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26 August 2017 Bible Reading

In the New Testament section of today’s reading, we start Second Corinthians. 2 Corinthians was written around 55-56 A.D., approximately a year after 1 Corinthians was written. It is thought to be Paul’s fourth letter to the church at Corinth.

Job 20-22
20 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered,
2 “Therefore do my thoughts give answer to me,
even by reason of my haste that is in me.
3 I have heard the reproof which puts me to shame.
The spirit of my understanding answers me.
4 Don’t you know this from old time,
since man was placed on earth,
5 that the triumphing of the wicked is short,
the joy of the godless but for a moment?
6 Though his height mount up to the heavens,
and his head reach to the clouds,
7 yet he shall perish forever like his own dung.
Those who have seen him shall say, ‘Where is he?’
8 He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found.
Yes, he shall be chased away like a vision of the night.
9 The eye which saw him shall see him no more,
neither shall his place any more see him.
10 His children shall seek the favor of the poor.
His hands shall give back his wealth.
11 His bones are full of his youth,
but youth shall lie down with him in the dust.
12 “Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth,
though he hide it under his tongue,
13 though he spare it, and will not let it go,
but keep it still within his mouth;
14 yet his food in his bowels is turned.
It is cobra venom within him.
15 He has swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again.
God will cast them out of his belly.
16 He shall suck cobra venom.
The viper’s tongue shall kill him.
17 He shall not look at the rivers,
the flowing streams of honey and butter.
18 That for which he labored he shall restore, and shall not swallow it down.
According to the substance that he has gotten, he shall not rejoice.
19 For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor.
He has violently taken away a house, and he shall not build it up.
20 “Because he knew no quietness within him,
he shall not save anything of that in which he delights.
21 There was nothing left that he didn’t devour,
therefore his prosperity shall not endure.
22 In the fullness of his sufficiency, distress shall overtake him.
The hand of everyone who is in misery shall come on him.
23 When he is about to fill his belly, God will cast the fierceness of his wrath on him.
It will rain on him while he is eating.
24 He shall flee from the iron weapon.
The bronze arrow shall strike him through.
25 He draws it out, and it comes out of his body.
Yes, the glittering point comes out of his liver.
Terrors are on him.
26 All darkness is laid up for his treasures.
An unfanned fire shall devour him.
It shall consume that which is left in his tent.
27 The heavens shall reveal his iniquity.
The earth shall rise up against him.
28 The increase of his house shall depart.
They shall rush away in the day of his wrath.
29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God,
the heritage appointed to him by God.”
21 Then Job answered,
2 “Listen diligently to my speech.
Let this be your consolation.
3 Allow me, and I also will speak;
After I have spoken, mock on.
4 As for me, is my complaint to man?
Why shouldn’t I be impatient?
5 Look at me, and be astonished.
Lay your hand on your mouth.
6 When I remember, I am troubled.
Horror takes hold of my flesh.
7 “Why do the wicked live,
become old, yes, and grow mighty in power?
8 Their child is established with them in their sight,
their offspring before their eyes.
9 Their houses are safe from fear,
neither is the rod of God upon them.
10 Their bulls breed without fail.
Their cows calve, and don’t miscarry.
11 They send out their little ones like a flock.
Their children dance.
12 They sing to the tambourine and harp,
and rejoice at the sound of the pipe.
13 They spend their days in prosperity.
In an instant they go down to Sheol.
14 They tell God, ‘Depart from us,
for we don’t want to know about your ways.
15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
What profit should we have, if we pray to him?’
16 Behold, their prosperity is not in their hand.
The counsel of the wicked is far from me.
17 “How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out,
that their calamity comes on them,
that God distributes sorrows in his anger?
18 How often is it that they are as stubble before the wind,
as chaff that the storm carries away?
19 You say, ‘God lays up his iniquity for his children.’
Let him recompense it to himself, that he may know it.
20 Let his own eyes see his destruction.
Let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
21 For what does he care for his house after him,
when the number of his months is cut off?
22 “Shall any teach God knowledge,
since he judges those who are high?
23 One dies in his full strength,
being wholly at ease and quiet.
24 His pails are full of milk.
The marrow of his bones is moistened.
25 Another dies in bitterness of soul,
and never tastes of good.
26 They lie down alike in the dust.
The worm covers them.
27 “Behold, I know your thoughts,
the devices with which you would wrong me.
28 For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince?
Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’
29 Haven’t you asked wayfaring men?
Don’t you know their evidences,
30 that the evil man is reserved to the day of calamity,
That they are led out to the day of wrath?
31 Who shall declare his way to his face?
Who shall repay him what he has done?
32 Yet he will be borne to the grave.
Men shall keep watch over the tomb.
33 The clods of the valley shall be sweet to him.
All men shall draw after him,
as there were innumerable before him.
34 So how can you comfort me with nonsense,
because in your answers there remains only falsehood?”
22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered,
2 “Can a man be profitable to God?
Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that you are righteous?
Or does it benefit him, that you make your ways perfect?
4 Is it for your piety that he reproves you,
that he enters with you into judgment?
5 Isn’t your wickedness great?
Neither is there any end to your iniquities.
6 For you have taken pledges from your brother for nothing,
and stripped the naked of their clothing.
7 You haven’t given water to the weary to drink,
and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
8 But as for the mighty man, he had the earth.
The honorable man, he lived in it.
9 You have sent widows away empty,
and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.
10 Therefore snares are around you.
Sudden fear troubles you,
11 or darkness, so that you can not see,
and floods of waters cover you.
12 “Isn’t God in the heights of heaven?
See the height of the stars, how high they are!
13 You say, ‘What does God know?
Can he judge through the thick darkness?
14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, so that he doesn’t see.
He walks on the vault of the sky.’
15 Will you keep the old way,
which wicked men have trodden,
16 who were snatched away before their time,
whose foundation was poured out as a stream,
17 who said to God, ‘Depart from us;’
and, ‘What can the Almighty do for us?’
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things,
but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
19 The righteous see it, and are glad.
The innocent ridicule them,
20 saying, ‘Surely those who rose up against us are cut off.
The fire has consumed their remnant.’
21 “Acquaint yourself with him, now, and be at peace.
Thereby good shall come to you.
22 Please receive instruction from his mouth,
and lay up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you shall be built up,
if you put away unrighteousness far from your tents.
24 Lay your treasure in the dust,
the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks.
25 The Almighty will be your treasure,
and precious silver to you.
26 For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty,
and shall lift up your face to God.
27 You shall make your prayer to him, and he will hear you.
You shall pay your vows.
28 You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established to you.
Light shall shine on your ways.
29 When they cast down, you shall say, ‘be lifted up.’
He will save the humble person.
30 He will even deliver him who is not innocent.
Yes, he shall be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

