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28 August 2017 Bible Reading

Today’s Bible reading includes the 42nd Psalm. This is a well-known passage and has been set to music countless times. While it may have its genesis in the David’s struggles with Saul or Absalom, its message of human desire for a close relationship with God is applicable to every trying situation. It captures the idea that true faith is driven by a desire for relationship with God. This desire will never be truly satisfied in the darkness and cloudiness of this life. Faith, then, essentially becomes the assurance that carries us through the darkness.

Job 28-30
28 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
and a place for gold which they refine.
2 Iron is taken out of the earth,
and copper is smelted out of the ore.
3 Man sets an end to darkness,
and searches out, to the furthest bound,
the stones of obscurity and of thick darkness.
4 He breaks open a shaft away from where people live.
They are forgotten by the foot.
They hang far from men, they swing back and forth.
5 As for the earth, out of it comes bread;
Underneath it is turned up as it were by fire.
6 Sapphires come from its rocks.
It has dust of gold.
7 That path no bird of prey knows,
neither has the falcon’s eye seen it.
8 The proud animals have not trodden it,
nor has the fierce lion passed by there.
9 He puts his hand on the flinty rock,
and he overturns the mountains by the roots.
10 He cuts out channels among the rocks.
His eye sees every precious thing.
11 He binds the streams that they don’t trickle.
The thing that is hidden he brings out to light.
12 “But where shall wisdom be found?
Where is the place of understanding?
13 Man doesn’t know its price;
Neither is it found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, ‘It isn’t in me.’
The sea says, ‘It isn’t with me.’
15 It can’t be gotten for gold,
neither shall silver be weighed for its price.
16 It can’t be valued with the gold of Ophir,
with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
17 Gold and glass can’t equal it,
neither shall it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal.
Yes, the price of wisdom is above rubies.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it,
Neither shall it be valued with pure gold.
20 Where then does wisdom come from?
Where is the place of understanding?
21 Seeing it is hidden from the eyes of all living,
and kept close from the birds of the sky.
22 Destruction and Death say,
‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’
23 “God understands its way,
and he knows its place.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth,
and sees under the whole sky.
25 He establishes the force of the wind.
Yes, he measures out the waters by measure.
26 When he made a decree for the rain,
and a way for the lightning of the thunder;
27 then he saw it, and declared it.
He established it, yes, and searched it out.
28 To man he said,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.
To depart from evil is understanding.’”
29 Job again took up his parable, and said,
2 “Oh that I were as in the months of old,
as in the days when God watched over me;
3 when his lamp shone on my head,
and by his light I walked through darkness,
4 as I was in the ripeness of my days,
when the friendship of God was in my tent,
5 when the Almighty was yet with me,
and my children were around me,
6 when my steps were washed with butter,
and the rock poured out streams of oil for me,
7 when I went out to the city gate,
when I prepared my seat in the street.
8 The young men saw me and hid themselves.
The aged rose up and stood.
9 The princes refrained from talking,
and laid their hand on their mouth.
10 The voice of the nobles was hushed,
and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.
11 For when the ear heard me, then it blessed me;
and when the eye saw me, it commended me:
12 Because I delivered the poor who cried,
and the fatherless also, who had no one to help him,
13 the blessing of him who was ready to perish came on me,
and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me.
My justice was as a robe and a diadem.
15 I was eyes to the blind,
and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy.
The cause of him who I didn’t know, I searched out.
17 I broke the jaws of the unrighteous,
and plucked the prey out of his teeth.
18 Then I said, ‘I shall die in my own house,
I shall number my days as the sand.
19 My root is spread out to the waters.
The dew lies all night on my branch.
20 My glory is fresh in me.
My bow is renewed in my hand.’
21 “Men listened to me, waited,
and kept silence for my counsel.
22 After my words they didn’t speak again.
My speech fell on them.
23 They waited for me as for the rain.
Their mouths drank as with the spring rain.
24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence.
They didn’t reject the light of my face.
25 I chose out their way, and sat as chief.
I lived as a king in the army,
as one who comforts the mourners.
30 “But now those who are younger than I have me in derision,
whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs.
2 Of what use is the strength of their hands to me,
men in whom ripe age has perished?
3 They are gaunt from lack and famine.
They gnaw the dry ground, in the gloom of waste and desolation.
4 They pluck salt herbs by the bushes.
The roots of the broom are their food.
5 They are driven out from among men.
They cry after them as after a thief;
6 So that they dwell in frightful valleys,
and in holes of the earth and of the rocks.
7 Among the bushes they bray;
and under the nettles they are gathered together.
8 They are children of fools, yes, children of base men.
They were flogged out of the land.
9 “Now I have become their song.
Yes, I am a byword to them.
10 They abhor me, they stand aloof from me,
and don’t hesitate to spit in my face.
11 For he has untied his cord, and afflicted me;
and they have thrown off restraint before me.
12 On my right hand rise the rabble.
They thrust aside my feet,
They cast up against me their ways of destruction.
13 They mar my path,
They set forward my calamity,
without anyone’s help.
14 As through a wide breach they come,
in the middle of the ruin they roll themselves in.
15 Terrors have turned on me.
They chase my honor as the wind.
My welfare has passed away as a cloud.
16 “Now my soul is poured out within me.
Days of affliction have taken hold on me.
17 In the night season my bones are pierced in me,
and the pains that gnaw me take no rest.
18 By great force is my garment disfigured.
It binds me about as the collar of my coat.
19 He has cast me into the mire.
I have become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry to you, and you do not answer me.
I stand up, and you gaze at me.
21 You have turned to be cruel to me.
With the might of your hand you persecute me.
22 You lift me up to the wind, and drive me with it.
You dissolve me in the storm.
23 For I know that you will bring me to death,
To the house appointed for all living.
24 “However doesn’t one stretch out a hand in his fall?
Or in his calamity therefore cry for help?
25 Didn’t I weep for him who was in trouble?
Wasn’t my soul grieved for the needy?
26 When I looked for good, then evil came;
When I waited for light, there came darkness.
27 My heart is troubled, and doesn’t rest.
Days of affliction have come on me.
28 I go mourning without the sun.
I stand up in the assembly, and cry for help.
29 I am a brother to jackals,
and a companion to ostriches.
30 My skin grows black and peels from me.
My bones are burned with heat.
31 Therefore my harp has turned to mourning,
and my pipe into the voice of those who weep.

