Job 34:1-36:33; 2 Corinthians 4:1-12; Psalms 44:1-8; Proverbs 22:10-12 (New English Translation)
Elihu’s Second Speech
34 Elihu answered:
2 “Listen to my words, you wise men;
hear me, you learned men.
3 For the ear assesses words
as the mouth tastes food.
4 Let us evaluate for ourselves what is right;
let us come to know among ourselves what is good.
5 For Job says, ‘I am innocent,
but God turns away my right.
6 Concerning my right, should I lie?
My wound is incurable,
although I am without transgression.’
7 What man is like Job,
who drinks derision like water!
8 He goes about in company with evildoers,
he goes along with wicked men.
9 For he says, ‘It does not profit a man
when he makes his delight with God.’
God is Not Unjust
10 “Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding.
Far be it from God to do wickedness,
from the Almighty to do evil.
11 For he repays a person for his work,
and according to the conduct of a person,
he causes the consequences to find him.
12 Indeed, in truth, God does not act wickedly,
and the Almighty does not pervert justice.
13 Who entrusted to him the earth?
And who put him over the whole world?
14 If God were to set his heart on it,
and gather in his spirit and his breath,
15 all flesh would perish together
and human beings would return to dust.
God Is Impartial and Omniscient
16 “If you have understanding, listen to this,
hear what I have to say.
17 Do you really think
that one who hates justice can govern?
And will you declare guilty
the supremely righteous One,
18 who says to a king, ‘Worthless man’
and to nobles, ‘Wicked men,’
19 who shows no partiality to princes,
and does not take note of the rich more than the poor,
because all of them are the work of his hands?
20 In a moment they die, in the middle of the night,
people are shaken and they pass away.
The mighty are removed effortlessly.
21 For his eyes are on the ways of an individual,
he observes all a person’s steps.
22 There is no darkness, and no deep darkness,
where evildoers can hide themselves.
23 For he does not still consider a person,
that he should come before God in judgment.
24 He shatters the great without inquiry,
and sets up others in their place.
25 Therefore, he knows their deeds,
he overthrows them in the night
and they are crushed.
26 He strikes them for their wickedness,
in a place where people can see,
27 because they have turned away from following him,
and have not understood any of his ways,
28 so that they caused the cry of the poor
to come before him,
so that he hears the cry of the needy.
29 But if God is quiet, who can condemn him?
If he hides his face, then who can see him?
Yet he is over the individual and the nation alike,
30 so that the godless man should not rule,
and not lay snares for the people.
Job Is Foolish to Rebel
31 “Has anyone said to God,
‘I have endured chastisement,
but I will not act wrongly any more.
32 Teach me what I cannot see.
If I have done evil, I will do so no more.’
33 Is it your opinion that God should recompense it,
because you reject this?
But you must choose, and not I,
so tell us what you know.
34 Men of understanding say to me—
any wise man listening to me says—
35 that Job speaks without knowledge
and his words are without understanding.
36 But Job will be tested to the end,
because his answers are like those of wicked men.
37 For he adds transgression to his sin;
in our midst he claps his hands,
and multiplies his words against God.”
Elihu’s Third Speech
35 Then Elihu answered:
2 “Do you think this to be just:
when you say, ‘My right before God.’
3 But you say, ‘What will it profit you,’
and, ‘What do I gain by not sinning?’
4 I will reply to you,
and to your friends with you.
5 Gaze at the heavens and see;
consider the clouds, which are higher than you!
6 If you sin, how does it affect God?
If your transgressions are many,
what does it do to him?
7 If you are righteous, what do you give to God,
or what does he receive from your hand?
8 Your wickedness affects only a person like yourself,
and your righteousness only other people.
9 “People cry out
because of the excess of oppression;
they cry out for help
because of the power of the mighty.
10 But no one says, ‘Where is God, my Creator,
who gives songs in the night,
11 who teaches us more than the wild animals of the earth,
and makes us wiser than the birds of the sky?’
12 Then they cry out—but he does not answer—
because of the arrogance of the wicked.
13 Surely it is an empty cry—God does not hear it;
the Almighty does not take notice of it.
14 How much less, then,
when you say that you do not perceive him,
that the case is before him
and you are waiting for him!
15 And further, when you say
that his anger does not punish,
and that he does not know transgression!
