Job 30; Job 31; Acts 13:26-52

1 But men younger than I am make fun of me now! Their fathers have always been so worthless that I wouldn't let them help my dogs guard sheep. 2 They were a bunch of worn-out men, too weak to do any work for me. 3 They were so poor and hungry that they would gnaw dry roots - at night, in wild, desolate places. 4 They pulled up the plants of the desert and ate them, even the tasteless roots of the broom tree! 5 Everyone drove them away with shouts, as if they were shouting at thieves. 6 They had to live in caves, in holes dug in the sides of cliffs. 7 Out in the wilds they howled like animals and huddled together under the bushes. 8 A worthless bunch of nameless nobodies! They were driven out of the land. 9 Now they come and laugh at me; I am nothing but a joke to them. 10 They treat me with disgust; they think they are too good for me, and even come and spit in my face. 11 Because God has made me weak and helpless, they turn against me with all their fury. 12 This mob attacks me head-on; they send me running; they prepare their final assault. 13 They cut off my escape and try to destroy me; and there is no one to stop them. 14 They pour through the holes in my defenses and come crashing down on top of me; 15 I am overcome with terror; my dignity is gone like a puff of wind, and my prosperity like a cloud. 16 Now I am about to die; there is no relief for my suffering. 17 At night my bones all ache; the pain that gnaws me never stops. 18 God seizes me by my collar and twists my clothes out of shape. 19 He throws me down in the mud; I am no better than dirt. 20 I call to you, O God, but you never answer; and when I pray, you pay no attention. 21 You are treating me cruelly; you persecute me with all your power. 22 You let the wind blow me away; you toss me about in a raging storm. 23 I know you are taking me off to my death, to the fate in store for everyone. 24 Why do you attack a ruined man, one who can do nothing but beg for pity? 25 Didn't I weep with people in trouble and feel sorry for those in need? 26 I hoped for happiness and light, but trouble and darkness came instead. 27 I am torn apart by worry and pain; I have had day after day of suffering. 28 I go about in gloom, without any sunshine; I stand up in public and plead for help. 29 My voice is as sad and lonely as the cries of a jackal or an ostrich. 30 My skin has turned dark; I am burning with fever. 31 Where once I heard joyful music, now I hear only mourning and weeping.
1 I have made a solemn promise never to look with lust at a woman. 2 What does Almighty God do to us? How does he repay human deeds? 3 He sends disaster and ruin to those who do wrong. 4 God knows everything I do; he sees every step I take. 5 I swear I have never acted wickedly and never tried to deceive others. 6 Let God weigh me on honest scales, and he will see how innocent I am. 7 If I have turned from the right path or let myself be attracted to evil, if my hands are stained with sin, 8 then let my crops be destroyed, or let others eat the food I grow. 9 If I have been attracted to my neighbor's wife, and waited, hidden, outside her door, 10 then let my wife cook another man's food and sleep in another man's bed. 11 Such wickedness should be punished by death. 12 It would be like a destructive, hellish fire, consuming everything I have. 13 When any of my servants complained against me, I would listen and treat them fairly. 14 If I did not, how could I then face God? What could I say when God came to judge me? 15 The same God who created me created my servants also. 16 I have never refused to help the poor; never have I let widows live in despair 17 or let orphans go hungry while I ate. 18 All my life I have taken care of them. 19 When I found someone in need, too poor to buy clothes, 20 I would give him clothing made of wool that had come from my own flock of sheep. Then he would praise me with all his heart. 21 If I have ever cheated an orphan, knowing I could win in court, 22 then may my arms be broken; may they be torn from my shoulders. 23 Because I fear God's punishment, I could never do such a thing. 24 I have never trusted in riches 25 or taken pride in my wealth. 26 I have never worshiped the sun in its brightness or the moon in all its beauty. 27 I have not been led astray to honor them by kissing my hand in reverence to them. 28 Such a sin should be punished by death; it denies Almighty God. 29 I have never been glad when my enemies suffered, or pleased when they met with disaster; 30 I never sinned by praying for their death. 31 All those who work for me know that I have always welcomed strangers. 32 I invited travelers into my home and never let them sleep in the streets. 33 Others try to hide their sins, but I have never concealed mine. 34 I have never feared what people would say; I have never kept quiet or stayed indoors because I feared their scorn. 35 Will no one listen to what I am saying? I swear that every word is true. Let Almighty God answer me. If the charges my opponent brings against me were written down so that I could see them, 36 I would wear them proudly on my shoulder and place them on my head like a crown. 37 I would tell God everything I have done, and hold my head high in his presence. 38 If I have stolen the land I farm and taken it from its rightful owners - 39 if I have eaten the food that grew there but let the farmers that grew it starve - 40 then instead of wheat and barley, may weeds and thistles grow. The words of Job are ended.
26 "My fellow Israelites, descendants of Abraham, and all Gentiles here who worship God: it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent! 27 For the people who live in Jerusalem and their leaders did not know that he is the Savior, nor did they understand the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. Yet they made the prophets' words come true by condemning Jesus. 28 And even though they could find no reason to pass the death sentence on him, they asked Pilate to have him put to death. 29 And after they had done everything that the Scriptures say about him, they took him down from the cross and placed him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from death, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now witnesses for him to the people of Israel. 32 And we are here to bring the Good News to you: what God promised our ancestors he would do, he has now done for us, who are their descendants, by raising Jesus to life. As it is written in the second Psalm, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father.' 34 And this is what God said about raising him from death, never to rot away in the grave: "I will give you the sacred and sure blessings that I promised to David.' 35 As indeed he says in another passage, "You will not allow your faithful servant to rot in the grave.' 36 For David served God's purposes in his own time, and then he died, was buried with his ancestors, and his body rotted in the grave. 37 But this did not happen to the one whom God raised from death. 38 All of you, my fellow Israelites, are to know for sure that it is through Jesus that the message about forgiveness of sins is preached to you; you are to know that everyone who believes in him is set free from all the sins from which the Law of Moses could not set you free. 40 Take care, then, so that what the prophets said may not happen to you: 41 "Look, you scoffers! Be astonished and die! For what I am doing today is something that you will not believe, even when someone explains it to you!' " 42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to come back the next Sabbath and tell them more about these things. 43 After the people had left the meeting, Paul and Barnabas were followed by many Jews and by many Gentiles who had been converted to Judaism. The apostles spoke to them and encouraged them to keep on living in the grace of God. 44 The next Sabbath nearly everyone in the town came to hear the word of the Lord. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; they disputed what Paul was saying and insulted him. 46 But Paul and Barnabas spoke out even more boldly: "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. But since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we will leave you and go to the Gentiles. 47 For this is the commandment that the Lord has given us: "I have made you a light for the Gentiles, so that all the world may be saved.' " 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the Lord's message; and those who had been chosen for eternal life became believers. 49 The word of the Lord spread everywhere in that region. 50 But the Jews stirred up the leading men of the city and the Gentile women of high social standing who worshiped God. They started a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and threw them out of their region. 51 The apostles shook the dust off their feet in protest against them and went on to Iconium. 52 The believers in Antioch were full of joy and the Holy Spirit.
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