Job 30; Job 31; Acts 13:26-52

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Job 30

1 "But now those who are younger than I am make fun of me. I wouldn't put even their parents with my sheep dogs!
2 Their strong hands couldn't give me any help. That's because their strength was gone.
3 They were weak because they were needy and hungry. They wandered through dry and empty deserts at night.
4 Among the bushes they gathered salty plants. They ate the roots of desert trees.
5 They were driven away from society. They were shouted at as if they were robbers.
6 They were forced to live in dry stream beds. They had to stay among rocks and in holes in the ground.
7 Like donkeys they cried out among the bushes. There they crowded together and hid.
8 They were so foolish that no one respected them. They were driven out of the land.
9 "Now their children laugh at me. They make fun of me with their songs.
10 They hate me. They stay away from me. They even dare to spit in my face.
11 God has made my body weak. It's like a tent that has fallen down. So those children do what they want to in front of me.
12 Many people attack me on my right side. They lay traps for my feet. They come at me from every direction.
13 They tear up the road I walk on. They succeed in destroying me. They do it without any help.
14 They attack me like troops smashing through a wall. Among the destroyed buildings they come rolling in.
15 Terrors sweep over me. My honor is driven away as if by the wind. My safety vanishes like a cloud.
16 "Now my life is slipping away. Days of suffering grab hold of me.
17 At night my bones hurt. My gnawing pains never stop.
18 God's great power becomes like clothes to me. He chokes me like the neck of my shirt.
19 He throws me down into the mud. I'm nothing but dust and ashes.
20 "God, I cry out to you. But you don't answer me. I stand up. But all you do is look at me.
21 You do mean things to me. Your mighty hand attacks me.
22 You pick me up and blow me away with the wind. You toss me around in the storm.
23 I know that you will bring me down to death. That's what you have appointed for everyone.
24 "No one would crush people when they cry out for help in their trouble.
25 Haven't I sobbed over those who are in trouble? Haven't I felt sorry for poor people?
26 I hoped good things would happen, but something evil came. I looked for light, but all I saw was darkness.
27 My insides are always churning. Nothing but days of suffering are ahead of me.
28 My skin has become dark, but the sun didn't do it. I stand up in the community and cry out for help.
29 I've become a brother to wild dogs. Owls are my companions.
30 My skin grows black and peels. My body burns with fever.
31 My harp is tuned to sadness. My flute makes a sound like sobbing.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Job 31

1 "I made an agreement with my eyes. I promised not to look at another woman with sexual longing.
2 What do human beings receive from God above? What do they get from the Mighty One in heaven?
3 Sinful people are destroyed. Trouble comes to those who do what is wrong.
4 Doesn't God see how I live? Doesn't he count every step I take?
5 "I haven't told any lies. My feet haven't hurried to cheat others.
6 So let God weigh me in honest scales. Then he'll know I haven't done anything wrong.
7 Suppose my steps have turned away from the right path. Suppose my heart has longed for what my eyes have seen. Or suppose my hands have become 'unclean.'
8 Then may others eat what I've planted. May my crops be pulled up by the roots.
9 "Suppose my heart has been tempted by a woman. Or suppose I've prowled around my neighbor's door.
10 Then may my wife grind another man's grain. May other men have sex with her.
11 Wanting another woman would have been a shameful thing. It would have been a sin that should be judged.
12 It's like a fire that burns down to the grave. It would have caused my crops to be pulled up by the roots.
13 "Suppose I haven't treated my male and female servants fairly when they've brought charges against me.
14 Then what will I do when God opposes me? What answer will I give him when he asks me to explain myself?
15 Didn't he who made me make my servants also? Didn't the same God form us inside our mothers?
16 "I haven't said no to what poor people have wanted. I haven't let widows lose their hope.
17 I haven't kept my bread to myself. I've shared it with children whose fathers had died.
18 From the time I was young, I've helped those widows. I've raised those children as a father would.
19 Suppose I've seen people dying because they didn't have any clothes. I've seen needy people who had nothing to wear.
20 And they didn't give me their blessing when I warmed them with wool from my sheep.
21 Suppose I've raised my hand against children whose fathers have died. And I did it because I knew I had power in the courts.
22 Then let my arm fall from my shoulder. Let it be broken off at the joint.
23 I was afraid God would destroy me. His glory terrifies me. So I'd never do things like that.
24 "Suppose I've put my trust in gold. I've said to pure gold, 'You make me feel secure.'
25 And I'm happy because I'm so wealthy. I'm glad because my hands have earned so much.
26 Suppose I've worshiped the sun in all of its glory. I've bowed down to the moon in all of its beauty.
27 My heart has been secretly tempted. My hand has thrown kisses to the sun and moon.
28 Then those things would have been sins that should be judged. And I wouldn't have been faithful to God in heaven.
29 "I wasn't happy when hard times came to my enemies. I didn't enjoy seeing the trouble they had.
30 I didn't allow my mouth to sin by calling down curses on them.
31 The workers in my house always said, 'Job always gives plenty of food to everyone.'
32 No stranger ever had to spend the night in the street. My door was always open to travelers.
33 I didn't hide my sin as others do. I didn't hide my guilt in my heart.
34 I was never afraid of the crowd. I never worried that my relatives might hate me. I didn't have to keep quiet or stay inside.
35 "I wish someone would listen to me! I'm signing my name to everything I've said. I hope the Mighty One will give me his answer. I hope the one who brings charges against me will write them down.
36 I'll wear them on my shoulder. I'll put them on my head like a crown.
37 I'll give that person a report of every step I take. I'll approach him like a prince.
38 "Suppose my land cries out against me. And all of its soil is wet with tears.
39 Suppose I've used up its crops without paying for them. Or I've broken the spirit of its renters.
40 Then let thorns grow instead of wheat. Let weeds come up instead of barley." The words of Job end here.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Acts 13:26-52

