Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Day 11: God Answers Job

Elihu's observes the power of God
Job 37:1-13
 1 "At this my heart pounds 
       and leaps from its place.
 2 Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, 
       to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
 3 He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven 
       and sends it to the ends of the earth.
 4 After that comes the sound of his roar; 
       he thunders with his majestic voice. 
       When his voice resounds, 
       he holds nothing back.
 5 God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; 
       he does great things beyond our understanding.
 6 He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' 
       and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.'
 7 So that all men he has made may know his work, 
       he stops every man from his labor. [a]
 8 The animals take cover; 
       they remain in their dens.
 9 The tempest comes out from its chamber, 
       the cold from the driving winds.
 10 The breath of God produces ice, 
       and the broad waters become frozen.
 11 He loads the clouds with moisture; 
       he scatters his lightning through them.
 12 At his direction they swirl around 
       over the face of the whole earth 
       to do whatever he commands them.
 13 He brings the clouds to punish men, 
       or to water his earth [b] and show his love.

Job required to explain the works of nature
Job 37:14-20
 14 "Listen to this, Job; 
       stop and consider God's wonders.
 15 Do you know how God controls the clouds 
       and makes his lightning flash?
 16 Do you know how the clouds hang poised, 
       those wonders of him who is perfect in knowledge?
 17 You who swelter in your clothes 
       when the land lies hushed under the south wind,
 18 can you join him in spreading out the skies, 
       hard as a mirror of cast bronze?
 19 "Tell us what we should say to him; 
       we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness.
 20 Should he be told that I want to speak? 
       Would any man ask to be swallowed up?

God is great and is to be feared
Job 37:21-24
 21 Now no one can look at the sun, 
       bright as it is in the skies 
       after the wind has swept them clean.
 22 Out of the north he comes in golden splendor; 
       God comes in awesome majesty.
 23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; 
       in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
 24 Therefore, men revere him, 
       for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart? 

Discourse with Jehovah: God calls upon Job to answer
Job 38:1-3
 1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
 2 "Who is this that darkens my counsel 
       with words without knowledge?
 3 Brace yourself like a man; 
       I will question you, 
       and you shall answer me.

God questions Job
Jib 38:4-41
 4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? 
       Tell me, if you understand.
 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! 
       Who stretched a measuring line across it?
 6 On what were its footings set, 
       or who laid its cornerstone-
 7 while the morning stars sang together 
       and all the angels [a] shouted for joy?
 8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors 
       when it burst forth from the womb,
 9 when I made the clouds its garment 
       and wrapped it in thick darkness,
 10 when I fixed limits for it 
       and set its doors and bars in place,
 11 when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; 
       here is where your proud waves halt'?
 12 "Have you ever given orders to the morning, 
       or shown the dawn its place,
 13 that it might take the earth by the edges 
       and shake the wicked out of it?
 14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; 
       its features stand out like those of a garment.
 15 The wicked are denied their light, 
       and their upraised arm is broken.
 16 "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea 
       or walked in the recesses of the deep?
 17 Have the gates of death been shown to you? 
       Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death [b] ?
 18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? 
       Tell me, if you know all this.
 19 "What is the way to the abode of light? 
       And where does darkness reside?
 20 Can you take them to their places? 
       Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
 21 Surely you know, for you were already born! 
       You have lived so many years!
 22 "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow 
       or seen the storehouses of the hail,
 23 which I reserve for times of trouble, 
       for days of war and battle?
 24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, 
       or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
 25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, 
       and a path for the thunderstorm,
 26 to water a land where no man lives, 
       a desert with no one in it,
 27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland 
       and make it sprout with grass?
 28 Does the rain have a father? 
       Who fathers the drops of dew?
 29 From whose womb comes the ice? 
       Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
 30 when the waters become hard as stone, 
       when the surface of the deep is frozen?
 31 "Can you bind the beautiful [c] Pleiades? 
       Can you loose the cords of Orion?
 32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons [d] 
       or lead out the Bear [e] with its cubs?
 33 Do you know the laws of the heavens? 
       Can you set up God's [f] dominion over the earth?
 34 "Can you raise your voice to the clouds 
       and cover yourself with a flood of water?
 35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? 
       Do they report to you, 'Here we are'?
 36 Who endowed the heart [g] with wisdom 
       or gave understanding to the mind [h] ?
 37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? 
       Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
 38 when the dust becomes hard 
       and the clods of earth stick together?
 39 "Do you hunt the prey for the lioness 
       and satisfy the hunger of the lions
 40 when they crouch in their dens 
       or lie in wait in a thicket?
 41 Who provides food for the raven 
       when its young cry out to God 
       and wander about for lack of food?

