Job 14; Job 15; Job 16; Acts 9:22-43

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Job 14

1 "A person who is born of a woman is short-lived and is full of trouble.
2 He comes up like a flower; then he withers. He is like a fleeting shadow; he doesn't stay long.
3 You observe this and call me to account to you.
4 "If only an unclean person could become clean! It's not possible.
5 If the number of his days and the number of his months are determined by you, and you set his limit, then he cannot go past it.
6 Look away from him, and he will cease to be. Meanwhile, he loves life as a laborer loves work.
7 There is hope for a tree when it is cut down. It will sprout again. Its shoots will not stop sprouting.
8 If its roots grow old in the ground and its stump dies in the soil,
9 merely a scent of water will make it sprout and grow branches like a plant.
10 But a human dies and is powerless. A person breathes his last breath, and where is he?
11 [As] water drains out of a lake, or [as] a river dries up completely,
12 so each person lies down and does not rise until the heavens cease to exist. He does not wake up. He is not awakened from his sleep.
13 I wish you would hide me in Sheol and keep me hidden there until your anger cools. Set a specific time for me when you will remember me.
14 "If a person dies, will he go on living? I will wait for my relief to come as long as my hard labor continues.
15 You will call, and I will answer you. You will long for the person your hands have made.
16 Though now you count my steps, you will not keep [a record of] my sins.
17 My disobedience will be closed up in a bag, and you will cover over my sins.
18 As surely as a mountain falls and rocks are dislodged,
19 [so] water wears away stone, floods wash away soil from the land, and you destroy a mortal's hope.
20 You overpower him forever, and he passes away. You change his appearance and send him away.
21 His sons are honored, and he doesn't know it. Or they become unimportant, and he doesn't realize it.
22 He feels only his body's pain. He is only worried about himself."

Job 15

1 Then Eliphaz from Teman replied [to Job],
2 "Should a wise person answer with endless details and fill his stomach with the east wind?
3 Should he argue with words that don't help, with speeches that don't help [anyone]?
4 Yes, you destroy the fear [of God] and diminish devotion to God.
5 Your sin teaches you what to say. You choose [to talk with] a sly tongue.
6 Your [own] mouth condemns you, not I. Your lips testify against you.
7 "Were you the first human to be born? Were you delivered before the hills [existed]?
8 Did you listen in on God's council meeting and receive a monopoly on wisdom?
9 What do you know that we don't know? What do you understand that we don't?
10 Both the old and the gray-haired are among us. They are older than your father.
11 Isn't God's comfort enough for you, even when gently spoken to you?
12 Why have your emotions carried you away? Why do your eyes flash
13 when you turn against God and spit these words out of your mouth?
14 Why should a mortal be considered faultless or someone born of a woman be considered righteous?
15 If God doesn't trust his holy ones, and the heavens are not pure in his sight,
16 how much less will he trust the one who is disgusting and corrupt, the one who drinks wickedness like water.
17 "I'll tell you; listen to me! I'll relate what I have seen.
18 I'll tell you what wise people have declared and what was not kept secret from their ancestors.
19 (The land was given to them alone, and no stranger passed through their land.)
20 "The wicked person is tortured all his days. Only a few years are reserved for the ruthless person.
21 Terrifying sounds are in his ears. While he enjoys peace, the destroyer comes to him.
22 He doesn't believe he'll return from the dark. He is destined [to be killed] with a sword.
23 He wanders around for food and asks, 'Where is it?' He knows that his ruin is close at hand.
24 "The day of darkness troubles him. Distress and anguish terrify him like a king ready for battle.
25 He stretches out his hand against God and attacks the Almighty like a warrior.
26 He stubbornly charges at him with a thick shield.
27 "His face is bloated with fat, and he is fat around the waist.
28 He lives in ruined cities where no one dwells, in houses that are doomed to be piles of rubble.
29 He won't get rich, and his wealth won't last. His possessions won't spread out over the land.
30 "He won't escape the darkness. A flame will shrivel his branches. He will be blown away by his own breath.
31 He shouldn't trust in worthless things and deceive himself because he will get worthless things in return.
32 It will happen before his time has come, and his branch will not become green.
33 He will drop his unripened grapes like a vine and throw off his blossoms like an olive tree
34 because a mob of godless people produces nothing, and fire burns up the tents of those who offer bribes.
35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil. Their wombs produce deception."

