Read the Bible in a Year

Each day, we'll post passages so that you can read the Bible in one year. This is part of The Colossians 13:16 Project, sponsored by Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia. You're invited to worship with us Sundays, at 11:00 a.m. or Saturdays, at 6:30 p.m. You may also want to consider joining one our adult Bible Studies: Thursdays at 12:00 noon and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. We also have a full range of programs for children. If you want more information about the church, check out the other blogs. And please feel free to leave any comments.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bible Readings for August 31, 2011

Today our passages are Job 37:1–39:30; 2 Corinthians 4:13–5:10; Psalm 44:9-26; and Proverbs 22:13. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


Job 37-39:30 (Contemporary English Version)

Job 37

Elihu Continues

I Am Frightened

1I am frightened
and tremble all over,
2when I hear the roaring voice
of God in the thunder,
3and when I see his lightning
flash across the sky.
4God's majestic voice
thunders his commands, [a]
5creating miracles too marvelous
for us to understand.
6Snow and heavy rainstorms
7make us stop and think
about God's power,
8and they force animals
to seek shelter.
9The windstorms of winter strike,
10and the breath of God
freezes streams and rivers.
11Rain clouds filled with lightning
appear at God's command,
12traveling across the sky
13to release their cargo--
sometimes as punishment for sin,
sometimes as kindness.

Consider Carefully

14Job, consider carefully
the many wonders of God.
15Can you explain why lightning
at the orders
16of God who knows all things?
Or how he hangs the clouds
in empty space?
17You almost melt in the heat
of fierce desert winds
when the sky is like brass.
18God can spread out the clouds
to get relief from the heat,
but can you?
19Tell us what to say to God!
Our minds are in the dark,
and we don't know how
to argue our case.
20Should I risk my life
by telling God
that I want to speak?
21No one can stare at the sun
after a breeze has blown
the clouds from the sky.
22Yet the glorious splendor
of God All-Powerful
is brighter by far.
23God cannot be seen--
but his power is great,
and he is always fair.
24And so we humans fear God,
because he shows no respect
for those who are proud
and think they know so much.

Job 38

The LORD Speaks

From Out of a Storm

1From out of a storm,
the LORD said to Job:
2Why do you talk so much
when you know so little?
3Now get ready to face me!
Can you answer
the questions I ask?
4How did I lay the foundation
for the earth?
Were you there?
5Doubtless you know who decided
its length and width.
6What supports the foundation?
Who placed the cornerstone,
7while morning stars sang,
and angels rejoiced?
8When the ocean was born,
I set its boundaries
9and wrapped it in blankets
of thickest fog.
10Then I built a wall around it,
locked the gates, 11and said,
"Your powerful waves stop here!
They can go no farther."

Did You Ever Tell the Sun To Rise?

12Did you ever tell the sun to rise?
And did it obey?
13Did it take hold of the earth
and shake out the wicked
like dust from a rug?
14Early dawn outlines the hills
like stitches on clothing
or sketches on clay.
15But its light is too much
for those who are evil,
and their power is broken.
16Job, have you ever walked
on the ocean floor?
17Have you seen the gate
to the world of the dead?
18And how large is the earth?
Tell me, if you know!
19Where is the home of light,
and where does darkness live?
20Can you lead them home?
21I'm certain you must be able to,
since you were already born
when I created everything.
22Have you been to the places
where I keep snow and hail,
23until I use them to punish
and conquer nations?
24From where does lightning leap,
or the east wind blow?
25Who carves out a path
for thunderstorms?
Who sends torrents of rain
26on empty deserts
where no one lives?
27Rain that changes barren land
to meadows green with grass.
28Who is the father of the dew
and of the rain?
29Who gives birth to the sleet
and the frost
30that fall in winter,
when streams and lakes
freeze solid as a rock?

Can You Arrange Stars?

31Can you arrange stars in groups
such as Orion
and the Pleiades?
32Do you control the stars
or set in place the Big Dipper
and the Little Dipper?
33Do you know the laws
that govern the heavens,
and can you make them rule
the earth?
34Can you order the clouds
to send a downpour,
35or will lightning flash
at your command?
36Did you teach birds to know
that rain or floods
are on their way? [b]
37Can you count the clouds
or pour out their water
38on the dry, lumpy soil?
39When lions are hungry,
do you help them hunt?
40Do you send an animal
into their den?
41And when starving young ravens
cry out to me for food,
do you satisfy their hunger?

Job 39

The LORD Continues

When Do Mountain Goats Give Birth?

1When do mountain goats
and deer give birth?
Have you been there
when their young are born?
2How long are they pregnant
3before they deliver?
4Soon their young grow strong
and then leave
to be on their own.
5Who set wild donkeys free?
6I alone help them survive
in salty desert sand.
7They stay far from crowded cities
and refuse to be tamed.
8Instead, they roam the hills,
searching for pastureland.
9Would a wild ox agree
to live in your barn
and labor for you?
10Could you force him to plow
or to drag a heavy log
to smooth out the soil?
11Can you depend on him
to use his great strength
and do your heavy work?
12Can you trust him
to harvest your grain
or take it to your barn
from the threshing place?

An Ostrich Proudly Flaps Her Wings

13An ostrich proudly
flaps her wings,
but not because
she loves her young.
14She abandons her eggs
and lets the dusty ground
keep them warm.
15And she doesn't seem to worry
that the feet of an animal
could crush them all.
16She treats her eggs as though
they were not her own,
unconcerned that her work
might be for nothing.
17I myself made her foolish
and without common sense.
18But once she starts running, [c]
she laughs at a rider
on the fastest horse.

Did You Give Horses Their Strength?

19Did you give horses their strength
and the flowing hair
along their necks?
20Did you make them able
to jump like grasshoppers
or to frighten people
with their snorting?
21Before horses are ridden
into battle,
they paw at the ground,
proud of their strength.
22Laughing at fear, they rush
toward the fighting,
23while the weapons of their riders
rattle and flash in the sun.
24Unable to stand still,
they gallop eagerly into battle
when trumpets blast.
25Stirred by the distant smells
and sounds of war,
they snort
in reply to the trumpet.
26Did you teach hawks to fly south
for the winter?
27Did you train eagles [d]
to build 28their nests on rocky cliffs,
29where they can look down
to spot their next meal?
30Then their young gather to feast
wherever the victim lies.

Job 37:4 commands: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 4.
Job 38:36 way: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 36.
Job 39:18 starts running: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Job 39:27 eagles: Or "vultures."