God inquiries of Job concerning several birds and animals 
Job 39
 1 "Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? 
       Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
 2 Do you count the months till they bear? 
       Do you know the time they give birth?
 3 They crouch down and bring forth their young; 
       their labor pains are ended.
 4 Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; 
       they leave and do not return.
 5 "Who let the wild donkey go free? 
       Who untied his ropes?
 6 I gave him the wasteland as his home, 
       the salt flats as his habitat.
 7 He laughs at the commotion in the town; 
       he does not hear a driver's shout.
 8 He ranges the hills for his pasture 
       and searches for any green thing.
 9 "Will the wild ox consent to serve you? 
       Will he stay by your manger at night?
 10 Can you hold him to the furrow with a harness? 
       Will he till the valleys behind you?
 11 Will you rely on him for his great strength? 
       Will you leave your heavy work to him?
 12 Can you trust him to bring in your grain 
       and gather it to your threshing floor?
 13 "The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, 
       but they cannot compare with the pinions and feathers of the stork.
 14 She lays her eggs on the ground 
       and lets them warm in the sand,
 15 unmindful that a foot may crush them, 
       that some wild animal may trample them.
 16 She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers; 
       she cares not that her labor was in vain,
 17 for God did not endow her with wisdom 
       or give her a share of good sense.
 18 Yet when she spreads her feathers to run, 
       she laughs at horse and rider.
 19 "Do you give the horse his strength 
       or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?
 20 Do you make him leap like a locust, 
       striking terror with his proud snorting?
 21 He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, 
       and charges into the fray.
 22 He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; 
       he does not shy away from the sword.
 23 The quiver rattles against his side, 
       along with the flashing spear and lance.
 24 In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; 
       he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.
 25 At the blast of the trumpet he snorts, 'Aha!' 
       He catches the scent of battle from afar, 
       the shout of commanders and the battle cry.
 26 "Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom 
       and spread his wings toward the south?
 27 Does the eagle soar at your command 
       and build his nest on high?
 28 He dwells on a cliff and stays there at night; 
       a rocky crag is his stronghold.
 29 From there he seeks out his food; 
       his eyes detect it from afar.
 30 His young ones feast on blood, 
       and where the slain are, there is he."

Job humbles himself before God
Job 40:1-5
 1 The LORD said to Job:
 2 "Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? 
       Let him who accuses God answer him!"
 3 Then Job answered the LORD :
 4 "I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? 
       I put my hand over my mouth.
 5 I spoke once, but I have no answer— 
       twice, but I will say no more."

The Lord reasons with Job
Job 40:6-14
 6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
 7 "Brace yourself like a man; 
       I will question you, 
       and you shall answer me.
 8 "Would you discredit my justice? 
       Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
 9 Do you have an arm like God's, 
       and can your voice thunder like his?
 10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, 
       and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
 11 Unleash the fury of your wrath, 
       look at every proud man and bring him low,
 12 look at every proud man and humble him, 
       crush the wicked where they stand.
 13 Bury them all in the dust together; 
       shroud their faces in the grave.
 14 Then I myself will admit to you 
       that your own right hand can save you.