2 Corinthians 1:1-11
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the assembly of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound to us, even so our comfort also abounds through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer. 7 Our hope for you is steadfast, knowing that, since you are partakers of the sufferings, so also are you of the comfort. 8 For we don’t desire to have you uninformed, brothers, concerning our affliction which happened to us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, so much that we despaired even of life. 9 Yes, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us out of so great a death, and does deliver; on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us; 11 you also helping together on our behalf by your supplication; that, for the gift given to us by means of many, thanks may be given by many persons on your behalf.

Psalm 40:11-17
11 Don’t withhold your tender mercies from me, Yahweh.
Let your loving kindness and your truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me.
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up.
They are more than the hairs of my head.
My heart has failed me.
13 Be pleased, Yahweh, to deliver me.
Hurry to help me, Yahweh.
14 Let them be disappointed and confounded together who seek after my soul to destroy it.
Let them be turned backward and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt.
15 Let them be desolate by reason of their shame that tell me, “Aha! Aha!”
16 Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.
Let such as love your salvation say continually, “Let Yahweh be exalted!”
17 But I am poor and needy.
May the Lord think about me.
You are my help and my deliverer.
Don’t delay, my God.

Proverbs 22:2-4
2 The rich and the poor have this in common:
Yahweh is the maker of them all.
3 A prudent man sees danger, and hides himself;
but the simple pass on, and suffer for it.
4 The result of humility and the fear of Yahweh
is wealth, honor, and life.

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