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10 (Contemporary English Version)

13In the Scriptures it says, "I spoke because I had faith." We have that same kind of faith. So we speak 14because we know that God raised the Lord Jesus to life. And just as God raised Jesus, he will also raise us to life. Then he will bring us into his presence together with you. 15All of this has been done for you, so that more and more people will know how kind God is and will praise and honor him.

Faith in the Lord

16We never give up. Our bodies are gradually dying, but we ourselves are being made stronger each day. 17These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. 18Things that are seen don't last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That's why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.

2 Corinthians 5

1Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever. 2While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home. 3We want to put it on like clothes and not be naked.

4These tents we now live in are like a heavy burden, and we groan. But we don't do this just because we want to leave these bodies that will die. It is because we want to change them for bodies that will never die. 5God is the one who makes all of this possible. He has given us his Spirit to make us certain that he will do it. 6So always be cheerful!

As long as we are in these bodies, we are away from the Lord. 7But we live by faith, not by what we see. 8We should be cheerful, because we would rather leave these bodies and be at home with the Lord. 9But whether we are at home with the Lord or away from him, we still try our best to please him. 10After all, Christ will judge each of us for the good or the bad that we do while living in these bodies.

Psalm 44:9-26 (Contemporary English Version)

9But now you have rejected us;
you don't lead us into battle,
and we look foolish.
10You made us retreat,
and our enemies have taken
everything we own.
11You let us be slaughtered
like sheep,
and you scattered us
among the nations.
12You sold your people
for little or nothing,
and you earned no profit.
13You made us look foolish
to our neighbors,
and people who live nearby
insult us and sneer.
14Foreigners joke about us
and shake their heads.
15I am embarrassed every day,
and I blush with shame.
16But others mock and sneer,
as they watch my enemies
take revenge on me.
17All of this has happened to us,
though we didn't forget you
or break our agreement.
18We always kept you in mind
and followed your teaching.
19But you crushed us,
and you covered us
with deepest darkness
where wild animals live.
20We did not forget you
or lift our hands in prayer
to foreign gods.
21You would have known it
because you discover
every secret thought.
22We face death all day for you.
We are like sheep on their way
to be slaughtered.
23Wake up! Do something, Lord!
Why are you sleeping?
Don't desert us forever.
24Why do you keep looking away?
Don't forget our sufferings
and all of our troubles.
25We are flat on the ground,
holding on to the dust.
26Do something! Help us!
Show how kind you are
and come to our rescue.

Proverbs 22:13 (Contemporary English Version)

13Don't be so lazy that you say,
"If I go to work,
a lion will eat me!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bible Readings for August 30, 2011

Today our passages are Job 34:1–36:33; 2 Corinthians 4:1-12; Psalm 44:1-8; and Proverbs 22:10-12. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


Job 34-36:33 (Contemporary English Version)

Job 34

Elihu Continues

You Men Think You Are Wise

1Elihu said:

2You men think you are wise,
but just listen to me!
3Think about my words,
as you would taste food.
4Then we can decide the case
and give a just verdict.
5Job claims he is innocent
and God is guilty
of mistreating him.
6Job also argues that God
considers him a liar
and that he is suffering severely
in spite of his innocence.
7But to tell the truth,
Job is shameless!
8He spends his time with sinners,
9because he has said,
"It doesn't pay to please God."

If Any of You Are Smart

10If any of you are smart,
you will listen and learn
that God All-Powerful
does what is right.
11God always treats everyone
the way they deserve,
12and he is never unfair.
13From the very beginning,
God has been in control
of all the world.
14If God took back the breath
that he breathed into us,
15we humans would die
and return to the soil.
16So be smart and listen!
17The mighty God is the one
who brings about justice,
and you are condemning him.
18Indeed, God is the one
who condemns unfair rulers.
19And God created us all;
he has no favorites,
whether rich or poor.
20Even powerful rulers die
in the darkness of night
when they least expect it,
just like the rest of us.

God Watches Everything We Do

21God watches everything we do.
22No evil person can hide
in the deepest darkness.
23And so, God doesn't need
to set a time for judgment.
24Without asking for advice,
God removes mighty leaders
and puts others in their place.
25He knows what they are like,
and he wipes them out
in the middle of the night.
26And while others look on,
he punishes them
because they were evil
27and refused to obey him.
28The persons they mistreated
had prayed for help,
until God answered
their prayers.
29When God does nothing,
can any person or nation
find fault with him?
30But still, he punishes rulers
who abuse their people. [a]
31Job, you should tell God
that you are guilty
and promise to do better.
32Then ask him to point out
what you did wrong,
so you won't do it again.
33Do you make the rules,
or does God?
You have to decide--
I can't do it for you;
now make up your mind.
34Job, anyone with good sense
can easily see
35that you are speaking nonsense
and lack good judgment.
36So I pray for you to suffer
as much as possible
for talking like a sinner.
37You have rebelled against God,
time after time,
and have even insulted us.

Job 35

Elihu Continues

Are You Really Innocent?

1Elihu said:

2Job, are you really innocent
in the sight of God? [b]
3Don't you honestly believe
it pays to obey him?
4I will give the answers
to you and your friends.
5Look up to the heavens
6and think!
Do your sins hurt God?
7Is any good you may have done
at all helpful to him?
8The evil or good you do
only affects other humans.
9In times of trouble,
everyone begs the mighty God
to have mercy.
10But after their Creator
helps them through hard times,
they forget about him,
11though he makes us wiser
than animals or birds.
12God won't listen to the prayers
of proud and evil people.
13If God All-Powerful refuses
to answer their empty prayers,
14he will surely deny
your impatient request
to face him in court.
15Job, you were wrong to say
God doesn't punish sin.
16Everything you have said
adds up to nonsense.

Job 36

Elihu Continues

Be Patient a While Longer

1Elihu said:

2Be patient a while longer;
I have something else to say
in God's defense.
3God always does right--
and this knowledge
comes straight from God. [c]
4You can rest assured
that what I say is true.
5Although God is mighty,
he cares about everyone
and makes fair decisions.
6The wicked are cut down,
and those who are wronged
receive justice.
7God watches over good people
and places them
in positions
of power and honor forever.
8But when people are prisoners
of suffering and pain,
9God points out their sin
and their pride,
10then he warns them
to turn back to him.
11And if they obey,
they will be successful
and happy from then on.
12But if they foolishly refuse,
they will be rewarded
with a violent death.