God's power shown
Job 40:15-41:34
 15 "Look at the behemoth, [a] 
       which I made along with you 
       and which feeds on grass like an ox.
 16 What strength he has in his loins, 
       what power in the muscles of his belly!
 17 His tail [b] sways like a cedar; 
       the sinews of his thighs are close-knit.
 18 His bones are tubes of bronze, 
       his limbs like rods of iron.
 19 He ranks first among the works of God, 
       yet his Maker can approach him with his sword.
 20 The hills bring him their produce, 
       and all the wild animals play nearby.
 21 Under the lotus plants he lies, 
       hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
 22 The lotuses conceal him in their shadow; 
       the poplars by the stream surround him.
 23 When the river rages, he is not alarmed; 
       he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth.
 24 Can anyone capture him by the eyes, [c] 
       or trap him and pierce his nose?
Job 41
 1 "Can you pull in the leviathan [a] with a fishhook 
       or tie down his tongue with a rope?
 2 Can you put a cord through his nose 
       or pierce his jaw with a hook?
 3 Will he keep begging you for mercy? 
       Will he speak to you with gentle words?
 4 Will he make an agreement with you 
       for you to take him as your slave for life?
 5 Can you make a pet of him like a bird 
       or put him on a leash for your girls?
 6 Will traders barter for him? 
       Will they divide him up among the merchants?
 7 Can you fill his hide with harpoons 
       or his head with fishing spears?
 8 If you lay a hand on him, 
       you will remember the struggle and never do it again!
 9 Any hope of subduing him is false; 
       the mere sight of him is overpowering.
 10 No one is fierce enough to rouse him. 
       Who then is able to stand against me?
 11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay? 
       Everything under heaven belongs to me.
 12 "I will not fail to speak of his limbs, 
       his strength and his graceful form.
 13 Who can strip off his outer coat? 
       Who would approach him with a bridle?
 14 Who dares open the doors of his mouth, 
       ringed about with his fearsome teeth?
 15 His back has [b] rows of shields 
       tightly sealed together;
 16 each is so close to the next 
       that no air can pass between.
 17 They are joined fast to one another; 
       they cling together and cannot be parted.
 18 His snorting throws out flashes of light; 
       his eyes are like the rays of dawn.
 19 Firebrands stream from his mouth; 
       sparks of fire shoot out.
 20 Smoke pours from his nostrils 
       as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.
 21 His breath sets coals ablaze, 
       and flames dart from his mouth.
 22 Strength resides in his neck; 
       dismay goes before him.
 23 The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; 
       they are firm and immovable.
 24 His chest is hard as rock, 
       hard as a lower millstone.
 25 When he rises up, the mighty are terrified; 
       they retreat before his thrashing.
 26 The sword that reaches him has no effect, 
       nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.
 27 Iron he treats like straw 
       and bronze like rotten wood.
 28 Arrows do not make him flee; 
       slingstones are like chaff to him.
 29 A club seems to him but a piece of straw; 
       he laughs at the rattling of the lance.
 30 His undersides are jagged potsherds, 
       leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
 31 He makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron 
       and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
 32 Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; 
       one would think the deep had white hair.
 33 Nothing on earth is his equal— 
       a creature without fear.
 34 He looks down on all that are haughty; 
       he is king over all that are proud."

Discourse with Jehovah continued: Job humbly submits to God
Job 42:1-6
 1 Then Job replied to the LORD :
 2 "I know that you can do all things; 
       no plan of yours can be thwarted.
 3 You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' 
       Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, 
       things too wonderful for me to know.
 4 "You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; 
       I will question you, 
       and you shall answer me.'
 5 My ears had heard of you 
       but now my eyes have seen you.
 6 Therefore I despise myself 
       and repent in dust and ashes."

He intercedes for his friends
Job 42:7-10
 7 After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has." 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job's prayer.
 10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. 

His renewed prosperity
Job 42:11-17
11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver [a] and a gold ring.
 12 The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job's daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.
 16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so he died, old and full of years. 
New International Version

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