16 So Job opens his mouth to no purpose;
without knowledge he multiplies words.”
Elihu’s Fourth Speech
36 Elihu said further:
2 “Be patient with me a little longer
and I will instruct you,
for I still have words to speak on God’s behalf.
3 With my knowledge I will speak comprehensively,
and to my Creator I will ascribe righteousness.
4 For in truth, my words are not false;
it is one complete in knowledge
who is with you.
5 Indeed, God is mighty; and he does not despise people,
he is mighty, and firm in his intent.
6 He does not allow the wicked to live,
but he gives justice to the poor.
7 He does not take his eyes off the righteous;
but with kings on the throne
he seats the righteous and exalts them forever.
8 But if they are bound in chains,
and held captive by the cords of affliction,
9 then he reveals to them what they have done,
and their transgressions,
that they were behaving proudly.
10 And he reveals this for correction,
and says that they must turn from evil.
11 If they obey and serve him,
they live out their days in prosperity
and their years in pleasantness.
12 But if they refuse to listen,
they pass over the river of death,
and expire without knowledge.
13 The godless at heart nourish anger,
they do not cry out even when he binds them.
14 They die in their youth,
and their life ends among the male cultic prostitutes.
15 He delivers the afflicted by their afflictions,
he reveals himself to them by their suffering.
16 And surely, he drew you from the mouth of distress,
to a wide place, unrestricted,
and to the comfort of your table
filled with rich food.
17 But now you are preoccupied with the judgment due the wicked,
judgment and justice take hold of you.
18 Be careful that no one entices you with riches;
do not let a large bribe turn you aside.
19 Would your wealth sustain you,
so that you would not be in distress,
even all your mighty efforts?
20 Do not long for the cover of night
to drag people away from their homes.
21 Take heed, do not turn to evil,
for because of this you have been tested by affliction.
22 Indeed, God is exalted in his power;
who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has prescribed his ways for him?
Or said to him, ‘You have done what is wicked’?
24 Remember to extol his work,
which people have praised in song.
25 All humanity has seen it;
people gaze on it from afar.
The Work and Wisdom of God
26 “Yes, God is great—beyond our knowledge!
The number of his years is unsearchable.
27 He draws up drops of water;
they distill the rain into its mist,
28 which the clouds pour down
and shower on humankind abundantly.
29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds,
the thunderings of his pavilion?
30 See how he scattered his lightning about him;
he has covered the depths of the sea.
31 It is by these that he judges the nations
and supplies food in abundance.
32 With his hands he covers the lightning,
and directs it against its target.
33 His thunder announces the coming storm,
the cattle also, concerning the storm’s approach.
2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Paul’s Perseverance in Ministry
4 Therefore, since we have this ministry, just as God has shown us mercy, we do not become discouraged. 2 But we have rejected shameful hidden deeds, not behaving with deceptiveness or distorting the word of God, but by open proclamation of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience before God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing, 4 among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not proclaim ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said “Let light shine out of darkness,” is the one who shined in our hearts to give us the light of the glorious knowledge of God in the face of Christ.
An Eternal Weight of Glory
7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that the extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. 8 We are experiencing trouble on every side, but are not crushed; we are perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 we are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down, but not destroyed, 10 always carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our body. 11 For we who are alive are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our mortal body. 12 As a result, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
For the music director; by the Korahites, a well-written song.
1 O God, we have clearly heard;
our ancestors have told us
what you did in their days,
in ancient times.
2 You, by your power, defeated nations and settled our fathers on their land;
you crushed the people living there and enabled our ancestors to occupy it.
3 For they did not conquer the land by their swords,
and they did not prevail by their strength,
but rather by your power, strength and good favor,
for you were partial to them.
4 You are my king, O God!
Decree Jacob’s deliverance!
5 By your power we will drive back our enemies;
by your strength we will trample down our foes!
6 For I do not trust in my bow,
and I do not prevail by my sword.
7 For you deliver us from our enemies;
you humiliate those who hate us.
8 In God I boast all day long,
and we will continually give thanks to your name. (Selah)
10 Drive out the scorner and contention will leave;
strife and insults will cease.
11 The one who loves a pure heart
and whose speech is gracious—the king will be his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord guard knowledge,
but he overthrows the words of the faithless person.