Godless People Are Too Angry

13Godless people are too angry
to ask God for help
when he punishes them.
14So they die young
in shameful disgrace.
15Hard times and trouble
are God's way
of getting our attention!
16And at this very moment,
God deeply desires
to lead you from trouble
and to spread your table
with your favorite food.
17Now that the judgment
for your sins
has fallen upon you,
18don't let your anger
and the pain you endured
make you sneer at God.
19Your reputation and riches
cannot protect you
from distress,
20nor can you find safety
in the dark world below. [d]
21Be on guard! Don't turn to evil
as a way of escape.
22God's power is unlimited.
He needs no teachers
23to guide or correct him.

Others Have Praised God

24Others have praised God
for what he has done,
so join with them.
25From down here on earth,
everyone has looked up
and seen
26how great God is--
God is more than we imagine;
no one can count the years
he has lived.
27God gathers moisture
into the clouds
28and supplies us with rain.
29Who can understand
how God scatters the clouds
and speaks from his home
in the thunderstorm?
30And when God sends lightning,
it can be seen
at the bottom of the sea.
31By producing such rainstorms,
God rules the world
and provides us with food.
32Each flash of lightning
is one of his arrows
striking its target,
33and the thunder tells
of his anger against sin. [e]

Job 34:30 people: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 29,30.
Job 35:2 are. . . God: Or "is it right for you to accuse God?"
Job 36:3 comes straight from God: The Hebrew text has "comes from a distant place," which refers to the place where God lives; Elihu is claiming that he learned this from God.
Job 36:20 below: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 18-20.
Job 36:33 sin: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 33.

2 Corinthians 4:1-12 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Corinthians 4

Treasure in Clay Jars

1God has been kind enough to trust us with this work. That's why we never give up. 2We don't do shameful things that must be kept secret. And we don't try to fool anyone or twist God's message around. God is our witness that we speak only the truth, so others will be sure that we can be trusted. 3If there is anything hidden about our message, it is hidden only to someone who is lost.

4The god who rules this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers. They cannot see the light, which is the good news about our glorious Christ, who shows what God is like. 5We are not preaching about ourselves. Our message is that Jesus Christ is Lord. He also sent us to be your servants. 6The Scriptures say, "God commanded light to shine in the dark." Now God is shining in our hearts to let you know that his glory is seen in Jesus Christ.

7We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us. 8We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up. 9In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again. 10-11We face death every day because of Jesus. Our bodies show what his death was like, so that his life can also be seen in us. 12This means that death is working in us, but life is working in you.

Psalm 44:1-8 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 44
(A special psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader.)

A Prayer for Help

1Our God, our ancestors told us
what wonders you worked
and we listened carefully.
2You chased off the nations
by causing them trouble
with your powerful arm.
Then you let our ancestors
take over their land.
3Their strength and weapons
were not
what won the land
and gave them victory!
You loved them and fought
with your powerful arm
and your shining glory.
4You are my God and King,
and you give victory [a]
to the people of Jacob.
5By your great power,
we knocked our enemies down
and stomped on them.
6I don't depend on my arrows
or my sword to save me.
7But you saved us
from our hateful enemies,
and you put them to shame.
8We boast about you, our God,
and we are always grateful.

Psalm 44:4 and. . . victory: One ancient translation; Hebrew " please give victory."

Proverbs 22:10-12 (Contemporary English Version)

10Arguments and fights
will come to an end,
if you chase away those
who insult others.

11The king is the friend of all
who are sincere
and speak with kindness.

12The LORD watches over everyone
who shows good sense,
but he frustrates the plans
of deceitful liars.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bible Readings for August 29, 2011

Today our passages are Job 31:1–33:33; 2 Corinthians 3:1-18; Psalm 43:1-5; and Proverbs 22:8-9. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


Job 31-33:33 (Contemporary English Version)

Job 31

Job Continues

I Promised Myself

1I promised myself
never to stare with desire
at a young woman.
2God All-Powerful punishes
men who do that.
3In fact, God sends disaster
on all who sin,
4and he keeps a close watch
on everything I do.
5I am not dishonest or deceitful,
6and I beg God to prove
my innocence.
7If I have disobeyed him
or even wanted to,
8then others can eat my harvest
and uproot my crops.
9If I have desired someone's wife
and chased after her,
10then let some stranger
steal my wife from me.
11If I took someone's wife,
it would be a horrible crime,
12sending me to destruction
and my crops to the flames. [a]
13When my servants
complained against me,
I was fair to them.
14Otherwise, what answer
would I give to God
when he judges me?
15After all, God is the one
who gave life to each of us
before we were born.

I Have Never Cheated Anyone

16I have never cheated widows
or others in need,
17and I have always shared
my food with orphans.
18Since the time I was young,
I have cared for orphans
and helped widows. [b]
19I provided clothes for the poor,
20and I was praised
for supplying woolen garments
to keep them warm.
21If I have ever raised my arm
to threaten an orphan
when the power was mine,
22I hope that arm will fall
from its socket.
23I could not have been abusive;
I was terrified at the thought
that God might punish me.
24I have never trusted
the power of wealth,
25or taken pride in owning
many possessions.
26I have never openly or secretly
27worshiped the sun or moon.
28Such horrible sins
would have deserved
punishment from God.
29I have never laughed
when my enemies
were struck by disaster.
30Neither have I sinned
by asking God
to send down on them
the curse of death.
31No one ever went hungry [c] at my house,
32and travelers
were always welcome.
33Many have attempted to hide
their sins from others--
but I refused.
34And the fear of public disgrace
never forced me
to keep silent
about what I had done.

Why Doesn't God Listen?

35Why doesn't God All-Powerful
listen and answer?
If God has something against me,
let him speak up
or put it in writing!
36Then I would wear his charges
on my clothes and forehead.
37And with my head held high,
I would tell him everything
I have ever done.
38I have never mistreated
the land I farmed
and made it mourn. [d]
39Nor have I cheated
my workers
and caused them pain. [e]
40If I had, I would pray
for weeds instead of wheat
to grow in my fields.
After saying these things,
Job was silent.

Job 32

Elihu Is Upset with Job's Friends

1Finally, these three men stopped arguing with Job, because he refused to admit that he was guilty. 2Elihu from Buz [f] was there, and he had become upset with Job for blaming God instead of himself. 3He was also angry with Job's three friends for not being able to prove that Job was wrong. 4Elihu was younger than these three, and he let them speak first. 5But he became irritated when they could not answer Job, 6and he said to them: I am much younger than you,

so I have shown respect
by keeping silent.
7I once believed age
was the source of wisdom;
8now I truly realize
wisdom comes from God.
9Age is no guarantee of wisdom
and understanding.
10That's why I ask you
to listen to me.

