Job 20; Job 21; Acts 10:24-48

1 Job, you upset me. 2 Now I'm impatient to answer. 3 What you have said is an insult, but I know how to reply to you. 4 Surely you know that from ancient times, when we humans were first placed on earth, 5 no wicked people have been happy for long. 6 They may grow great, towering to the sky, so great that their heads reach the clouds, 7 but they will be blown away like dust. Those who used to know them will wonder where they have gone. 8 They will vanish like a dream, like a vision at night, and never be seen again. 9 The wicked will disappear from the place where they used to live; 10 and their children will make good what they stole from the poor. 11 Their bodies used to be young and vigorous, but soon they will turn to dust. 12 Evil tastes so good to them that they keep some in their mouths to enjoy its flavor. 14 But in their stomachs the food turns bitter, as bitter as any poison could be. 15 The wicked vomit up the wealth they stole; God takes it back, even out of their stomachs. 16 What the evil people swallow is like poison; it kills them like the bite of a deadly snake. 17 They will not live to see rivers of olive oil or streams that flow with milk and honey. 18 They will have to give up all they have worked for; they will have no chance to enjoy their wealth, 19 because they oppressed and neglected the poor and seized houses someone else had built. 20 Their greed is never satisfied. 21 When they eat, there is nothing left over, but now their prosperity comes to an end. 22 At the height of their success all the weight of misery will crush them. 23 Let them eat all they want! God will punish them in fury and anger. 24 When they try to escape from an iron sword, a bronze bow will shoot them down. 25 Arrows stick through their bodies; the shiny points drip with their blood, and terror grips their hearts. 26 Everything they have saved is destroyed; a fire not lit by human hands burns them and all their family. 27 Heaven reveals their sin, and the earth gives testimony against them. 28 All their wealth will be destroyed in the flood of God's anger. 29 This is the fate of wicked people, the fate that God assigns to them.
1 Listen to what I am saying; 2 that is all the comfort I ask from you. 3 Give me a chance to speak and then, when I am through, sneer if you like. 4 My quarrel is not with mortals; I have good reason to be impatient. 5 Look at me. Isn't that enough to make you stare in shocked silence? 6 When I think of what has happened to me, I am stunned, and I tremble and shake. 7 Why does God let evil people live, let them grow old and prosper? 8 They have children and grandchildren, and live to watch them all grow up. 9 God does not bring disaster on their homes; they never have to live in terror. 10 Yes, all their cattle breed and give birth without trouble. 11 Their children run and play like lambs 12 and dance to the music of harps and flutes. 13 They live out their lives in peace and quietly die without suffering. 14 The wicked tell God to leave them alone; they don't want to know his will for their lives. 15 They think there is no need to serve God nor any advantage in praying to him. 16 They claim they succeed by their own strength, but their way of thinking I can't accept. 17 Was a wicked person's light ever put out? Did one of them ever meet with disaster? Did God ever punish the wicked in anger 18 and blow them away like straw in the wind, or like dust carried away in a storm? 19 You claim God punishes a child for the sins of his father. No! Let God punish the sinners themselves; let him show that he does it because of [their ]sins. 20 Let sinners bear their own punishment; let them feel the wrath of Almighty God. 21 When our lives are over, do we really care whether our children are happy? 22 Can anyone teach God, who judges even those in high places? 23 Some people stay healthy till the day they die; they die happy and at ease, their bodies well-nourished. 25 Others have no happiness at all; they live and die with bitter hearts. 26 But all alike die and are buried; they all are covered with worms. 27 I know what spiteful thoughts you have. 28 You ask, "Where are the homes of great people now, those who practiced evil?" 29 Haven't you talked with people who travel? Don't you know the reports they bring back? 30 On the day God is angry and punishes, it is the wicked who are always spared. 31 There is no one to accuse the wicked or pay them back for all they have done. 32 When they are carried to the graveyard, to their well-guarded tombs, 33 thousands join the funeral procession, and even the earth lies gently on their bodies. 34 And you! You try to comfort me with nonsense! Every answer you give is a lie!
24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea, where Cornelius was waiting for him, together with relatives and close friends that he had invited. 25 As Peter was about to go in, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and bowed down before him. 26 But Peter made him rise. "Stand up," he said, "I myself am only a man." 27 Peter kept on talking to Cornelius as he went into the house, where he found many people gathered. 28 He said to them, "You yourselves know very well that a Jew is not allowed by his religion to visit or associate with Gentiles. But God has shown me that I must not consider any person ritually unclean or defiled. 29 And so when you sent for me, I came without any objection. I ask you, then, why did you send for me?" 30 Cornelius said, "It was about this time three days ago that I was praying in my house at three o'clock in the afternoon. Suddenly a man dressed in shining clothes stood in front of me 31 and said: "Cornelius! God has heard your prayer and has taken notice of your works of charity. 32 Send someone to Joppa for a man whose full name is Simon Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner of leather, who lives by the sea.' 33 And so I sent for you at once, and you have been good enough to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God, waiting to hear anything that the Lord has instructed you to say." 34 Peter began to speak: "I now realize that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis. 35 Those who fear him and do what is right are acceptable to him, no matter what race they belong to. 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know of the great event that took place throughout the land of Israel, beginning in Galilee after John preached his message of baptism. 38 You know about Jesus of Nazareth and how God poured out on him the Holy Spirit and power. He went everywhere, doing good and healing all who were under the power of the Devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses of everything that he did in the land of Israel and in Jerusalem. Then they put him to death by nailing him to a cross. 40 But God raised him from death three days later and caused him to appear, 41 not to everyone, but only to the witnesses that God had already chosen, that is, to us who ate and drank with him after he rose from death. 42 And he commanded us to preach the gospel to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God has appointed judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets spoke about him, saying that all who believe in him will have their sins forgiven through the power of his name." 44 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who were listening to his message. 45 The Jewish believers who had come from Joppa with Peter were amazed that God had poured out his gift of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speaking in strange tongues and praising God's greatness. Peter spoke up: 47 "These people have received the Holy Spirit, just as we also did. Can anyone, then, stop them from being baptized with water?" 48 So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay with them for a few days.
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