21 August 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s Bible reading begins the Book of Job. Job begins with: “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job”. The Land of Uz (Hebrew: ארץ עוץ) is mentioned throughout the Old Testament, but figures most prominently here, in Job. Today, no one knows for certain where Uz was.
According to the Dead Sea document, The War Scroll, the land of Uz is mentioned as existing somewhere beyond the Euphrates possibly in relation to Aram. In Column 2 verse 11, it is noted, “they shall fight against the rest of the sons of Aramea: Uz, Hul, Togar, and Mesha, who are beyond the Euphrates.”
Uz is sometimes identified with the kingdom of Edom, roughly in the area of modern-day southwestern Jordan and southern Israel. Lamentations 4:21 reads: “Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz” Other locations proposed for Uz include more southern Arabia, especially Dhofar, said to be the home of the original Arabs; Bashan in modern-day southern Syria/western Jordan; Arabia east of Petra, Jordan; and even modern-day Uzbekistan.
The name Uz is mentioned several times in the Bible. In Genesis, Uz is the son of Aram, a direct descendant of Shem. In Genesis 36:28 and 1 Chronicles 1:42, Uz is a son of Dishan, and in 1 Chronicles 1:17, Uz is a son of Shem.
1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God, and turned away from evil. 2 There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. 3 His possessions also were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the children of the east. 4 His sons went and held a feast in the house of each one on his birthday; and they sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 5 It was so, when the days of their feasting had run their course, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned, and renounced God in their hearts.” Job did so continually.
6 Now on the day when God’s sons came to present themselves before Yahweh, Satan also came among them. 7 Yahweh said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, “From going back and forth in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”
8 Yahweh said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant, Job? For there is no one like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil.”
9 Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Haven’t you made a hedge around him, and around his house, and around all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will renounce you to your face.”
12 Yahweh said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power. Only on himself don’t stretch out your hand.”
So Satan went out from the presence of Yahweh. 13 It fell on a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 that there came a messenger to Job, and said, “The oxen were plowing, and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans attacked, and took them away. Yes, they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
16 While he was still speaking, there also came another, and said, “The fire of God has fallen from the sky, and has burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
17 While he was still speaking, there came also another, and said, “The Chaldeans made three bands, and swept down on the camels, and have taken them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
18 While he was still speaking, there came also another, and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young men, and they are dead. I alone have escaped to tell you.”
20 Then Job arose, and tore his robe, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshiped. 21 He said, “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. Yahweh gave, and Yahweh has taken away. Blessed be Yahweh’s name.” 22 In all this, Job did not sin, nor charge God with wrongdoing.
2 Again, on the day when the God’s sons came to present themselves before Yahweh, Satan came also among them to present himself before Yahweh. 2 Yahweh said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered Yahweh, and said, “From going back and forth in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”
3 Yahweh said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil. He still maintains his integrity, although you incited me against him, to ruin him without cause.”
4 Satan answered Yahweh, and said, “Skin for skin. Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce you to your face.”
6 Yahweh said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand. Only spare his life.”
7 So Satan went out from the presence of Yahweh, and struck Job with painful sores from the sole of his foot to his head. 8 He took for himself a potsherd to scrape himself with, and he sat among the ashes. 9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still maintain your integrity? Renounce God, and die.”
10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”
In all this Job didn’t sin with his lips. 11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come on him, they each came from his own place: Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and to comfort him. 12 When they lifted up their eyes from a distance, and didn’t recognize him, they raised their voices, and wept; and they each tore his robe, and sprinkled dust on their heads toward the sky. 13 So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.
3 After this Job opened his mouth, and cursed the day of his birth. 2 Job answered:
3 “Let the day perish in which I was born,
the night which said, ‘There is a boy conceived.’
4 Let that day be darkness.
Don’t let God from above seek for it,
neither let the light shine on it.
5 Let darkness and the shadow of death claim it for their own.
Let a cloud dwell on it.
Let all that makes black the day terrify it.
6 As for that night, let thick darkness seize on it.
Let it not rejoice among the days of the year.