I Eagerly Listened

11I eagerly listened
to each of your arguments,
12but not one of you proved
Job to be wrong.
13You shouldn't say,
"We know what's right!
Let God punish him."
14Job hasn't spoken against me,
and so I won't answer him
with your arguments.
15All of you are shocked;
you don't know what to say.
16But am I to remain silent,
just because you
have stopped speaking?
17No! I will give my opinion,
18because I have so much to say,
that I can't keep quiet.
19I am like a swollen wineskin,
and I will burst [g] 20if I don't speak.
21I don't know how to be unfair
or to flatter anyone--
22if I did, my Creator
would quickly destroy me!

Job 33

Elihu Speaks

Job, Listen to Me!

1Job, listen to me!
Pay close attention.
2Everything I will say
3is true and sincere,
4just as surely as the Spirit
of God All-Powerful [h]
gave me the breath of life.
5Now line up your arguments
and prepare to face me.
6We each were made from clay,
and God has no favorites,
7so don't be afraid of me
or what I might do.

I Have Heard You Argue

8I have heard you argue
9that you are innocent,
guilty of nothing.
10You claim that God
has made you his enemy,
11that he has bound your feet
and blocked your path.
12But, Job, you're wrong--
God is greater
than any human.
13So why do you challenge God
to answer you? [i]
14God speaks in different ways,
and we don't always
recognize his voice.
15Sometimes in the night,
he uses terrifying dreams
16to give us warnings.
17God does this to make us turn
from sin and pride
18and to protect us
from being swept away
to the world of the dead.
19Sometimes we are punished
with a serious illness
and aching joints.
20Merely the thought
of our favorite food
makes our stomachs sick,
21and we become so skinny
that our bones stick out.
22We feel death and the grave
taking us in their grip.
23One of a thousand angels
then comes to our rescue
by saying we are innocent.
24The angel shows kindness,
commanding death to release us,
because the price was paid.
25Our health is restored,
we feel young again,
26and we ask God to accept us.
Then we joyfully worship God,
and we are rewarded
because we are innocent.
27When that happens,
we tell everyone,
"I sinned and did wrong,
but God forgave me
28and rescued me from death!
Now I will see the light."
29God gives each of us
chance after chance
30to be saved from death
and brought into the light
that gives life.
31So, Job, pay attention
and don't interrupt,
32though I would gladly listen
to anything you say
that proves you are right.
33Otherwise, listen in silence
to my wisdom.

Job 31:12 flames: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
Job 31:18 widows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 18.
Job 31:31 ever went hungry: Or "was ever sexually abused" (see Genesis 19.1-11; Judges 19.22-30). In ancient Israel, the lives of one's guests were sacred and had to be protected at any cost.
Job 31:38 mourn: In biblical times there were strict regulations for proper use of the land, and land that was abused was said to "mourn" and become no longer productive.
Job 31:39 pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 39.
Job 32:2 Elihu from Buz: The Hebrew text has "Elihu son of Barachel from Buz of the family of Ram." Buz may have been somewhere in the territory of Edom; in Jeremiah 25.23 it is mentioned along with Dedan and Tema (see 6.19).
Job 32:19 swollen wineskin. . . burst: While the juice from grapes was becoming wine, it would swell and stretch the skins in which it had been stored; sometimes the swelling would burst the wineskins.
Job 33:4 the Spirit of God All-Powerful: Or "God All-Powerful."
Job 33:13 answer you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.

2 Corinthians 3:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Corinthians 3

God's New Agreement

1Are we once again bragging about ourselves? Do we need letters to you or from you to tell others about us? Some people do need letters that tell about them. 2But you are our letter, and you are in our a] hearts for everyone to read and understand. 3You are like a letter written by Christ and delivered by us. But you are not written with pen and ink or on tablets made of stone. You are written in our hearts by the Spirit of the living God. 4We are sure about all this. Christ makes us sure in the very presence of God. 5We don't have the right to claim that we have done anything on our own. God gives us what it takes to do all that we do. 6He makes us worthy to be the servants of his new agreement that comes from the Holy Spirit and not from a written Law. After all, the Law brings death, but the Spirit brings life.

7The Law of Moses brought only the promise of death, even though it was carved on stones and given in a wonderful way. Still the Law made Moses' face shine so brightly that the people of Israel could not look at it, even though it was a fading glory. 8So won't the agreement that the Spirit brings to us be even more wonderful? 9If something that brings the death sentence is glorious, won't something that makes us acceptable to God be even more glorious? 10In fact, the new agreement is so wonderful that the Law is no longer glorious at all. 11The Law was given with a glory that faded away. But the glory of the new agreement is much greater, because it will never fade away.

12This wonderful hope makes us feel like speaking freely. 13We are not like Moses. His face was shining, but he covered it to keep the people of Israel from seeing the brightness fade away. 14The people were stubborn, and something still keeps them from seeing the truth when the Law is read. Only Christ can take away the covering that keeps them from seeing.

15When the Law of Moses is read, they have their minds covered over 16with a covering that is removed only for those who turn to the Lord. 17The Lord and the Spirit are one and the same, and the Lord's Spirit sets us free. 18So our faces are not covered. They show the bright glory of the Lord, as the Lord's Spirit makes us more and more like our glorious Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:2 our: Some manuscripts have "your."

Psalm 43:1-5 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 43

A Prayer in Times of Trouble

1Show that I am right, God!
Defend me against everyone
who doesn't know you;
rescue me from each
of those deceitful liars.
2I run to you
for protection.
Why have you turned me away?
Why must enemies mistreat me
and make me sad?
3Send your light and your truth
to guide me.
Let them lead me to your house
on your sacred mountain.
4Then I will worship
at your altar
because you
make me joyful.
You are my God,
and I will praise you.
Yes, I will praise you
as I play my harp.
5Why am I discouraged?
Why am I restless?
I trust you!
And I will praise you again
because you help me,
and you are my God.

Proverbs 22:8-9 (Contemporary English Version)

8Troublemakers get in trouble,
and their terrible anger
will get them nowhere.

