Job 5; Job 6; Job 7; Acts 8:1-25

1 Call out if you please. Will anyone answer you? Which of the holy ones will you turn to? 2 For anger kills a fool, and jealousy slays the gullible. 3 I have seen a fool taking root, but I immediately pronounced a curse on his home. 4 His children are far from safety. They are crushed at the [city] gate, with no one to defend [them]. 5 The hungry consume his harvest, even taking it out of the thorns. The thirsty pant for his children's wealth. 6 For distress does not grow out of the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the ground. 7 But mankind is born for trouble as surely as sparks fly upward. 8 However, if I were you, I would appeal to God and would present my case to Him. 9 He does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. 10 He gives rain to the earth and sends water to the fields. 11 He sets the lowly on high, and mourners are lifted to safety. 12 He frustrates the schemes of the crafty so that they achieve no success. 13 He traps the wise in their craftiness so that the plans of the deceptive are quickly brought to an end. 14 They encounter darkness by day, and they grope at noon as if it were night. 15 He saves the needy from their sharp words and from the clutches of the powerful. 16 So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth. 17 See how happy the man is God corrects; so do not reject the discipline of the Almighty. 18 For He crushes but also binds up; He strikes, but His hands also heal. 19 He will rescue you from six calamities; no harm will touch you in seven. 20 In famine He will redeem you from death, and in battle, from the power of the sword. 21 You will be safe from slander and not fear destruction when it comes. 22 You will laugh at destruction and hunger and not fear the animals of the earth. 23 For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you. 24 You will know that your tent is secure, and nothing will be missing when you inspect your home. 25 You will also know that your offspring will be many and your descendants like the grass of the earth. 26 You will approach the grave in full vigor, as a stack of sheaves is gathered in its season. 27 We have investigated this, and it is true! Hear it and understand [it] for yourself.
1 Then Job answered: 2 If only my grief could be weighed and my devastation placed with it on a scale. 3 For then it would outweigh the sand of the seas! That is why my words are rash. 4 Surely the arrows of the Almighty have pierced me; my spirit drinks their poison. God's terrors are arrayed against me. 5 Does a wild donkey bray over fresh grass or an ox low over its fodder? 6 Is bland food eaten without salt? Is there flavor in an egg white? 7 I refuse to touch [them]; they are like contaminated food. 8 If only my request would be granted and God would provide what I hope for: 9 that He would decide to crush me, to unleash His power and cut me off! 10 It would still bring me comfort, and I would leap for joy in unrelenting pain that I have not denied the words of the Holy One. 11 What strength do I have that I should continue to hope? What is my future, that I should be patient? 12 Is my strength that of stone, or my flesh made of bronze? 13 Since I cannot help myself, [the hope for] success has been banished from me. 14 A despairing man should receive loyalty from his friends, even if he abandons the fear of the Almighty. 15 My brothers are as treacherous as a wadi, as seasonal streams that overflow 16 and become darkened because of ice, and the snow melts into them. 17 The wadis evaporate in warm weather; they disappear from their channels in hot weather. 18 Caravans turn away from their routes, go up into the desert, and perish. 19 The caravans of Tema look [for these streams]. The traveling merchants of Sheba hope for them. 20 They are ashamed because they had been confident [of finding water]. When they arrive there, they are frustrated. 21 So [this] is what you have now become [to me]. When you see something dreadful, you are afraid. 22 Have I ever said: Give me [something] or Pay a bribe for me from your wealth 23 or Deliver me from the enemy's power or Redeem me from the grasp of the ruthless? 24 Teach me, and I will be silent. Help me understand what I did wrong. 25 How painful honest words can be! But what does your rebuke prove? 26 Do you think that you can disprove [my] words or that a despairing man's words are [mere] wind? 27 No doubt you would cast [lots] for a fatherless child and negotiate a price to [sell] your friend. 28 But now, please look at me; would I lie to your face? 29 Reconsider; don't be unjust. Reconsider; my righteousness is still the issue. 30 Am I lying, or can I not recognize lies?
1 Isn't mankind consigned to forced labor on earth? Are not his days like those of a hired hand? 2 Like a slave he longs for shade; like a hired man he waits for his pay. 3 So I have been made to inherit months of futility, and troubled nights have been assigned to me. 4 When I lie down I think: When will I get up? But the evening drags on endlessly, and I toss and turn until dawn. 5 My flesh is clothed with maggots and encrusted with dirt. My skin forms scabs and then oozes. 6 My days pass more swiftly than a weaver's shuttle; they come to an end without hope. 7 Remember that my life is [but] a breath. My eye will never again see anything good. 8 The eye of anyone who looks on me will no longer see me. Your eyes will look for me, but I will be gone. 9 As a cloud fades away and vanishes, so the one who goes down to Sheol will never rise again. 10 He will never return to his house; his hometown will no longer remember him. 11 Therefore I will not restrain my mouth. I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. 12 Am I the sea or a sea monster, that You keep me under guard? 13 When I say: My bed will comfort me, and my couch will ease my complaint, 14 then You frighten me with dreams, and terrify me with visions, 15 so that I prefer strangling, death rather than life in this body. 16 I give up! I will not live forever. Leave me alone, for my days are a breath. 17 What is man, that You think so highly of him and pay so much attention to him? 18 You inspect him every morning, and put him to the test every moment. 19 Will You ever look away from me, or leave me alone until I swallow my saliva? 20 [If] I have sinned, what have I done to You, Watcher of mankind? Why have You made me Your target, so that I have become a burden to You? 21 Why not forgive my sin and pardon my transgression? For soon I will lie down in the grave. You will eagerly seek me, but I will be gone.
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. 2 But devout men buried Stephen and mourned deeply over him. 3 Saul, however, was ravaging the church, and he would enter house after house, drag off men and women, and put them in prison. 4 So those who were scattered went on their way proclaiming the message of good news. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and preached the Messiah to them. 6 The crowds paid attention with one mind to what Philip said, as they heard and saw the signs he was performing. 7 For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed, and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city. 9 A man named Simon had previously practiced sorcery in that city and astounded the Samaritan people, while claiming to be somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least of them to the greatest, and they said, "This man is called the Great Power of God!" 11 They were attentive to him because he had astounded them with his sorceries for a long time. 12 But when they believed Philip, as he proclaimed the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then even Simon himself believed. And after he was baptized, he went around constantly with Philip and was astounded as he observed the signs and great miracles that were being performed. 14 When the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had welcomed God's message, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 After they went down there, they prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet come down on any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 When Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, "Give me this power too, so that anyone I lay hands on may receive the Holy Spirit." 20 But Peter told him, "May your silver be destroyed with you, because you thought the gift of God could be obtained with money! 21 You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity." 24 "Please pray to the Lord for me," Simon replied, "so that nothing you have said may happen to me." 25 Then, after they had testified and spoken the message of the Lord, they traveled back to Jerusalem, evangelizing many villages of the Samaritans.
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