and daughters. 20 He said: "I will hide My face from them; I will see what will become of them, for they are a perverse generation- unfaithful children. 21 They have provoked My jealousy with [their] so-called gods; they have enraged Me with their worthless idols. So I will provoke their jealousy with an inferior people; I will enrage them with a foolish nation. 22 For fire has been kindled because of My anger and burns to the depths of Sheol; it devours the land and its produce, and scorches the foundations of the mountains. 23 I will pile disasters on them; I will use up My arrows against them. 24 They will be weak from hunger, ravaged by pestilence and bitter plague; I will unleash on them wild beasts with fangs, as well as venomous snakes that slither in the dust. 25 Outside, the sword will take their children, and inside, there will be terror; the young man and the virgin [will be killed], the infant and the gray-haired man. 26 I would have said: I will cut them to pieces and blot out the memory of them from mankind, 27 if I had not feared insult from the enemy, [or feared] that these foes might misunderstand and say: Our own hand has prevailed; it wasn't the Lord who did all this." 28 Israel is a nation lacking sense with no understanding at all. 29 If only they were wise, they would figure it out; they would understand their fate. 30 How could one man pursue a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the Lord had given them up? 31 But their "rock" is not like our Rock; even our enemies concede. 32 For their vine is from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are poisonous; their clusters are bitter. 33 Their wine is serpents' venom, the deadly poison of cobras. 34 "Is it not stored up with Me, sealed up in My vaults? 35 Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay. In time their foot will slip, for their day of disaster is near, and their doom is coming quickly." 36 The Lord will indeed vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants when He sees that [their] strength is gone and no one is left-slave or free. 37 He will say: "Where are their gods, the 'rock' they found refuge in? 38 Who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up and help you; let it be a shelter for you. 39 See now that I alone am He; there is no God but Me. I bring death and I give life; I wound and I heal. No one can rescue [anyone] from My hand. 40 I raise My hand to heaven and declare: As surely as I live forever, 41 when I sharpen My flashing sword, and My hand takes hold of judgment, I will take vengeance on My adversaries and repay those who hate Me. 42 I will make My arrows drunk with blood while My sword devours flesh- the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders." 43 Rejoice, you nations, over His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants. He will take vengeance on His adversaries; He will purify His land and His people. 44 Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and recited all the words of this song in the presence of the people. 45 After Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, "Take to heart all these words I am giving as a warning to you today, so that you may command your children to carefully follow all the words of this law. 47 For they are not meaningless words to you but they are your life, and by them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess."

Moses' Impending Death

48 On that same day the Lord spoke to Moses, 49 "Go up Mount Nebo in the Abarim [range] in the land of Moab, across from Jericho, and view the land of Canaan I am giving the Israelites as a possession. 50 Then you will die on the mountain that you go up, and you will be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. 51 For [both of] you broke faith with Me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin by failing to treat Me as holy in their presence. 52 Although you will view the land from a distance, which I am giving the Israelites, you will not go there."

Job 19

Job's Reply to Bildad

1 Then Job answered: 2 How long will you torment me and crush me with words? 3 You have humiliated me ten times now, and you mistreat me without shame. 4 Even if it is true that I have sinned, my mistake concerns only me. 5 If you really want to appear superior to me and would use my disgrace as evidence against me, 6 then understand that it is God who has wronged me and caught me in His net. 7 I cry out: Violence! but get no response; I call for help, but there is no justice. 8 He has blocked my way so that I cannot pass through; He has veiled my paths with darkness. 9 He has stripped me of my honor and removed the crown from my head. 10 He tears me down on every side so that I am ruined. He uproots my hope like a tree. 11 His anger burns against me, and He regards me as [one of] His enemies. 12 His troops advance together; they construct a ramp against me and camp around my tent. 13 He has removed my brothers from me; my acquaintances have abandoned me. 14 My relatives stop coming by, and my close friends have forgotten me. 15 My house guests and female servants regard me as a stranger; I am a foreigner in their sight. 16 I call for my servant, but he does not answer, even if I beg him with my own mouth. 17 My breath is offensive to my wife, and my own children find me repulsive. 18 Even young boys scorn me. When I stand up, they mock me. 19 All of my best friends despise me, and those I love have turned against me. 20 My skin and my flesh cling to my bones; I have escaped by the skin of my teeth. 21 Have mercy on me, my friends, have mercy, for God's hand has struck me. 22 Why do you persecute me as God [does]? Will you never get enough of my flesh? 23 I wish that my words were written down, that they were recorded on a scroll 24 or were inscribed in stone forever by an iron stylus and lead! 25 But I know my living Redeemer, and He will stand on the dust at last. 26 Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet I will see God in my flesh. 27 I will see Him myself; my eyes will look at [Him], and not as a stranger. My heart longs within me. 28 If you say, "How will we pursue him, since the root of the problem lies with him?" 29 be afraid of the sword, because wrath [brings] punishment by the sword, so that you may know there is a judgment.
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