Job 11; Job 12; Job 13; Acts 9:1-21

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Job 11

1 Then Zophar from Naama replied [to Job],
2 "Shouldn't someone answer this flood of words? Should a good public speaker be acquitted?
3 Should your empty talk silence others so that you can make fun of us without any shame?
4 You say, 'My teaching is morally correct,' and, 'As you can see, I'm innocent.'
5 I only wish God would speak and open his mouth [to talk] to you.
6 He would tell you the secrets of wisdom, because [true] wisdom is twice [as great as your wisdom], and you would know that God forgets your sin.
7 "Can you discover God's hidden secrets, or are you able to find the Almighty's limits?
8 [God's wisdom is] higher than heaven. What can you do? It is deeper than [the depths] of hell. What can you know?
9 It is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.
10 If God comes along and imprisons [someone] and then calls a court into session, who can stop him?
11 He knows who the scoundrels are. And when he sees sin, doesn't he pay attention to it?
12 But an empty-headed person will gain understanding when a wild donkey is born tame.
13 "If you want to set your heart right, then pray to him.
14 If you're holding on to sin, put it far away, and don't let injustice live in your tent.
15 Then you will be able to show your face without being ashamed, and you will be secure and unafraid.
16 [Then] you will forget your misery and remember it like water that has flowed downstream.
17 Then your life will be brighter than the noonday sun. The darkness in your life will become like morning.
18 You will feel confident because there's hope, and you will look around and rest in safety.
19 You will lie down with no one to frighten you, and many people will try to gain your favor.
20 But the wicked will lose their eyesight. Their escape route will be closed. Their only hope is to take their last breath."

Job 12

1 Then Job replied [to his friends],
2 "You certainly are [wise] people, and when you die, wisdom will die.
3 Like you, I have a mind. I am not inferior to you. But who doesn't know these things?
4 I am a laughingstock to my neighbors. I am one who calls on God and expects an answer. A man of integrity, a man who is righteous, has become a laughingstock.
5 "A person who has an easy life has no appreciation for misfortune. He thinks it is the fate of those who slip up.
6 [But] robbers' tents are prosperous, and there is security for those who provoke God, for those whose god is their power.
7 "Instead, ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds, and they will tell you.
8 Or speak with the earth, and it will teach you. Even the fish will relate [the story] to you.
9 What creature doesn't know that the LORD's hands made it?
10 The life of every living creature and the spirit in every human body are in his hands.
11 Doesn't the ear distinguish sounds and the tongue taste food?
12 "Wisdom is with the ancient one. The one who has had many days has insight.
13 God has wisdom and strength. Advice and insight are his.
14 When he tears [something] down, it cannot be rebuilt. When he puts someone in prison, that person cannot be freed.
15 When he holds back the waters, there is a drought. When he releases them, they flood the earth.
16 "God has power and priceless wisdom. He owns [both] the deceiver and the person who is deceived.
17 He leads counselors away barefoot and makes fools out of judges.
18 He loosens kings' belts and strips them of their pants.
19 He leads priests away barefoot and misleads those who serve in a temple.
20 He makes trusted advisers unable to speak and takes away the good judgment of respected leaders.
21 He pours contempt on influential people and unbuckles the belt of the mighty.
22 He uncovers mysteries [hidden] in the darkness and brings gloom into the light.
23 He makes nations important and then destroys them. He makes nations large and leads them away.
24 He takes away the common sense of a country's leaders and makes them stumble about in a pathless wilderness.
25 They grope in the dark with no light, and he makes them stumble like drunks.

Job 13

1 "My eye has certainly seen all of this! My ear has heard and understood it.
2 After all, I know it as well as you do. I am not inferior to you.
3 However, I want to speak to the Almighty, and I wish to argue my case in front of God.
4 But you are smearing me with lies. All of you are worthless physicians.
5 I wish you would keep silent. For you, that would be wisdom.
6 Please listen to my argument, and pay attention to my plea.
7 "Will you talk wickedly for God and talk deceitfully on his behalf?
8 Will you favor him [as] if you were arguing in court on God's behalf?
9 Will it go well when he cross-examines you? Will you try to trick him as one mortal tricks another?
10 Will he really defend you if you secretly favor [him]?
11 Doesn't his majesty terrify you? Doesn't the fear of him fall upon you?
12 "Your recollections are worthless proverbs. Your answers are absolutely useless.
13 Be quiet, because I want to speak. Let whatever may happen to me [happen]!
14 I am biting off more than I can chew and taking my life in my own hands.
15 If God would kill me, I would have no hope [left]. Nevertheless, I will defend my behavior to his face.
16 This also will be my salvation because no godless person could face him.
17 "Listen carefully to my words. Hear my declaration.
18 I have prepared my case. I know that I will be declared righteous.
19 Who can make a case against me? If someone could, I'd be silent and die.
20 "Please don't do two things to me so that I won't have to hide from you:
21 Stop oppressing me. Don't let your terror frighten me.
22 Then call, and I'll answer. Otherwise, I'll speak, and you'll answer me.
23 How many crimes and sins have I committed? Make me aware of my disobedience and my sin.
24 Why do you hide your face [from me] and consider me your enemy?
25 Are you trying to make a fluttering leaf tremble or trying to chase dry husks?
26 You write down bitter accusations against me. You make me suffer for the sins of my youth.
27 You put my feet in shackles. You follow my trail by engraving marks on the soles of my feet.
28 I am like worn-out wineskins, like moth-eaten clothes.

Acts 9:1-21

1 Saul kept threatening to murder the Lord's disciples. He went to the chief priest
2 and asked him to write letters of authorization to the synagogue leaders in the city of Damascus. Saul wanted to arrest any man or woman who followed the way [of Christ] and imprison them in Jerusalem.
3 As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him.
4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?"
5 Saul asked, "Who are you, sir?" The person replied, "I'm Jesus, the one you're persecuting.
6 Get up! Go into the city, and you'll be told what you should do."
7 Meanwhile, the men traveling with him were speechless. They heard the voice but didn't see anyone.
8 Saul was helped up from the ground. When he opened his eyes, he was blind. So his companions led him into Damascus.
9 For three days he couldn't see and didn't eat or drink.
10 A disciple named Ananias lived in the city of Damascus. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias!" Ananias answered, "Yes, Lord."
11 The Lord told him, "Get up! Go to Judas' house on Straight Street, and ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. He's praying.
12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias place his hands on him to restore his sight."
13 Ananias replied, "Lord, I've heard a lot of people tell about the many evil things this man has done to your people in Jerusalem.
14 Saul has come here to Damascus with authority from the chief priests to put anyone who calls on your name in prison."
15 The Lord told Ananias, "Go! I've chosen this man to bring my name to nations, to kings, and to the people of Israel.
16 I'll show him how much he has to suffer for the sake of my name."
17 Ananias left and entered Judas' house. After he placed his hands on Saul, Ananias said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way to Damascus, sent me to you. He wants you to see again and to be filled with the Holy Spirit."
18 Immediately, something like fish scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. Then Saul stood up and was baptized.
19 After he had something to eat, his strength came back to him. Saul was with the disciples in the city of Damascus for several days.
20 He immediately began to spread the word in their synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God.
21 Everyone who heard him was amazed. They asked, "Isn't this the man who destroyed those who worshiped the one named Jesus in Jerusalem? Didn't he come here to take these worshipers as prisoners to the chief priests [in Jerusalem]?"