Job 16

1 Then Job replied [to his friends],
2 "I have heard many things like this before. You are all pathetic at comforting me.
3 Will [your] long-winded speeches never end? What disturbs you that you keep on answering [me]?
4 I, too, could speak like you if we could trade places. I could string words together against you and shake my head at you.
5 I could encourage you with my mouth, and my quivering lips could ease [your pain].
6 If I speak, my pain is not eased. If I stop talking, how much of it will go away?
7 "But now, God has worn me out. You, [God,] have destroyed everyone who supports me.
8 You have shriveled me up, which itself is a witness [against me]. My frail body rises up and testifies against me.
9 "God's anger tore me [apart] and attacked me. He gritted his teeth at me. My opponent looked sharply at me.
10 People gaped at me with wide-open mouths. In scorn they slapped my cheeks. They united against me.
11 God handed me over to unjust people and threw me into the hands of wicked people.
12 I was at ease, and he shattered me. He grabbed me by the back of the neck and smashed [my skull]. He set me up as his target,
13 and his archers surrounded me. He slashes open my kidneys without mercy and spills my blood on the ground.
14 He inflicts wound after wound on me. He lunges at me like a warrior.
15 "I have sewn sackcloth over my skin, and I have thrown my strength in the dust.
16 My face is red from crying, and dark shadows encircle my eyes,
17 although my hands have done nothing violent, and my prayer is sincere.
18 "Earth, don't cover my blood. Don't ever let my cry [for justice] be stopped.
19 Even now, look! My witness is in heaven, and the one who testifies for me is above,
20 the spokesman for my thoughts. My eyes drip [with tears] to God
21 [16:22] because in a few short years I will take the path of no return.
22 [16:21] But my witness will plead for a human in front of God. The Son of Man will plead for his friend!

Acts 9:22-43

22 Saul grew more powerful, and he confused the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah.
23 Later the Jews planned to murder Saul,
24 but Saul was told about their plot. They were watching the city gates day and night in order to murder him.
25 However, Saul's disciples lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the wall one night.
26 After Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples. But everyone was afraid of him. They wouldn't believe that he was a disciple.
27 Then Barnabas took an interest in Saul and brought him to the apostles. Barnabas told the apostles how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had spoken to him. Barnabas also told them how boldly Saul had spoken about the one named Jesus in the city of Damascus.
28 Then Saul went throughout Jerusalem with the disciples. He spoke boldly with the power and authority of the Lord.
29 He talked and argued with Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him.
30 As soon as the disciples found out about this, they took Saul to Caesarea and sent him to Tarsus.
31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace. The number of people increased as people lived in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
32 When Peter was going around to all of God's people, he came to those who lived in the city of Lydda.
33 In Lydda Peter found a man named Aeneas who was paralyzed and confined to a cot for eight years.
34 Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ makes you well. Get up, and pick up your cot." Aeneas immediately got up.
35 Everyone who lived in the city of Lydda and the coastal region of Sharon saw what had happened to Aeneas and turned to the Lord in faith.
36 A disciple named Tabitha lived in the city of Joppa. Her Greek name was Dorcas. She always helped people and gave things to the poor.
37 She became sick and died. Her body was prepared for burial and was laid in an upstairs room.
38 Lydda is near the city of Joppa. When the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him. They begged Peter, "Hurry to Joppa! We need your help!"
39 So Peter went with them. When he arrived, he was taken upstairs. All the widows stood around him. They were crying and showing Peter the articles of clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
40 Peter made everyone leave the room. He knelt and prayed. Then he turned toward the body and said, "Tabitha, get up!" Tabitha opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.
41 Peter took her hand and helped her stand up. After he called the believers, especially the widows, he presented Tabitha to them. She was alive.
42 The news about this spread throughout the city of Joppa, and as a result, many people believed in the Lord.
43 Peter stayed in Joppa for a number of days with Simon, a leatherworker.