Job 32; Job 33; Acts 14

1 Because Job was convinced of his own innocence, the three men gave up trying to answer him. 2 But a bystander named Elihu could not control his anger any longer, because Job was justifying himself and blaming God. (Elihu was the son of Barakel, a descendant of Buz, and belonged to the clan of Ram.) 3 He was also angry with Job's three friends. They could not find any way to answer Job, and this made it appear that God was in the wrong. 4 Because Elihu was the youngest one there, he had waited until everyone finished speaking. 5 When he saw that the three men could not answer Job, he was angry 6 and began to speak. I am young, and you are old, so I was afraid to tell you what I think. 7 I told myself that you ought to speak, that you older men should share your wisdom. 8 But it is the spirit of Almighty God that comes to us and gives us wisdom. 9 It is not growing old that makes us wise or helps us to know what is right. 10 So now I want you to listen to me; let me tell you what I think. 11 I listened patiently while you were speaking and waited while you searched for wise phrases. 12 I paid close attention and heard you fail; you have not disproved what Job has said. 13 How can you claim you have discovered wisdom? God must answer Job, for you have failed. 14 Job was speaking to you, not to me, but I would never answer the way you did. 15 Words have failed them, Job; they have no answer for you. 16 Shall I go on waiting when they are silent? They stand there with nothing more to say. 17 No, I will give my own answer now and tell you what I think. 18 I can hardly wait to speak. I can't hold back the words. 19 If I don't get a chance to speak, I will burst like a wineskin full of new wine. 20 I can't stand it; I have to speak. 21 I will not take sides in this debate; I am not going to flatter anyone. 22 I don't know how to flatter, and God would quickly punish me if I did.
1 And now, Job, listen carefully to all that I have to say. 2 I am ready to say what's on my mind. 3 All my words are sincere, and I am speaking the truth. 4 God's spirit made me and gave me life. 5 Answer me if you can. Prepare your arguments. 6 You and I are the same in God's sight, both of us were formed from clay. 7 So you have no reason to fear me; I will not overpower you. 8 Now this is what I heard you say: 9 "I am not guilty; I have done nothing wrong. I am innocent and free from sin. 10 But God finds excuses for attacking me and treats me like an enemy. 11 He binds chains on my feet; he watches every move I make." 12 But I tell you, Job, you are wrong. God is greater than any human being. 13 Why do you accuse God of never answering our complaints? 14 Although God speaks again and again, no one pays attention to what he says. 15 At night when people are asleep, God speaks in dreams and visions. 16 He makes them listen to what he says, and they are frightened at his warnings. 17 God speaks to make them stop their sinning and to save them from becoming proud. 18 He will not let them be destroyed; he saves them from death itself. 19 God corrects us by sending sickness and filling our bodies with pain. 20 Those who are sick lose their appetites, and even the finest food looks revolting. 21 Their bodies waste away to nothing; you can see all their bones; 22 they are about to go to the world of the dead. 23 Perhaps an angel may come to their aid - one of God's thousands of angels, who remind us of our duty. 24 In mercy the angel will say, "Release them! They are not to go down to the world of the dead. Here is the ransom to set them free." 25 Their bodies will grow young and strong again; 26 when they pray, God will answer; they will worship God with joy; God will set things right for them again. 27 Each one will say in public, "I have sinned. I have not done right, but God spared me. 28 He kept me from going to the world of the dead, and I am still alive." 29 God does all this again and again; 30 each one saves a person's life, and gives him the joy of living. 31 Now, Job, listen to what I am saying; be quiet and let me speak. 32 But if you have something to say, let me hear it; I would gladly admit you are in the right. 33 But if not, be quiet and listen to me, and I will teach you how to be wise.
1 The same thing happened in Iconium: Paul and Barnabas went to the synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of Jews and Gentiles became believers. 2 But the Jews who would not believe stirred up the Gentiles and turned them against the believers. 3 The apostles stayed there for a long time, speaking boldly about the Lord, who proved that their message about his grace was true by giving them the power to perform miracles and wonders. 4 The people of the city were divided: some were for the Jews, others for the apostles. 5 Then some Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, decided to mistreat the apostles and stone them. 6 When the apostles learned about it, they fled to the cities of Lystra and Derbe in Lycaonia and to the surrounding territory. 7 There they preached the Good News. 8 In Lystra there was a crippled man who had been lame from birth and had never been able to walk. 9 He sat there and listened to Paul's words. Paul saw that he believed and could be healed, so he looked straight at him 10 and said in a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet!" The man jumped up and started walking around. 11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they started shouting in their own Lycaonian language, "The gods have become like men and have come down to us!" 12 They gave Barnabas the name Zeus, and Paul the name Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of the god Zeus, whose temple stood just outside the town, brought bulls and flowers to the gate, for he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice to the apostles. 14 When Barnabas and Paul heard what they were about to do, they tore their clothes and ran into the middle of the crowd, shouting, 15 "Why are you doing this? We ourselves are only human beings like you! We are here to announce the Good News, to turn you away from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven, earth, sea, and all that is in them. 16 In the past he allowed all people to go their own way. 17 But he has always given evidence of his existence by the good things he does: he gives you rain from heaven and crops at the right times; he gives you food and fills your hearts with happiness." 18 Even with these words the apostles could hardly keep the crowd from offering a sacrifice to them. 19 Some Jews came from Antioch in Pisidia and from Iconium; they won the crowds over to their side, stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, thinking that he was dead. 20 But when the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he and Barnabas went to Derbe. 21 Paul and Barnabas preached the Good News in Derbe and won many disciples. Then they went back to Lystra, to Iconium, and on to Antioch in Pisidia. 22 They strengthened the believers and encouraged them to remain true to the faith. "We must pass through many troubles to enter the Kingdom of God," they taught. 23 In each church they appointed elders, and with prayers and fasting they commended them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. 24 After going through the territory of Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 25 There they preached the message in Perga and then went to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed back to Antioch, the place where they had been commended to the care of God's grace for the work they had now completed. 27 When they arrived in Antioch, they gathered the people of the church together and told them about all that God had done with them and how he had opened the way for the Gentiles to believe. 28 And they stayed a long time there with the believers.
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