Job 21-23; Psalm 101; Rev 16
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
Then Job answered and said:
‘Keep listening to my words, and let this be your comfort.
Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.
As for me, is my complaint against man? Why should I not be impatient?
Look at me and be appalled, and lay your hand over your mouth.
When I remember I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh.
Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
Their offspring are established in their presence, and their descendants before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them.
Their bull breeds without fail; their cow calves and does not miscarry.
They send out their little boys like a flock, and their children dance.
They sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to Sheol.
They say to God, ‘Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’
Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand? The counsel of the wicked is far from me.
‘How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? That their calamity comes upon them? That God distributes pains in his anger?
That they are like straw before the wind, and like chaff that the storm carries away?
You say, ‘God stores up their iniquity for their children.’ Let him pay it out to them, that they may know it.
Let their own eyes see their destruction, and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
For what do they care for their houses after them, when the number of their months is cut off?
Will any teach God knowledge, seeing that he judges those who are on high?
One dies in his full vigor, being wholly at ease and secure,
his pails full of milk and the marrow of his bones moist.
Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having tasted of prosperity.
They lie down alike in the dust, and the worms cover them.
‘Behold, I know your thoughts and your schemes to wrong me.
For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince? Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’
Have you not asked those who travel the roads, and do you not accept their testimony
that the evil man is spared in the day of calamity, that he is rescued in the day of wrath?
Who declares his way to his face, and who repays him for what he has done?
When he is carried to the grave, watch is kept over his tomb.
The clods of the valley are sweet to him; all mankind follows after him, and those who go before him are innumerable.
How then will you comfort me with empty nothings? There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
‘Can a man be profitable to God? Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right, or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you and enters into judgment with you?
Is not your evil abundant? There is no end to your iniquities.
For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing and stripped the naked of their clothing.
You have given no water to the weary to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
The man with power possessed the land, and the favored man lived in it.
You have sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.
Therefore snares are all around you, and sudden terror overwhelms you,
or darkness, so that you cannot see, and a flood of water covers you.
‘Is not God high in the heavens? See the highest stars, how lofty they are!
But you say, ‘What does God know? Can he judge through the deep darkness?
Thick clouds veil him, so that he does not see, and he walks on the vault of heaven.’
Will you keep to the old way that wicked men have trod?
They were snatched away before their time; their foundation was washed away.
They said to God, ‘Depart from us,’ and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’
Yet he filled their houses with good things–but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
The righteous see it and are glad; the innocent one mocks at them,
saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off, and what they left the fire has consumed.’
‘Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you.
Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.
If you return to the Almighty you will be built up; if you remove injustice far from your tents,
if you lay gold in the dust, and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent bed,
then the Almighty will be your gold and your precious silver.
For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty and lift up your face to God.
You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you, and you will pay your vows.
You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways.
For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride’; but he saves the lowly.
He delivers even the one who is not innocent, who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”
Then Job answered and said:
‘Today also my complaint is bitter; my hand is heavy on account of my groaning.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat!
I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know what he would answer me and understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me.
There an upright man could argue with him, and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.
‘Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him;
on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does.
For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind.
Therefore I am terrified at his presence; when I consider, I am in dread of him.
God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me;
yet I am not silenced because of the darkness, nor because thick darkness covers my face.
I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music.
I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;
I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.
Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.
I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me.
No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.
Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD.
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, ”Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”
So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.
The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea.
The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood.
And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say, ”Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments.
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!”
And I heard the altar saying, ”Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!”
The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire.
They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.
The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish
and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east.
And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs.
For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.
(”Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”)
And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, ”It is done!”
And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake.
The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.
And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found.
And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.