Let it not come into the number of the months.
7 Behold, let that night be barren.
Let no joyful voice come therein.
8 Let them curse it who curse the day,
who are ready to rouse up leviathan.
9 Let the stars of its twilight be dark.
Let it look for light, but have none,
neither let it see the eyelids of the morning,
10 because it didn’t shut up the doors of my mother’s womb,
nor did it hide trouble from my eyes.
11 “Why didn’t I die from the womb?
Why didn’t I give up the spirit when my mother bore me?
12 Why did the knees receive me?
Or why the breast, that I should nurse?
13 For now should I have lain down and been quiet.
I should have slept, then I would have been at rest,
14 with kings and counselors of the earth,
who built up waste places for themselves;
15 or with princes who had gold,
who filled their houses with silver:
16 or as a hidden untimely birth I had not been,
as infants who never saw light.
17 There the wicked cease from troubling.
There the weary are at rest.
18 There the prisoners are at ease together.
They don’t hear the voice of the taskmaster.
19 The small and the great are there.
The servant is free from his master.
20 “Why is light given to him who is in misery,
life to the bitter in soul,
21 Who long for death, but it doesn’t come;
and dig for it more than for hidden treasures,
22 who rejoice exceedingly,
and are glad, when they can find the grave?
23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,
whom God has hedged in?
24 For my sighing comes before I eat.
My groanings are poured out like water.
25 For the thing which I fear comes on me,
That which I am afraid of comes to me.
26 I am not at ease, neither am I quiet, neither have I rest;
but trouble comes.”
1 Corinthians 14:1-17
14 Follow after love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For he who speaks in another language speaks not to men, but to God; for no one understands; but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks to men for their edification, exhortation, and consolation. 4 He who speaks in another language edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the assembly. 5 Now I desire to have you all speak with other languages, but rather that you would prophesy. For he is greater who prophesies than he who speaks with other languages, unless he interprets, that the assembly may be built up.
6 But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking with other languages, what would I profit you, unless I speak to you either by way of revelation, or of knowledge, or of prophesying, or of teaching? 7 Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they didn’t give a distinction in the sounds, how would it be known what is piped or harped? 8 For if the trumpet gave an uncertain sound, who would prepare himself for war? 9 So also you, unless you uttered by the tongue words easy to understand, how would it be known what is spoken? For you would be speaking into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of sounds in the world, and none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I don’t know the meaning of the sound, I would be to him who speaks a foreigner, and he who speaks would be a foreigner to me. 12 So also you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, seek that you may abound to the building up of the assembly. 13 Therefore let him who speaks in another language pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in another language, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.
15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 16 Otherwise if you bless with the spirit, how will he who fills the place of the unlearned say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, seeing he doesn’t know what you say? 17 For you most certainly give thanks well, but the other person is not built up.
12 The wicked plots against the just,
and gnashes at him with his teeth.
13 The Lord will laugh at him,
for he sees that his day is coming.
14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow,
to cast down the poor and needy,
to kill those who are upright on the path.
15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart.
Their bows shall be broken.
16 Better is a little that the righteous has,
than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but Yahweh upholds the righteous.
18 Yahweh knows the days of the perfect.
Their inheritance shall be forever.
19 They shall not be disappointed in the time of evil.
In the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20 But the wicked shall perish.
The enemies of Yahweh shall be like the beauty of the fields.
They will vanish—
vanish like smoke.
21 The wicked borrow, and don’t pay back,
but the righteous give generously.
22 For such as are blessed by him shall inherit the land.
Those who are cursed by him shall be cut off.
23 A man’s goings are established by Yahweh.
He delights in his way.
24 Though he stumble, he shall not fall,
for Yahweh holds him up with his hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
nor his children begging for bread.
26 All day long he deals graciously, and lends.
His offspring[a] is blessed.
27 Depart from evil, and do good.
Live securely forever.
28 For Yahweh loves justice,
and doesn’t forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land,
and live in it forever.
25 The desire of the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labor.
26 There are those who covet greedily all day long;
but the righteous give and don’t withhold.