Job 5–7

1 “Call out now; is anyone answering you?

And to whom among the holy ones will you turn?

2 For anger slays the foolish man,

and jealousy kills the gullible.

3 Yes, I saw the foolish taking root,

and quickly I cursed his dwelling.

4 May his children be far from safety,

and may they be crushed in the gate without a deliverer;

5 whose harvest the hungry eats up,

and takes it even out of the thorns,

and the thirsty captures his wealth.

6 For affliction does not come out of the dust,

nor does trouble sprout up out of the ground;

7 but man is born to trouble,

as the sparks fly upward.

8 “Indeed, I would appeal to God,

and before God I would set forth my case,

9 who does the great and the inscrutable,

wonders without number.

10 He gives rain on the surface of the earth

and sends water on the outdoor places.

11 He sets on high those who are lowly,

and those who mourn are lifted to safety.

12 He frustrates the schemes of the crafty,

so that their hands cannot perform their plans.

13 He catches the wise in their own craftiness,

and the scheme of the shrewd is swiftly stopped.

14 In the daytime they encounter darkness,

and at noontime they grope as in the night.

15 But the needy He saves from the sword,

from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty.

16 So the helpless has hope,

and injustice shuts her mouth.

17 “How happy is the man whom God corrects!

Therefore do not despise the discipline of the Almighty,

18 for He wounds, but He applies the bandage;

He injures, but His hands also heal.

19 In six crises He will deliver you;

even in seven, disaster will not touch you.

20 In famine He will redeem you from death,

and in war from the power of the sword.

21 You will be hidden from the lash of the tongue,

and you will not fear violence when it comes.

22 You will laugh at devastation and famine,

and you will not fear wild animals.

23 For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field,

and the wild animals will be at peace with you.

24 You will know that your tent is peaceful,

and you will inspect your property and find nothing missing.

25 You will know that your offspring will be many

and your descendants as the grass of the earth.

26 You go to the grave in a full age,

as stalks of grain are gathered up in season.

27 “Look! We have investigated all this, and it is so;

hear it, and know for yourself.”

Chapter 6

1 But Job answered:

2 “Oh, that my grief were fully weighed,

and my calamity laid with it on the scales!

3 For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea;

therefore my words are stuck in my throat.

4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me;

my spirit drinks in their poison;

the terrors of God are arrayed against me.

5 Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass?

Or the ox bellow over his fodder?

6 Is tasteless food eaten without salt?

Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?

7 My soul refuses to touch them;

they are like loathsome food to me.

8 “Oh, that I might have my request,

and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!

9 That it would please God to crush me,

that He would let loose His hand and cut me off!

10 Then I would still have comfort;

I would revel in pain; it will not subside,

for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.

11 “What strength do I have, that I should hope?

And what is my end, that I should prolong my life?

12 Is my strength the strength of stones?

Or is my flesh made of brass?

13 Is there no help within me?

And is success banished from me?

14 “A despairing man should be shown kindness from his friend,

or he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

15 My brothers have acted deceitfully like a riverbed,

like the streams of the riverbeds that run dry;

16 which are dark because of the ice,

and into which the snow disappears.

17 In time they are scorched; they vanish!

When it is hot, they disappear from their place.

18 The caravans of their way turn aside;

they go nowhere, and they perish.

19 The caravans of Tema looked,

the travelers of Sheba hoped for them.

20 They were disappointed because they were confident;

they arrived there and were dismayed.

21 For now you are nothing;

you see terror and are afraid.

22 Did I say, ‘Give to me’?

Or, ‘Out of your wealth, bribe me’?

23 Or, ‘Deliver me from the power of the enemy’?

Or, ‘From the power of the oppressors, liberate me’?

24 “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue,

and make me understand how I have erred.

25 How forceful are right words!

But what does your arguing prove?

26 Do you mean to correct my words,

and treat my desperate words as wind?

27 Yes, you cast lots for the fatherless,

and you bargain over your friend.

28 “And now, please give me your attention,

for surely I will not lie to you.

29 Turn, I pray, let there be no injustice!

Yes, turn again, my righteousness still stands!

30 Is there injustice on my tongue?

Cannot my taste discern pernicious things?

Chapter 7

1 “Is there not a time of hard service for a man upon earth?

Are not his days also like the days of a hired worker?

2 Like a servant, he longs for the shade,

and like a hired worker, he looks for his wages,

3 so I have been assigned months of futility,

and nights of trouble have been appointed to me.

4 When I lie down, I say,

‘When will I arise and the night be ended?’

And I am full of restlessness until the dawn.

5 My flesh is covered with worms and caked with dirt;

my skin is broken, and has become loathsome.

6 “My days fly more swiftly than a weaver’s shuttle,

and are spent without hope.

7 Oh, remember that my life is a breath!

My eye will never again see good.

8 The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;

your eyes will be on me, but I will be no more.

9 As the cloud disappears and vanishes away,

so he who goes down to Sheol will come up no more.

10 He will never return to his house,

and his place will not recognize him anymore.

11 “Therefore, I will not restrain my mouth;

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;

I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

12 Am I the sea, or a sea monster,

that You set a guard over me?

13 When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,

my couch will ease my complaint,’

14 then You scare me with dreams

and terrify me with visions,

15 so that my soul chooses strangling,

even death rather than my life.

16 I loathe my life; I would not live forever;

let me alone, for my days are emptiness.

17 “What is man, that You should exalt him,

and that You should set Your heart on him,

18 and that You should visit him every morning,

and test him every moment?

19 How long until You look away from me?

Will You not let me alone until I swallow my saliva?

20 Have I sinned? What am I doing to You,

O You watcher of men?

Why have You set me as Your target,

so that I am a burden to myself?

21 And why do You not pardon my transgression

and take away my iniquity?

For now I will lie down in the dust;

and You will seek me diligently, but I will not be.”

Acts 8:1–25

1 And Saul was consenting to his death.

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem. And they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Devout men carried Stephen to his burial and made great lamentation over him. 3 But Saul ravaged the church, entering house by house and dragging out both men and women and committing them to prison.

4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. 5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miracles which he did, they listened in unity to what he said. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed. And many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was much joy in that city.

9 Now a man named Simon was previously in the city practicing sorcery and astonishing the nation of Samaria, saying he was someone great, 10 to whom they all listened, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” 11 They listened to him, because for a long time he had astonished them by his sorceries. 12 But when they believed Philip preaching about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Even Simon himself believed. And when he was baptized, he continued with Philip and was amazed as he watched the miracles and signs which were done.

14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they came down, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 for still He had come on none of them. They were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 When Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me also this power, that whomever I lay hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 Peter said to him, “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could purchase the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor share in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Therefore repent of your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”

24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me that nothing you have spoken may come upon me.”

25 When they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.