Job 34; Job 35; Acts 15:1-21

1 You men are so wise, so clever; listen now to what I am saying. 3 You know good food when you taste it, but not wise words when you hear them. 4 It is up to us to decide the case. 5 Job claims that he is innocent, that God refuses to give him justice. 6 He asks, "How could I lie and say I am wrong? I am fatally wounded, but I am sinless." 7 Have you ever seen anyone like this man Job? He never shows respect for God. 8 He likes the company of evil people and goes around with sinners. 9 He says that it never does any good to try to follow God's will. 10 Listen to me, you men who understand! Will Almighty God do what is wrong? 11 He rewards people for what they do and treats them as they deserve. 12 Almighty God does not do evil; he is never unjust to anyone. 13 Did God get his power from someone else? Did someone put him in charge of the world? 14 If God took back the breath of life, 15 then everyone living would die and turn into dust again. 16 Now listen to me, if you are wise. 17 Are you condemning the righteous God? Do you think that [he ]hates justice? 18 God condemns kings and rulers when they are worthless or wicked. 19 He does not take the side of rulers nor favor the rich over the poor, for he created everyone. 20 We may suddenly die at night. God strikes us down and we perish; he kills the mighty with no effort at all. 21 He watches every step we take. 22 There is no darkness dark enough to hide a sinner from God. 23 God does not need to set a time for us to go and be judged by him. 24 He does not need an investigation to remove leaders and replace them with others. 25 Because he knows what they do; he overthrows them and crushes them by night. 26 He punishes sinners where all can see it, 27 because they have stopped following him and ignored all his commands. 28 They forced the poor to cry out to God, and he heard their calls for help. 29 If God decided to do nothing at all, no one could criticize him. If he hid his face, we would be helpless. 30 There would be nothing that nations could do to keep godless oppressors from ruling them. 31 Job, have you confessed your sins to God and promised not to sin again? 32 Have you asked God to show you your faults, and have you agreed to stop doing evil? 33 Since you object to what God does, can you expect him to do what you want? The decision is yours, not mine; tell us now what you think. 34 Any sensible person will surely agree; and the wise who hear me will say 35 that Job is speaking from ignorance and that nothing he says makes sense. 36 Think through everything that Job says; you will see that he talks like an evil man. 37 To his sins he adds rebellion; in front of us all he mocks God.
1 It is not right, Job, for you to say that you are innocent in God's sight, 3 or to ask God, "How does my sin affect you? What have I gained by not sinning?" 4 I am going to answer you and your friends too. 5 Look at the sky! See how high the clouds are! 6 If you sin, that does no harm to God. If you do wrong many times, does that affect him? 7 Do you help God by being so righteous? There is nothing God needs from you. 8 Others suffer from your sins, and the good you do helps them. 9 When people are oppressed, they groan; they cry for someone to save them. 10 But they don't turn to God, their Creator, who gives them hope in their darkest hours. 11 They don't turn to God, who makes us wise, wiser than any animal or bird. 12 They cry for help, but God doesn't answer, for they are proud and evil. 13 It is useless for them to cry out; Almighty God does not see or hear them. 14 Job, you say you can't see God; but wait patiently - your case is before him. 15 You think that God does not punish, that he pays little attention to sin. 16 It is useless for you to go on talking; it is clear you don't know what you are saying.
1 Some men came from Judea to Antioch and started teaching the believers, "You cannot be saved unless you are circumcised as the Law of Moses requires." 2 Paul and Barnabas got into a fierce argument with them about this, so it was decided that Paul and Barnabas and some of the others in Antioch should go to Jerusalem and see the apostles and elders about this matter. 3 They were sent on their way by the church; and as they went through Phoenicia and Samaria, they reported how the Gentiles had turned to God; this news brought great joy to all the believers. 4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, the apostles, and the elders, to whom they told all that God had done through them. 5 But some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and told to obey the Law of Moses." 6 The apostles and the elders met together to consider this question. 7 After a long debate Peter stood up and said, "My friends, you know that a long time ago God chose me from among you to preach the Good News to the Gentiles, so that they could hear and believe. 8 And God, who knows the thoughts of everyone, showed his approval of the Gentiles by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he had to us. 9 He made no difference between us and them; he forgave their sins because they believed. 10 So then, why do you now want to put God to the test by laying a load on the backs of the believers which neither our ancestors nor we ourselves were able to carry? 11 No! We believe and are saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they are." 12 The whole group was silent as they heard Barnabas and Paul report all the miracles and wonders that God had performed through them among the Gentiles. 13 When they had finished speaking, James spoke up: "Listen to me, my friends! 14 Simon has just explained how God first showed his care for the Gentiles by taking from among them a people to belong to him. 15 The words of the prophets agree completely with this. As the scripture says, 16 "After this I will return, says the Lord, and restore the kingdom of David. I will rebuild its ruins and make it strong again. 17 And so all the rest of the human race will come to me, all the Gentiles whom I have called to be my own. 18 So says the Lord, who made this known long ago.' 19 "It is my opinion," James went on, "that we should not trouble the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead, we should write a letter telling them not to eat any food that is ritually unclean because it has been offered to idols; to keep themselves from sexual immorality; and not to eat any animal that has been strangled, or any blood. 21 For the Law of Moses has been read for a very long time in the synagogues every Sabbath, and his words are preached in every town."
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