Job 37-39; Psalm 103; Rev 21
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
‘At this also my heart trembles and leaps out of its place.
Keep listening to the thunder of his voice and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
Under the whole heaven he lets it go, and his lightning to the corners of the earth.
After it his voice roars; he thunders with his majestic voice, and he does not restrain the lightnings when his voice is heard.
God thunders wondrously with his voice; he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.
He seals up the hand of every man, that all men whom he made may know it.
Then the beasts go into their lairs, and remain in their dens.
From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds.
By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast.
He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning.
They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world.
Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen.
‘Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
Do you know how God lays his command upon them and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
Do you know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge,
you whose garments are hot when the earth is still because of the south wind?
Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a cast metal mirror?
Teach us what we shall say to him; we cannot draw up our case because of darkness.
Shall it be told him that I would speak? Did a man ever wish that he would be swallowed up?
‘And now no one looks on the light when it is bright in the skies, when the wind has passed and cleared them.
Out of the north comes golden splendor; God is clothed with awesome majesty.
The Almighty–we cannot find him; he is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate.
Therefore men fear him; he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.
‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements–surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
‘Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb,
when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors,
and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
‘Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place,
that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal, and its features stand out like a garment.
From the wicked their light is withheld, and their uplifted arm is broken.
‘Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this.
‘Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness,
that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home?
You know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great!
‘Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?
What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
‘Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt,
to bring rain on a land where no man is, on the desert in which there is no man,
to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground sprout with grass?
‘Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew?
From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the frost of heaven?
The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
‘Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion?
Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children?
Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?
‘Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you?
Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind?
Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
when the dust runs into a mass and the clods stick fast together?
‘Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in their thicket?
Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?
‘Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you observe the calving of the does?
Can you number the months that they fulfill, and do you know the time when they give birth,
when they crouch, bring forth their offspring, and are delivered of their young?
Their young ones become strong; they grow up in the open; they go out and do not return to them.
‘Who has let the wild donkey go free? Who has loosed the bonds of the swift donkey,
to whom I have given the arid plain for his home and the salt land for his dwelling place?
He scorns the tumult of the city; he hears not the shouts of the driver.
He ranges the mountains as his pasture, and he searches after every green thing.
‘Is the wild ox willing to serve you? Will he spend the night at your manger?
Can you bind him in the furrow with ropes, or will he harrow the valleys after you?
Will you depend on him because his strength is great, and will you leave to him your labor?
Do you have faith in him that he will return your grain and gather it to your threshing floor?
‘The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, but are they the pinions and plumage of love?
For she leaves her eggs to the earth and lets them be warmed on the ground,
forgetting that a foot may crush them and that the wild beast may trample them.
She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers; though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear,
because God has made her forget wisdom and given her no share in understanding.
When she rouses herself to flee, she laughs at the horse and his rider.
‘Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
Do you make him leap like the locust? His majestic snorting is terrifying.
He paws in the valley and exults in his strength; he goes out to meet the weapons.
He laughs at fear and is not dismayed; he does not turn back from the sword.
Upon him rattle the quiver, the flashing spear and the javelin.
With fierceness and rage he swallows the ground; he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
When the trumpet sounds, he says ‘Aha!’ He smells the battle from afar, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
‘Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south?
Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?
On the rock he dwells and makes his home, on the rocky crag and stronghold.
From there he spies out the prey; his eyes behold it afar off.
His young ones suck up blood, and where the slain are, there is he.”
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ”Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, ”Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, ”Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
And he said to me, ”It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.
The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, ”Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,
having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed–
on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls.
The city lies foursquare; its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal.
He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement.
The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass.
The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,
the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,
and its gates will never be shut by day–and there will be no night there.
They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.
But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.