26 "Listen, brothers, you children of Abraham! Listen, you non-Jews who worship God! This message of salvation has been sent to us.
27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus. By finding him guilty, they made the prophets' words come true. These are read every Sabbath day.
28 The people and their rulers had no reason at all for sentencing Jesus to death. But they asked Pilate to have him killed.
29 They did everything that had been written about Jesus. Then they took him down from the cross. They laid him in a tomb.
30 But God raised him from the dead.
31 For many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. Now they are his witnesses to our people.
32 "We are telling you the good news. What God promised our people long ago
33 he has done for us, their children. He has raised up Jesus. This is what is written in the second Psalm. It says, " 'You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.' (Psalm 2:7)
34 God raised Jesus from the dead. He will never rot in the grave. This is what is written in Scripture. It says, " 'Holy and sure blessings were promised to David. I will give them to you.' (Isaiah 55:3)
35 In another place it says, " 'You will not let your Holy One rot away.' (Psalm 16:10)
36 "David carried out God's purpose while he lived. Then he died. He was buried with his people. His body rotted away.
37 But the One whom God raised from the dead did not rot away.
38 "My brothers, here is what I want you to know. I announce to you that your sins can be forgiven because of what Jesus has done.
39 Through him everyone who believes is made right with God. Moses' law could not make you right in God's eyes.
40 Be careful! Don't let what the prophets spoke about happen to you. They said,
41 " 'Look, you who make fun of the truth! Wonder and die! I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe. You wouldn't believe it even if someone told you.' " (Habakkuk 1:5)
42 Paul and Barnabas started to leave the synagogue. The people invited them to say more about these things on the next Sabbath day.
43 The people were told they could leave the service. Many Jews followed Paul and Barnabas. Many non-Jews who faithfully worshiped the God of the Jews did the same. Paul and Barnabas talked with them. They tried to get them to keep living in God's grace.
44 On the next Sabbath day, almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they became very jealous. They said evil things against what Paul was saying.
46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly. "We had to speak God's word to you first," they said. "But you don't accept it. You don't think you are good enough for eternal life. So now we are turning to those who aren't Jews.
47 This is what the Lord has commanded us to do. He said, " 'I have made you a light for those who aren't Jews. You will bring salvation to the whole earth.' " (Isaiah 49:6)
48 When the non-Jews heard this, they were glad. They honored the word of the Lord. All who were appointed for eternal life believed.
49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole area.
50 But the Jews stirred up the important women who worshiped God. They also stirred up the men who were leaders in the city. They tried to get them to attack Paul and Barnabas. They threw them out of that area.
51 Paul and Barnabas didn't like this. So they shook the dust from their feet. They went on to Iconium.
52 The believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.