Job 14; Job 15; Job 16; Acts 9:22-43

1 We are all born weak and helpless. All lead the same short, troubled life. 2 We grow and wither as quickly as flowers; we disappear like shadows. 3 Will you even look at me, God, or put me on trial and judge me? 4 Nothing clean can ever come from anything as unclean as human beings. 5 The length of our lives is decided beforehand - the number of months we will live. You have settled it, and it can't be changed. 6 Look away from us and leave us alone; let us enjoy our hard life - if we can. 7 There is hope for a tree that has been cut down; it can come back to life and sprout. 8 Even though its roots grow old, and its stump dies in the ground, 9 with water it will sprout like a young plant. 10 But we die, and that is the end of us; we die, and where are we then? 11 Like rivers that stop running, and lakes that go dry, 12 people die, never to rise. They will never wake up while the sky endures; they will never stir from their sleep. 13 I wish you would hide me in the world of the dead; let me be hidden until your anger is over, and then set a time to remember me. 14 If a man dies, can he come back to life? But I will wait for better times, wait till this time of trouble is ended. 15 Then you will call, and I will answer, and you will be pleased with me, your creature. 16 Then you will watch every step I take, but you will not keep track of my sins. 17 You will forgive them and put them away; you will wipe out all the wrongs I have done. 18 There comes a time when mountains fall and solid cliffs are moved away. 19 Water will wear down rocks, and heavy rain will wash away the soil; so you destroy our hope for life. 20 You overpower us and send us away forever; our faces are twisted in death. 21 Our children win honor, but we never know it, nor are we told when they are disgraced. 22 We feel only the pain of our own bodies and the grief of our own minds.
1 Empty words, Job! 2 Empty words! 3 No one who is wise would talk the way you do or defend himself with such meaningless words. 4 If you had your way, no one would fear God; no one would pray to him. 5 Your wickedness is evident by what you say; you are trying to hide behind clever words. 6 There is no need for me to condemn you; you are condemned by every word you speak. 7 Do you think you were the first person born? Were you there when God made the mountains? 8 Did you overhear the plans God made? Does human wisdom belong to you alone? 9 There is nothing you know that we don't know. 10 We learned our wisdom from gray-haired people - those born before your father. 11 God offers you comfort; why still reject it? We have spoken for him with calm, even words. 12 But you are excited and glare at us in anger. 13 You are angry with God and denounce him. 14 Can any human being be really pure? Can anyone be right with God? 15 Why, God does not trust even his angels; even they are not pure in his sight. 16 And we drink evil as if it were water; yes, we are corrupt; we are worthless. 17 Now listen, Job, to what I know. 18 Those who are wise have taught me truths which they learned from their ancestors, and they kept no secrets hidden. 19 Their land was free from foreigners; there was no one to lead them away from God. 20 The wicked who oppress others will be in torment as long as they live. 21 Voices of terror will scream in their ears, and robbers attack when they think they are safe. 22 They have no hope of escaping from darkness, for somewhere a sword is waiting to kill them, 23 and vultures are waiting to eat their corpses. They know their future is dark; 24 disaster, like a powerful king, is waiting to attack them. 25 That is the fate of those who shake their fists at God and defy the Almighty. 26 They are proud and rebellious; they stubbornly hold up their shields and rush to fight against God. 28 They are the ones who captured cities and seized houses whose owners had fled, but war will destroy those cities and houses. 29 They will not remain rich for long; nothing they own will last. Even their shadows will vanish, 30 and they will not escape from darkness. They will be like trees whose branches are burned by fire, whose blossoms are blown away by the wind. 31 If they are foolish enough to trust in evil, then evil will be their reward. 32 Before their time is up they will wither, wither like a branch and never be green again. 33 They will be like vines that lose their unripe grapes; like olive trees that drop their blossoms. 34 There will be no descendants for godless people, and fire will destroy the homes built by bribery. 35 These are the ones who plan trouble and do evil; their hearts are always full of deceit.
1 I have heard words like that before; 2 the comfort you give is only torment. 3 Are you going to keep on talking forever? Do you always have to have the last word? 4 If you were in my place and I in yours, I could say everything you are saying. I could shake my head wisely and drown you with a flood of words. 5 I could strengthen you with advice and keep talking to comfort you. 6 But nothing I say helps, and being silent does not calm my pain. 7 You have worn me out, God; you have let my family be killed. 8 You have seized me; you are my enemy. I am skin and bones, and people take that as proof of my guilt. 9 In anger God tears me limb from limb; he glares at me with hate. 10 People sneer at me; they crowd around me and slap my face. 11 God has handed me over to evil people. 12 I was living in peace, but God took me by the throat and battered me and crushed me. God uses me for target practice 13 and shoots arrows at me from every side - arrows that pierce and wound me; and even then he shows no pity. 14 He wounds me again and again; he attacks like a soldier gone mad with hate. 15 I mourn and wear clothes made of sackcloth, and I sit here in the dust defeated. 16 I have cried until my face is red, and my eyes are swollen and circled with shadows, 17 but I am not guilty of any violence, and my prayer to God is sincere. 18 O Earth, don't hide the wrongs done to me! Don't let my call for justice be silenced! 19 There is someone in heaven to stand up for me and take my side. 20 My friends scorn me; my eyes pour out tears to God. 21 I want someone to plead with God for me, as one pleads for a friend. 22 My years are passing now, and I walk the road of no return.
22 But Saul's preaching became even more powerful, and his proofs that Jesus was the Messiah were so convincing that the Jews who lived in Damascus could not answer him. 23 After many days had gone by, the Jews met together and made plans to kill Saul, 24 but he was told of their plan. Day and night they watched the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But one night Saul's followers took him and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket. 26 Saul went to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples. But they would not believe that he was a disciple, and they were all afraid of him. 27 Then Barnabas came to his help and took him to the apostles. He explained to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had spoken to him. He also told them how boldly Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus. 28 And so Saul stayed with them and went all over Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He also talked and disputed with the Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers found out about this, they took Saul to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus. 31 And so it was that the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. Through the help of the Holy Spirit it was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord. 32 Peter traveled everywhere, and on one occasion he went to visit God's people who lived in Lydda. 33 There he met a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had not been able to get out of bed for eight years. 34 "Aeneas," Peter said to him, "Jesus Christ makes you well. Get up and make your bed." At once Aeneas got up. 35 All the people living in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. 36 In Joppa there was a woman named Tabitha, who was a believer. (Her name in Greek is Dorcas, meaning "a deer.") She spent all her time doing good and helping the poor. 37 At that time she got sick and died. Her body was washed and laid in a room upstairs. 38 Joppa was not very far from Lydda, and when the believers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him with the message, "Please hurry and come to us." 39 So Peter got ready and went with them. When he arrived, he was taken to the room upstairs, where all the widows crowded around him, crying and showing him all the shirts and coats that Dorcas had made while she was alive. 40 Peter put them all out of the room, and knelt down and prayed; then he turned to the body and said, "Tabitha, get up!" She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 Peter reached over and helped her get up. Then he called all the believers, including the widows, and presented her alive to them. 42 The news about this spread all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed on in Joppa for many days with a tanner of leather named Simon.
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