Job 32; Job 33; Acts 14

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Job 32

1 These three men stopped answering Job because Job thought he was righteous.
2 Then Elihu, son of Barachel, a descendant of Buz from the family of Ram, became very angry with Job because Job thought he was more righteous than God.
3 Elihu was also very angry with Job's three friends because they had found no answer. They made it look as if God were wrong.
4 Elihu waited as they spoke to Job because they were older than he was.
5 When Elihu saw that the three men had no further responses, he became very angry.
6 So Elihu, son of Barachel, the descendant of Buz, replied [to Job], "I am young, and you are old. That's why I refrained from speaking and was afraid to tell you what I know.
7 I thought, 'Age should speak, and experience should teach wisdom.'
8 However, there is in humans a Spirit, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
9 People do not become wise merely because they live long. They don't understand what justice is merely because they're old.
10 "That is why I say, 'Listen to me! Let me tell you what I know.'
11 I waited for you to speak. I listened for you to share your understanding until you could find the right words.
12 I've paid close attention to you, but none of you refuted Job. None of you has an answer to what he says.
13 So don't say, 'We've found wisdom. Let God, not humans, defeat him.'
14 Job did not choose his words to refute me, so I won't answer him with your speeches.
15 "Job's friends have been overwhelmed and don't have any more answers. They don't have another word to say.
16 Should I wait because they don't speak, because they stand there and don't have any more answers?
17 "I'll give my answer. I'll tell you what I know.
18 I'm full of words. The Spirit within me forces me [to speak].
19 My belly is like [a bottle of] wine that has not been opened, like new wineskins that are ready to burst.
20 I must speak to get relief. I must open my mouth and answer.
21 I won't be partial toward anyone or flatter anyone.
22 I don't know how to flatter. If I did, my maker would soon carry me away.

Job 33

1 "Please, Job, listen to my words and consider everything I say.
2 I've opened my mouth. The words are on the tip of my tongue.
3 My words are straight from the heart, and I sincerely speak the knowledge that is on my lips.
4 "God's Spirit has made me. The breath of the Almighty gives me life.
5 Answer me if you can. Present your case to me, and take your stand.
6 Indeed, I stand in front of God as you do. I, too, was formed from a piece of clay.
7 You certainly don't need to be terrified of me. I won't put too much pressure on you.
8 "But you spoke directly to me, and I listened to your words.
9 [You said,] 'I'm pure--without any rebellious acts [against God]. I'm clean; I have no sin.
10 God is only looking for an excuse to attack me. He considers me his enemy.
11 He puts my feet in the stocks and watches all my paths.'
12 You aren't right about this! I've got an answer for you: God is greater than any mortal.
13 Why do you quarrel with him since he doesn't answer any questions?
14 "God speaks in one way, even in two ways without people noticing it:
15 In a dream, a prophetic vision at night, when people fall into a deep sleep, when they sleep on their beds,
16 he opens people's ears and terrifies them with warnings.
17 [He warns them] to turn away from doing [wrong] and to stop being arrogant.
18 He keeps their souls from the pit and their lives from crossing the River [of Death].
19 In pain on their sickbeds, they are disciplined with endless aching in their bones
20 so that their whole being hates food and they lose their appetite for a delicious meal.
21 Their flesh becomes so thin that it can't be seen. Their bones, not seen before, will be exposed.
22 Their souls approach the pit. Their lives come close to those already dead.
23 "If they have a messenger for them, a spokesman, one in a thousand, to tell people what is right for them,
24 then he will have pity on them and say, 'Free them from going into the pit. I have found a ransom.'
25 Then their flesh will become softer than a child's. They will go back to the days of their youth.
26 They will pray to God, who will be pleased with them. They will see God's face and shout for joy as he restores their righteousness.
27 Each one sings in front of other people and says, 'I sinned and did wrong instead of what was right, and it did me no good.
28 The messenger has freed my soul from going into the pit, and my life will see the light.'
29 Truly, God does all this two or three times with people
30 to turn their souls away from the pit and to enlighten them with the light of life.
31 "Pay attention, Job! Listen to me! Keep quiet, and let me speak.
32 If you have a response, answer me. Speak, because I'd be happy if you were right.
33 If not, you listen to me. Keep quiet, and I'll teach you wisdom."

Acts 14

1 The same thing happened in the city of Iconium. Paul and Barnabas went into the synagogue and spoke in such a way that a large crowd of Jews and Greeks believed.
2 But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up some people who were not Jewish and poisoned their minds against the believers.
3 Paul and Barnabas stayed in the city of Iconium for a long time. They spoke boldly about the Lord, who confirmed their message about his good will by having them perform miracles and do amazing things.
4 But the people of Iconium were divided. Some were for the Jews, while others were for the apostles.
5 In the meantime, Paul and Barnabas found out that the non-Jewish people and the Jewish people with their rulers planned to attack them and stone them to death.
6 So they escaped to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding territory.
7 They spread the Good News there.
8 A man who was born lame was in Lystra. He was always sitting because he had never been able to walk.
9 He listened to what Paul was saying. Paul observed him closely and saw that the man believed he could be made well.
10 So Paul said in a loud voice, "Stand up." The man jumped up and began to walk.
11 The crowds who saw what Paul had done shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come to us, and they look human."
12 They addressed Barnabas as Zeus and Paul as Hermes because Paul did most of the talking.
13 Zeus' temple was at the entrance to the city. The priest of the god Zeus brought bulls with flowery wreaths around their necks to the temple gates. The priest and the crowd wanted to offer a sacrifice [to Paul and Barnabas].
14 When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they were very upset. They rushed into the crowd
15 and said, "Men, what are you doing? We're human beings like you. We're spreading the Good News to you to turn you away from these worthless gods to the living God. The living God made the sky, the land, the sea, and everything in them.
16 In the past God allowed all people to live as they pleased.
17 Yet, by doing good, he has given evidence of his existence. He gives you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons. He fills you with food and your lives with happiness."
18 Although Paul and Barnabas said these things, they hardly kept the crowd from sacrificing to them.
19 However, Jews from the cities of Antioch and Iconium arrived in Lystra and won the people over. They tried to stone Paul to death and dragged him out of the city when they thought that he was dead.
20 But when the disciples gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day Paul and Barnabas left for the city of Derbe.
21 They spread the Good News in that city and won many disciples. Then they went back to the cities of Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch (which is in Pisidia).
22 They strengthened the disciples in these cities and encouraged the disciples to remain faithful. Paul and Barnabas told them, "We must suffer a lot to enter the kingdom of God."
23 They had the disciples in each church choose spiritual leaders, and with prayer and fasting they entrusted the leaders to the Lord in whom they believed.
24 After they had gone through Pisidia, they went to Pamphylia.
25 They spoke the message in the city of Perga and went to the city of Attalia.
26 From Attalia they took a boat and headed home to the city of Antioch [in Syria]. (In Antioch they had been entrusted to God's care for the work they had now finished.)
27 When they arrived, they called the members of the church together. They reported everything God had done through them, especially that he had given people who were not Jewish the opportunity to believe.
28 They stayed for a long time with these disciples.