9The LORD blesses everyone
who freely gives food
to the poor.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bible Readings for August 28, 2011

Today our passages are Job 28:1–30:31; 2 Corinthians 2:12-17; Psalm 42:1-11; and Proverbs 22:7. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


Job 28-30:31 (Contemporary English Version)

Job 28

Job Continues

Gold and Silver Are Mined

1Gold and silver are mined,
then purified;
2the same is done
with iron and copper.
3Miners carry lanterns
deep into the darkness
to search for these metals.
4They dig tunnels
in distant, unknown places,
where they dangle by ropes.
5Far beneath the grain fields,
fires are built
to break loose those rocks
6that have jewels or gold. [a]
7Miners go to places unseen
by the eyes of hawks;
8they walk on soil unknown
to the proudest lions.
9With their own hands
they remove sharp rocks
and uproot mountains.
10They dig through the rocks
in search of jewels
and precious metals.
11They also uncover
the sources of [b]
rivers and discover secret places.

Where Is Wisdom Found?

12But where is wisdom found?
13No human knows the way. [c]
14Nor can it be discovered
in the deepest sea.
15It is worth much more
than silver or pure gold
16or precious stones.
17Nothing is its equal--
not gold or costly glass. [d]
18Wisdom is worth much more than
coral, jasper, [e] or rubies.
19All the topaz [f] of Ethiopia [g]
and the finest gold
cannot compare with it.
20Where then is wisdom?
21It is hidden from human eyes
and even from birds.
22Death and destruction
have merely heard rumors
about where it is found.
23God is the only one who knows
the way to wisdom,
24because he sees everything
beneath the heavens.
25When God divided out
the wind and the water,
26and when he decided the path
for rain and lightning,
27he also determined the truth
and defined wisdom.
28God told us, "Wisdom means
that you respect me, the Lord,
and turn from sin."

Job 29

Job Continues

I Long for the Past

1Job said:

2I long for the past,
when God took care of me,
3and the light from his lamp
showed me the way
through the dark.
4I was in the prime of life,
God All-Powerful
was my closest friend,
5and all of my children
were nearby.
6My herds gave enough milk
to bathe my feet,
and from my olive harvest
flowed rivers of oil.
7When I sat down at the meeting
of the city council,
8the young leaders stepped aside,
9while the older ones stood
10and remained silent.

Everyone Was Pleased

11Everyone was pleased
with what I said and did.
12When poor people or orphans
cried out for help,
I came to their rescue.
13And I was highly praised
for my generosity to widows
and others in poverty.
14Kindness and justice
were my coat and hat;
15I was good to the blind
and to the lame.
16I was a father to the needy,
and I defended them in court,
even if they were strangers.
17When criminals attacked,
I broke their teeth
and set their victims free.
18I felt certain that I would live
a long and happy life,
then die in my own bed.
19In those days I was strong
like a tree with deep roots
and with plenty of water,
20or like an archer's new bow.
21Everyone listened in silence
to my welcome advice,
22and when I finished speaking,
nothing needed to be said.
23My words were eagerly accepted
like the showers of spring,
24and the smile on my face
renewed everyone's hopes.
25My advice was followed
as though I were a king
leading my troops,
or someone comforting
those in sorrow.

Job 30

Job Continues

Young People Now Insult Me

1Young people now insult me,
although their fathers
would have been a disgrace
to my sheep dogs.
2And those who insult me
are helpless themselves.
3They must claw the desert sand
in the dark
for something
to satisfy their hunger. [h]
4They gather tasteless shrubs
for food and firewood,
5and they are run out of towns,
as though they were thieves.
6Their only homes are ditches
or holes between rocks,
7where they bray like donkeys
gathering around shrubs.
8And like senseless donkeys
they are chased away.

Those Worthless Nobodies

9Those worthless nobodies
make up jokes and songs
to disgrace me.
10They are hateful
and keep their distance,
even while spitting
in my direction.
11God has destroyed me,
and so they don't care
what they do. [i]
12Their attacks never stop,
though I am defenseless,
and my feet are trapped. [j]
13Without any help,
they prevent my escape,
destroying me completely [k]
14and leaving me crushed.
15Terror has me surrounded;
my reputation and my riches
have vanished like a cloud.

I Am Sick at Heart

16I am sick at heart!
Pain has taken its toll.
17Night chews on my bones,
causing endless torment,
18and God has shrunk my skin,
choking me to death.
19I have been thrown in the dirt
and now am dirt myself.
20I beg God for help,
but there is no answer;
and when I stand up,
he simply stares.
21God has turned brutal,
22stirring up a windstorm
to toss me about.
23Soon he will send me home
to the world of the dead,
where we all must go.
24No one refuses help to others,
when disaster strikes. [l]
25I mourned for the poor
and those who suffered.
26But when I beg for relief
and light,
all I receive are disaster
and darkness.
27My stomach is tied in knots;
pain is my daily companion.
28Suffering has scorched my skin,
and in the city council
I stand and cry out,
29making mournful sounds
like jackals [m] and owls.
30My skin is so parched,
that it peels right off,
and my bones are burning.
31My only songs are sorrow
and sadness.

Job 28:6 gold: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 5,6.
Job 28:11 uncover the sources of: Two ancient translations; Hebrew "dam up."
Job 28:13 the way: Or "its worth."
Job 28:17 costly glass: In the ancient world, objects made of glass were costly.
Job 28:18 jasper: A valuable stone, usually green or clear.
Job 28:19 topaz: A valuable, yellow stone.
Job 28:19 Ethiopia: The Hebrew text has "Cush," which was a region south of Egypt that included parts of the present countries of Ethiopia and Sudan.
Job 30:3 hunger: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 3.
Job 30:11 God. . . do: Or "They have destroyed me, and so they don't care what else they do."
Job 30:12 trapped: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
Job 30:13 destroying. . . completely: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Job 30:24 strikes: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 24.
Job 30:29 jackals: Desert animals related to wolves, but smaller.

2 Corinthians 2:12-17 (Contemporary English Version)

12When I went to Troas to preach the good news about Christ, I found that the Lord had already prepared the way. 13But I was worried when I didn't find my friend Titus there. So I left the other followers and went on to Macedonia.

14I am grateful that God always makes it possible for Christ to lead us to victory. God also helps us spread the knowledge about Christ everywhere, and this knowledge is like the smell of perfume. 15-16In fact, God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone. For people who are being saved, this perfume has a sweet smell and leads them to a better life. But for people who are lost, it has a bad smell and leads them to a horrible death.

No one really has what it takes to do this work. 17A lot of people try to get rich from preaching God's message. But we are God's sincere messengers, and by the power of Christ we speak our message with God as our witness.

Psalm 42:1-11 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 42

(Psalms 42-72)
(A special psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader.)

