Job 5; Job 6; Job 7; Acts 8:1-25

1 Call out, Job. See if anyone answers. Is there any angel to whom you can turn? 2 To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do. 3 I have seen fools who looked secure, but I called down a sudden curse on their homes. 4 Their children can never find safety; no one stands up to defend them in court. 5 Hungry people will eat the fool's crops - even the grain growing among thorns - and thirsty people will envy his wealth. 6 Evil does not grow in the soil, nor does trouble grow out of the ground. 7 No indeed! We bring trouble on ourselves, as surely as sparks fly up from a fire. 8 If I were you, I would turn to God and present my case to him. 9 We cannot understand the great things he does, and to his miracles there is no end. 10 He sends rain on the land and he waters the fields. 11 Yes, it is God who raises the humble and gives joy to all who mourn. 12 He upsets the plans of cunning people, and traps the wise in their own schemes, so that nothing they do succeeds; 14 even at noon they grope in darkness. 15 But God saves the poor from death; he saves the needy from oppression. 16 He gives hope to the poor and silences the wicked. 17 Happy is the person whom God corrects! Do not resent it when he rebukes you. 18 God bandages the wounds he makes; his hand hurts you, and his hand heals. 19 Time after time he will save you from harm; 20 when famine comes, he will keep you alive, and in war protect you from death. 21 God will rescue you from slander; he will save you when destruction comes. 22 You will laugh at violence and hunger and not be afraid of wild animals. 23 The fields you plow will be free of rocks; wild animals will never attack you. 24 Then you will live at peace in your tent; when you look at your sheep, you will find them safe. 25 You will have as many children as there are blades of grass in a pasture. 26 Like wheat that ripens till harvest time, you will live to a ripe old age. 27 Job, we have learned this by long study. It is true, so now accept it.
1 If my troubles and griefs 2 were weighed on scales, 3 they would weigh more than the sands of the sea, so my wild words should not surprise you. 4 Almighty God has shot me with arrows, and their poison spreads through my body. God has lined up his terrors against me. 5 A donkey is content when eating grass, and a cow is quiet when eating hay. 6 But who can eat flat, unsalted food? What taste is there in the white of an egg? 7 I have no appetite for food like that, and everything I eat makes me sick. 8 Why won't God give me what I ask? Why won't he answer my prayer? 9 If only he would go ahead and kill me! 10 If I knew he would, I would leap for joy, no matter how great my pain. I know that God is holy; I have never opposed what he commands. 11 What strength do I have to keep on living? Why go on living when I have no hope? 12 Am I made of stone? Is my body bronze? 13 I have no strength left to save myself; there is nowhere I can turn for help. 14 In trouble like this I need loyal friends - whether I've forsaken God or not. 15 But you, my friends, you deceive me like streams that go dry when no rain comes. 16 The streams are choked with snow and ice, 17 but in the heat they disappear, and the stream beds lie bare and dry. 18 Caravans get lost looking for water; they wander and die in the desert. 19 Caravans from Sheba and Tema search, 20 but their hope dies beside dry streams. 21 You are like those streams to me, you see my fate and draw back in fear. 22 Have I asked you to give me a gift or to bribe someone on my behalf 23 or to save me from some enemy or tyrant? 24 All right, teach me; tell me my faults. I will be quiet and listen to you. 25 Honest words are convincing, but you are talking nonsense. 26 You think I am talking nothing but wind; then why do you answer my words of despair? 27 You would even roll dice for orphan slaves and make yourselves rich off your closest friends! 28 Look me in the face. I won't lie. 29 You have gone far enough. Stop being unjust. Don't condemn me. I'm in the right. 30 But you think I am lying - you think I can't tell right from wrong.
1 Human life is like forced army service, like a life of hard manual labor, 2 like a slave longing for cool shade; like a worker waiting to be paid. 3 Month after month I have nothing to live for; night after night brings me grief. 4 When I lie down to sleep, the hours drag; I toss all night and long for dawn. 5 My body is full of worms; it is covered with scabs; pus runs out of my sores. 6 My days pass by without hope, pass faster than a weaver's shuttle. 7 Remember, O God, my life is only a breath; my happiness has already ended. 8 You see me now, but never again. If you look for me, I'll be gone. 9 Like a cloud that fades and is gone, we humans die and never return; we are forgotten by all who knew us. 11 No! I can't be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak. 12 Why do you keep me under guard? Do you think I am a sea monster? 13 I lie down and try to rest; I look for relief from my pain. 14 But you - you terrify me with dreams; you send me visions and nightmares 15 until I would rather be strangled than live in this miserable body. 16 I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone. My life makes no sense. 17 Why are people so important to you? Why pay attention to what they do? 18 You inspect them every morning and test them every minute. 19 Won't you look away long enough for me to swallow my spit? 20 Are you harmed by my sin, you jailer? Why use me for your target practice? Am I so great a burden to you? 21 Can't you ever forgive my sin? Can't you pardon the wrong I do? Soon I will be in my grave, and I'll be gone when you look for me.
1 And Saul approved of his murder. That very day the church in Jerusalem began to suffer cruel persecution. All the believers, except the apostles, were scattered throughout the provinces of Judea and Samaria. 2 Some devout men buried Stephen, mourning for him with loud cries. 3 But Saul tried to destroy the church; going from house to house, he dragged out the believers, both men and women, and threw them into jail. 4 The believers who were scattered went everywhere, preaching the message. 5 Philip went to the principal city in Samaria and preached the Messiah to the people there. 6 The crowds paid close attention to what Philip said, as they listened to him and saw the miracles that he performed. 7 Evil spirits came out from many people with a loud cry, and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city. 9 A man named Simon lived there, who for some time had astounded the Samaritans with his magic. He claimed that he was someone great, 10 and everyone in the city, from all classes of society, paid close attention to him. "He is that power of God known as "The Great Power,' " they said. 11 They paid this attention to him because for such a long time he had astonished them with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip's message about the good news of the Kingdom of God and about Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself also believed; and after being baptized, he stayed close to Philip and was astounded when he saw the great wonders and miracles that were being performed. 14 The apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had received the word of God, so they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the believers that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For the Holy Spirit had not yet come down on any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 Simon saw that the Spirit had been given to the believers when the apostles placed their hands on them. So he offered money to Peter and John, 19 and said, "Give this power to me too, so that anyone I place my hands on will receive the Holy Spirit." 20 But Peter answered him, "May you and your money go to hell, for thinking that you can buy God's gift with money! 21 You have no part or share in our work, because your heart is not right in God's sight. 22 Repent, then, of this evil plan of yours, and pray to the Lord that he will forgive you for thinking such a thing as this. 23 For I see that you are full of bitter envy and are a prisoner of sin." 24 Simon said to Peter and John, "Please pray to the Lord for me, so that none of these things you spoke of will happen to me." 25 After they had given their testimony and proclaimed the Lord's message, Peter and John went back to Jerusalem. On their way they preached the Good News in many villages of Samaria.
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