2 Corinthians 2:12-17
12 Now when I came to Troas for the Good News of Christ, and when a door was opened to me in the Lord, 13 I had no relief for my spirit, because I didn’t find Titus, my brother, but taking my leave of them, I went out into Macedonia. 14 Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and reveals through us the sweet aroma of his knowledge in every place. 15 For we are a sweet aroma of Christ to God, in those who are saved, and in those who perish; 16 to the one a stench from death to death; to the other a sweet aroma from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not as so many, peddling the word of God. But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, we speak in Christ.

Psalm 42
For the Chief Musician. A contemplation by the sons of Korah.
42 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
so my soul pants after you, God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
while they continually ask me, “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember, and pour out my soul within me,
how I used to go with the crowd, and led them to God’s house,
with the voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping a holy day.
5 Why are you in despair, my soul?
Why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God!
For I shall still praise him for the saving help of his presence.
6 My God, my soul is in despair within me.
Therefore I remember you from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon, from the hill Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep at the noise of your waterfalls.
All your waves and your billows have swept over me.
8 Yahweh will command his loving kindness in the daytime.
In the night his song shall be with me:
a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I will ask God, my rock, “Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a sword in my bones, my adversaries reproach me,
while they continually ask me, “Where is your God?”
11 Why are you in despair, my soul?
Why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God! For I shall still praise him,
the saving help of my countenance, and my God.

Proverbs 22:7
7 The rich rule over the poor.
The borrower is servant to the lender.

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