Longing for God

1As a deer gets thirsty
for streams of water,
I truly am thirsty
for you, my God.
2In my heart, I am thirsty
for you, the living God.
When will I see your face?
3Day and night my tears
are my only food,
as everyone keeps asking,
"Where is your God?"
4Sorrow floods my heart,
when I remember
leading the worshipers
to your house. [a]
I can still hear them shout
their joyful praises.
5Why am I discouraged?
Why am I restless?
I trust you!
And I will praise you again
because you help me,
6and you are my God.
I am deeply discouraged
as I think about you
from where the Jordan begins
at Mount Hermon
and from Mount Mizar. [b]
7Your vicious waves
have swept over me
like an angry ocean
or a roaring waterfall.
8Every day, you are kind,
and at night
you give me a song
as my prayer to you,
the living LORD God.
9You are my mighty rock. [c]
Why have you forgotten me?
Why must enemies mistreat me
and make me sad?
10Even my bones are in pain,
while all day long
my enemies sneer and ask,
"Where is your God?"
11Why am I discouraged?
Why am I restless?
I trust you!
And I will praise you again
because you help me,
and you are my God.

Psalm 42:4 leading. . . house: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Psalm 42:6 Mount Mizar: The location is not known.
Psalm 42:9 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.

Proverbs 22:7 (Contemporary English Version)

7The poor are ruled by the rich,
and those who borrow
are slaves of moneylenders.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bible Readings for August 27, 2011

Today our passages are Job 23:1–27:23; 2 Corinthians 1:12–2:11; Psalm 41:1-13; and Proverbs 22:5-6. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


Job 23-27:23 (Contemporary English Version)

Job 23

Job's Reply to Eliphaz

Today I Complain Bitterly

1Job said:

2Today I complain bitterly,
because God has been cruel
and made me suffer.
3If I knew where to find God,
I would go there
4and argue my case.
5Then I would discover
what he wanted to say.
6Would he overwhelm me
with his greatness?
No! He would listen
7because I am innocent,
and he would say,
"I now set you free!"
8I cannot find God anywhere--
in front or back of me,
9to my left or my right.
God is always at work,
though I never see him.
10But he knows what I am doing,
and when he tests me,
I will be pure as gold.
11I have never refused to follow
any of his commands,
12and I have always treasured
his teachings. [a]
13But he alone is God,
and who can oppose him?
God does as he pleases,
14and he will do exactly
what he intends with me.
15Merely the thought
of God All-Powerful
16makes me tremble with fear.
17God has covered me
with darkness,
but I refuse to be silent. [b]

Job 24

Job Continues

Why Doesn't God Set a Time?

1Why doesn't God
set a time for court?
Why don't his people know
where he can be found?
2Sinners remove boundary markers
and take care of sheep
they have stolen.
3They cheat orphans and widows
by taking their donkeys
and oxen.
4The poor are trampled
and forced to hide
5in the desert,
where they and their children
must live like wild donkeys
and search for food.
6If they want grain or grapes, [c]
they must go to the property
of these sinners.
7They sleep naked in the cold,
because they have no cover,
8and during a storm
their only shelters are caves
among the rocky cliffs.
9Children whose fathers have died
are taken from their mothers
as payment for a debt.
10Then they are forced to work
naked in the grain fields
because they have no clothes,
and they go hungry.
11They crush olives to make oil
and grapes to make wine--
but still they go thirsty.
12And along the city streets,
the wounded and dying cry out,
yet God does nothing.

Some Reject the Light

13Some rebel and refuse
to follow the light.
14Soon after sunset they murder
the poor and the needy,
and at night they steal.
15Others wait for the dark,
thinking they won't be seen
if they sleep with the wife
or husband of someone else.
16Robbers hide during the day,
then break in after dark
because they reject the light.
17They prefer night to day,
since the terrors of the night
are their friends.

Sinners Are Filthy Foam

18Those sinners are filthy foam
on the surface of the water.
And so, their fields and vineyards
will fall under a curse
and won't produce.
19Just as the heat of summer
swallows the snow,
the world of the dead
swallows those who sin.
20Forgotten here on earth,
and with their power broken,
they taste sweet to worms.
21Sinners take advantage of widows
and other helpless women. [d]
22But God's mighty strength
destroys those in power.
Even if they seem successful,
they are doomed to fail.
23God may let them feel secure,
but they are never
out of his sight.
24Great for a while; gone forever!
Sinners are mowed down
like weeds,
then they wither and die.
25If I haven't spoken the truth,
then prove me wrong.

Job 25

Bildad's Third Speech

God Is the One To Fear

1Bildad from Shuah [e] said:

2God is the one to fear,
because God is in control
and rules the heavens.
3Who can count his army of stars?
Isn't God the source of light?
4How can anyone be innocent
in the sight of God?
5To him, not even the light
of the moon and stars
can ever be pure.
6So how can we humans,
when we are merely worms?

Job 26

Job's Reply to Bildad

You Have Really Been Helpful

1Job said:

2You have really been helpful
to someone weak and weary.
3You have given great advice
and wonderful wisdom
to someone truly in need.
4How can anyone possibly speak
with such understanding?
5Remember the terrible trembling
of those in the world of the dead
below the mighty ocean.
6Nothing in that land
of death and destruction
is hidden from God,
7who hung the northern sky
and suspended the earth
on empty space.
8God stores water in clouds,
but they don't burst,
9and he wraps them around
the face of the moon.
10On the surface of the ocean,
God has drawn a boundary line
between light and darkness.
11And columns supporting the sky
tremble at his command.
12By his power and wisdom,
God conquered the force
of the mighty ocean. [f]
13The heavens became bright
when he breathed,
and the escaping sea monster [g]
died at the hands of God.
14These things are merely a whisper
of God's power at work.
How little we would understand
if this whisper
ever turned into thunder!

Job 27

Job Continues

I Am Desperate

1Job said:

2I am desperate because
God All-Powerful
to do what is right.
As surely as God lives,
3and while he gives me breath,
4I will tell only the truth.
5Until the day I die,
I will refuse to do wrong
by saying you are right,
6because each day my conscience
agrees that I am innocent.
7I pray that my enemies
will suffer no less
than the wicked.
8Such people are hopeless,
and God All-Powerful
will cut them down,
9without listening
when they beg for mercy.
10And that is what God should do,
because they don't like him
or ever pray.
11Now I will explain in detail
what God All-Powerful does.
12All of you have seen these things
for yourselves.
So you have no excuse.

