Job 8; Job 9; Job 10; Acts 8:26-40

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Job 8

1 Then Bildad from Shuah replied [to Job],
2 "How long will you say these things? How long will your words be so windy?
3 Does God distort justice, or does the Almighty distort righteousness?
4 If your children sinned against him, he allowed them to suffer the consequences of their sinfulness.
5 If you search for God and plead for mercy from the Almighty,
6 if you are moral and ethical, then he will rise up on your behalf and prove your righteousness by rebuilding your home.
7 Then what you had in the past will seem small compared with the great prosperity you'll have in the future.
8 "Ask the people of past generations. Find out what their ancestors had learned.
9 We have only been around since yesterday, and we know nothing. Our days on earth are only a fleeting shadow.
10 Won't their words teach you? Won't they share their thoughts with you?
11 "Can papyrus grow up where there is no swamp? Can rushes grow tall without water?
12 Even if they were fresh and not cut, they would wither quicker than grass.
13 The same thing happens to all who forget God. The hope of the godless dies.
14 His confidence is easily shattered. His trust is a spider's web.
15 If one leans on his house, it collapses. If one holds on to it, it will not support his weight.
16 He is like a well-watered plant in the sunshine. The shoots spread over his garden.
17 Its roots weave through a pile of stones. They cling to a stone house.
18 But when it is uprooted from its place, [the ground] denies it [and says], 'I never saw you!'
19 That is its joy in this life, and others sprout from the same ground to [take its place].
20 "Certainly, God does not reject a person of integrity or give a helping hand to wicked people.
21 He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with happy shouting.
22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will cease to exist."

Job 9

1 Then Job replied [to his friends],
2 "Yes, I know that this is true. But how can a mortal be declared righteous to God?
3 If he wished to debate with God, he wouldn't be able to answer one question in a thousand.
4 "God is wise in heart and mighty in power. Who could oppose him and win?
5 He moves mountains without their knowing it, and he topples them in his anger.
6 He shakes the earth from its place, and its pillars tremble.
7 He commands the sun not to rise. He doesn't let the stars come out.
8 He stretches out the heavens by himself and walks on the waves of the sea.
9 He made [the constellations] Ursa Major, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the clusters of stars in the south.
10 He does great things that are unsearchable and miracles that cannot be numbered.
11 He passes alongside of me, and I don't even see him. He goes past me, and I don't even notice him.
12 He takes something away, [but] who can stop him? Who is going to ask him, 'What are you doing?'
13 God does not hold back his anger. Even Rahab's helpers bow humbly in front of him.
14 "How can I possibly answer God? How can I find the right words [to speak] with him?
15 Even if I were right, I could not answer [him]. I would have to plead for mercy from my judge.
16 If I cried out and he answered me, I do not believe that he would listen to me.
17 He would knock me down with a storm and bruise me without a reason.
18 He would not let me catch my breath. He fills me with bitterness.
19 If it is a matter of strength, then he is the mighty one. If it is about justice, who will charge me with a crime?
20 If I am righteous, my own mouth would condemn me. It would declare that I am corrupt even if I am a man of integrity.
21 If I am a man of integrity, I have no way of knowing it. I hate my life!
22 It is all the same. That is why I say, 'He destroys [both] the man of integrity and the wicked.'
23 When a sudden disaster brings death, he makes fun of the despair of innocent people.
24 The earth is handed over to the wicked. He covers the faces of its judges. If he isn't the one [doing this], who is?
25 "My days go by more quickly than a runner. They sprint away. They don't see anything good.
26 They pass by quickly like boats made from reeds, like an eagle swooping down on its prey.
27 [Even] if I say, 'I will forget my complaining; I will change my expression and smile,'
28 I [still] dread everything I must suffer. I know that you won't declare me innocent.
29 I've already been found guilty. Why should I work so hard for nothing?
30 If I wash myself with lye soap and cleanse my hands with bleach,
31 then you would plunge me into a muddy pit, and my own clothes would find me disgusting.
32 A human like me cannot answer God, 'Let's take our case to court.'
33 There is no mediator between us to put his hand on both of us.
34 God should take his rod away from me, and he should not terrify me.
35 Then I would speak and not be afraid of him. But I know that I am not like that.

Job 10

1 "I hate my life. I will freely express my complaint. I will speak as bitterly as I feel.
2 I will say to God, 'Don't condemn me. Let me know why you are quarreling with me.
3 What do you gain by mistreating me, by rejecting the work of your hands while you favor the plans of the wicked?
4 Do you actually have human eyes? Do you see as a mortal sees?
5 Are your days like a mortal's days? Are your years like a human's years?
6 Is that why you look for guilt in me and search for sin in me?
7 You know I'm not guilty, but there is no one to rescue me from your hands.
8 "'Your hands formed me and made every part of me, then you turned to destroy me.
9 Please remember that you made me out of clay and that you will return me to the dust again.
10 Didn't you pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese?
11 Didn't you dress me in skin and flesh and weave me together with bones and tendons?
12 You gave me life and mercy. Your watchfulness has preserved my spirit.
13 But in your heart you hid these things. I know this is what you did.
14 "'If I sin, you watch me and will not free me from my guilt.
15 How terrible it will be for me if I'm guilty! Even if I'm righteous, I dare not lift up my head. I am filled with disgrace while I look on my misery.
16 Like a proud, ferocious lion you hunt me down. You keep working your miracles against me.
17 You keep finding new witnesses against me. You keep increasing your anger toward me. You keep bringing new armies against me.
18 "'Why did you take me out of the womb? I wish I had breathed my last breath before anyone had laid eyes on me.
19 Then it would be as if I had never existed, as if I had been carried from the womb to the tomb.
20 "'Isn't my life short enough? So stop [this], and leave me alone. Let me smile a little
21 before I go away to a land of darkness and gloom,
22 to a dismal land of long shadows and confusion where light is as bright as darkness. I'll never return.'"

Acts 8:26-40

26 An angel from the Lord said to Philip, "Get up, and take the desert road that goes south from Jerusalem to Gaza."
27 So Philip went. An Ethiopian man who had come to Jerusalem to worship was on his way home. The man was a eunuch, a high-ranking official in charge of all the treasures of Queen Candace of Ethiopia.
28 As the official rode along in his carriage, he was reading the prophet Isaiah out loud.
29 The Spirit said to Philip, "Go to that carriage, and stay close to it."
30 Philip ran to the carriage and could hear the official reading the prophet Isaiah out loud. Philip asked him, "Do you understand what you're reading?"
31 The official answered, "How can I understand unless someone guides me?" So he invited Philip to sit with him in his carriage.
32 This was the part of the Scriptures that the official was reading: "He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. He was like a sheep that is silent when its wool is cut off. He didn't open his mouth.
33 When he humbled himself, he was not judged fairly. Who from his generation will talk about his life on earth being cut short?"
34 The official said to Philip, "I would like to know who the prophet is talking about. Is he talking about himself or someone else?"
35 Then Philip spoke. Starting with that passage, Philip told the official the Good News about Jesus.
36 As they were going along the road, they came to some water. The official said to Philip, "Look, there's some water. What can keep me from being baptized?"
38 The official ordered the carriage to stop. He and Philip stepped into the water, and Philip baptized him.
39 When they had stepped out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away. The official joyfully continued on his way and didn't see Philip again.
40 Philip found himself in the city of Azotus. He traveled through all the cities and spread the Good News until he came to the city of Caesarea.