How God Treats the Wicked

13Here is how God All-Powerful
treats those who are wicked
and brutal.
14They may have many children,
but most of them
will go hungry
or suffer a violent death.
15Others will die of disease,
and their widows
won't be able to weep.
16The wicked may collect riches
and clothes in abundance
as easily as clay.
17But God's people will wear
clothes taken from them
and divide up their riches.
18No homes built by the wicked
will outlast a cocoon
or a shack.
19Those sinners may go to bed rich,
but they will wake up poor. [h]
20Terror will strike at night
like a flood or a storm.
21Then a scorching wind
will sweep them away
22without showing mercy,
as they try to escape.
23At last, the wind will celebrate
because they are gone.

Job 23:12 treasured his teachings: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Job 23:17 silent: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 17.
Job 24:6 If they want grain or grapes: Poor people were allowed to gather what was left in the fields and vineyards after the harvest.
Job 24:21 women: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 21.
Job 25:1 Shuah: See the note at 2.11.
Job 26:12 the force of the mighty ocean: The Hebrew text has "the ocean. . . Rahab." In this passage the sea monster Rahab stands for the fearsome power of the ocean (see the notes at 3.8 and 9.13).
Job 26:13 sea monster: The Hebrew text has "snake," which probably stands for some kind of fearsome sea monster, such as Leviathan (see Isaiah 27.1).
Job 27:19 poor: Or "dead."

2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11 (Contemporary English Version)

Paul's Change of Plans

12We can be proud of our clear conscience. We have always lived honestly and sincerely, especially when we were with you. And we were guided by God's wonderful kindness instead of by the wisdom of this world. 13I am not writing anything you cannot read and understand. I hope you will understand it completely, 14just as you already partly understand us. Then when our Lord Jesus returns, you can be as proud of us as we are of you.

15I was so sure of your pride in us that I had planned to visit you first of all. In this way you would have the blessing of two visits from me. 16Once on my way to Macedonia and again on my return from there. Then you could send me on to Judea. 17Do you think I couldn't make up my mind about what to do? Or do I seem like someone who says "Yes" or "No" simply to please others? 18God can be trusted, and so can I, when I say that our answer to you has always been "Yes" and never "No." 19This is because Jesus Christ the Son of God is always "Yes" and never "No." And he is the one that Silas, a] Timothy, and I told you about. 20Christ says "Yes" to all of God's promises. That's why we have Christ to say "Amen" b] for us to the glory of God. 21And so God makes it possible for you and us to stand firmly together with Christ. God is also the one who chose us 22and put his Spirit in our hearts to show that we belong only to him. 23God is my witness that I stayed away from Corinth, just to keep from being hard on you. 24We are not bosses who tell you what to believe. We are working with you to make you glad, because your faith is strong.

2 Corinthians 2

1I have decided not to make my next visit with you so painful. 2If I make you feel bad, who would be left to cheer me up, except the people I had made to feel bad? 3The reason I want to be happy is to make you happy. I wrote as I did because I didn't want to visit you and be made to feel bad, when you should make me feel happy. 4At the time I wrote, I was suffering terribly. My eyes were full of tears, and my heart was broken. But I didn't want to make you feel bad. I only wanted to let you know how much I cared for you.


5I don't want to be hard on you. But if one of you has made someone feel bad, I am not really the one who has been made to feel bad. Some of you are the ones. 6Most of you have already pointed out the wrong that person did, and that is punishment enough for what was done.
7When people sin, you should forgive and comfort them, so they won't give up in despair. 8You should make them sure of your love for them.

9I also wrote because I wanted to test you and find out if you would follow my instructions. 10I will forgive anyone you forgive. Yes, for your sake and with Christ as my witness, I have forgiven whatever needed to be forgiven. 11I have done this to keep Satan from getting the better of us. We all know what goes on in his mind.

2 Corinthians 1:19 Silas: The Greek text has "Silvanus," which is another form of the name Silas.
2 Corinthians 1:20 Amen: The word "amen" is used here with the meaning of "yes."

Psalm 41:1-13 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 41
(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

A Prayer in Time of Sickness

1You, LORD God, bless everyone
who cares for the poor,
and you rescue those people
in times of trouble.
2You protect them
and keep them alive.
You make them happy here
in this land,
and you don't hand them over
to their enemies.
3You always heal them
and restore their strength
when they are sick.
4I prayed, "Have pity, LORD!
Heal me,
though I have sinned
against you."
5My vicious enemies ask me,
"When will you die
and be forgotten?"
6When visitors come,
all they ever bring
are worthless words,
and when they leave,
they spread gossip.
7My enemies whisper about me.
They think the worst,
8and they say,
"You have some fatal disease!
You'll never get well."
9My most trusted friend
has turned against me,
though he ate at my table.
10Have pity, LORD! Heal me,
so I can pay them back.
11Then my enemies
won't defeat me,
and I will know
that you really care.
12You have helped me
because I am innocent,
and you will always
be close to my side.
13You, the LORD God of Israel,
will be praised forever!
Amen and amen.

Proverbs 22:5-6 (Contemporary English Version)

5Crooks walk down a road
full of thorny traps.
Stay away from there!

6Teach your children
right from wrong,
and when they are grown
they will still do right.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bible Readings for August 26, 2011

Today our passages are Job 20:1–22:30; 2 Corinthians 1:1-11; Psalm 40:11-17; and Proverbs 22:2-4. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


Job 20-22:30 (Contemporary English Version)

Job 20

Zophar's Second Speech

Your Words Are Disturbing

1Zophar from Naamah a] said:

2Your words are disturbing;
now I must speak.
3You have accused
and insulted me,
and reason requires a reply.
4Since the time of creation,
everyone has known
5that sinful people are happy
for only a while.
6Though their pride and power
may reach to the sky,
7they will disappear like dust,
and those who knew them
will wonder what happened.
8They will be forgotten
like a dream
9and vanish from the sight
of family and friends.
10Their children will have to repay
what the parents took
from the poor.
11Indeed, the wicked will die
and go to their graves
in the prime of life.

Sinners Love the Taste of Sin

12Sinners love the taste of sin;
they relish every bite
13and swallow it slowly.
14But their food will turn sour
and poison their stomachs.
15Then God will make them lose
the wealth they gobbled down.
16They will die from the fangs
of poisonous snakes
17and never enjoy rivers flowing
with milk and honey.
18Their hard work will result
in nothing gained,
19because they cheated the poor
and took their homes.
20Greedy people want everything
and are never satisfied. [b]
21But when nothing remains
for them to grab,
they will be nothing.
22Once they have everything,
distress and despair
will strike them down,
23and God will make them swallow
his blazing anger. [c]
24While running from iron spears,
they will be killed
by arrows of bronze,
25whose shining tips go straight
through their bodies.
They will be trapped by terror,
26and what they treasure most
will be lost in the dark.
God will send flames
to destroy them in their tents
with all their property.
27The heavens and the earth
will testify against them,
28and all their possessions
will be dragged off
when God becomes angry.
29This is what God has decided
for those who are evil.

Job 21

Job's Reply to Zophar

If You Want To Offer Comfort

1Job said:

2If you want to offer comfort,
then listen to me.
3And when I have finished,
you can start your insults
all over again.
4My complaint is against God;
that's why I am impatient.
5Just looking at me is enough
to make you sick,
6and the very thought of myself
fills me with disgust.
7Why do evil people live so long
and gain such power?
8Why are they allowed to see
their children grow up? [d]
9They have no worries at home,
and God never punishes them.
10Their cattle have lots of calves
without ever losing one;
11their children play and dance
safely by themselves.
12These people sing and celebrate
to the sound of tambourines,
small harps, and flutes,
13and they are successful,
without a worry,
until the day they die.

Leave Us Alone!

14Those who are evil say
to God All-Powerful,
"Leave us alone! Don't bother us
with your teachings.
15What do we gain from praying
and worshiping you?
16We succeeded all on our own."
And so, I keep away from them
and their evil schemes.
17How often does God become angry
and send disaster and darkness
to punish sinners?
18How often does he strike them
like a windstorm
that scatters straw?
19You say, "God will punish
those sinners' children
in place of those sinners."
But I say, "Let him punish
those sinners themselves
until they really feel it.
20Let God All-Powerful force them
to drink
their own destruction
from the cup of his anger.
21Because after they are dead,
they won't care what happens
to their children."

Who Can Tell God What To Do?

22Who can tell God what to do?
He judges powerful rulers.
23Some of us die prosperous,
24enjoying good health,
25while others die in poverty,
having known only pain.
26But we all end up dead,
beneath a blanket of worms.
27My friends, I know that you
are plotting against me.
28You ask, "Where is the home
of that important person
who does so much evil?"
29Everyone, near and far, agrees
30that those who do wrong
never suffer disaster,
when God becomes angry.
31No one points out their sin
or punishes them.
32Then at their funerals,
they are highly praised;
33the earth welcomes them home,
while crowds mourn.
34But empty, meaningless words
are the comfort you offer me.

Job 22

Eliphaz's Third Speech

What Use Are We Humans to God?

1Eliphaz from Teman [e] said:

2What use are we humans
to God,
even the wisest of us?
3If you were completely sinless,
that would still mean nothing
to God All-Powerful.
4Is he correcting you
for worshiping him?
5No! It's because
of your terrible sins.
6To guarantee payment of a debt,
you have taken clothes
from the poor.
7And you refused bread and water
to the hungry and thirsty,
8although you were rich,
respected, and powerful.
9You have turned away widows
and have broken the arms
of orphans.
10That's why you were suddenly
trapped by terror,
11blinded by darkness,
and drowned in a flood.

God Lives in the Heavens

12God lives in the heavens
above the highest stars,
where he sees everything.
13Do you think the deep darkness
hides you from God?
14Do thick clouds cover his eyes,
as he walks around heaven's dome
high above the earth?
15Give up those ancient ideas
believed by sinners,
16who were swept away
without warning.
17They rejected God All-Powerful,
feeling he was helpless,
18although he had been kind
to their families.
The beliefs of these sinners
are truly disgusting.
19When God's people see
the godless swept away,
they celebrate, 20saying,
"Our enemies are gone,
and fire has destroyed
their possessions."

Surrender to God All-Powerful

21Surrender to God All-Powerful!
You will find peace
and prosperity.
22Listen to his teachings
and take them to heart.
23If you return to God
and turn from sin,
all will go well for you.
24So get rid of your finest gold,
as though it were sand.
25Let God All-Powerful
be your silver and gold,
26and you will find happiness
by worshiping him.
27God will answer your prayers,
and you will keep the promises
you made to him.
28He will do whatever you ask,
and life will be bright.
29When others are disgraced,
God will clear their names
in answer to your prayers.
30Even those who are guilty
will be forgiven,
because you obey God. [f]

Job 20:1 Naamah: See the note at 2.11.
Job 20:20 are never satisfied: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Job 20:23 anger: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 23.
Job 21:8 up: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 8.
Job 22:1 Teman: See the note at 2.11.
Job 22:30 God: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 29,30.

2 Corinthians 1:1-11 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Corinthians 1

1From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, and from Timothy, who is also a follower.
To God's church in Corinth and to all of God's people in Achaia.

2I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!

Paul Gives Thanks

3Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort. 4He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with others in trouble. 5We share in the terrible sufferings of Christ, but also in the wonderful comfort he gives. 6We suffer in the hope that you will be comforted and saved. And because we are comforted, you will also be comforted, as you patiently endure suffering like ours. 7You never disappoint us. You suffered as much as we did, and we know that you will be comforted as we were.

8My friends, I want you to know what a hard time we had in Asia. Our sufferings were so horrible and so unbearable that death seemed certain. 9In fact, we felt sure that we were going to die. But this made us stop trusting in ourselves and start trusting God, who raises the dead to life. 10God saved us from the threat of death, a] and we are sure that he will do it again and again. 11Please help us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks for the blessings we receive in answer to all these prayers.

2 Corinthians 1:10 the threat of death: Some manuscripts have "many threats of death."

Psalm 40:11-17 (Contemporary English Version)

11You, LORD, never fail
to have pity on me;
your love and faithfulness
always keep me secure.
12I have more troubles
than I can count.
My sins are all around me,
and I can't find my way.
My sins outnumber
the hairs on my head,
and I feel weak.
13Please show that you care
and come to my rescue.
Hurry and help me!
14Disappoint and confuse
all who want me dead;
turn away and disgrace
all who want to hurt me.
15Embarrass and shame
all of those who say,
"Just look at you now!"
16Our LORD, let your worshipers
rejoice and be glad.
They love you for saving them,
so let them always say,
"The LORD is wonderful!"
17I am poor and needy,
but, LORD God,
you care about me,
and you come to my rescue.
Please hurry and help.

Proverbs 22:2-4 (Contemporary English Version)

2The rich and the poor
are all created
by the LORD.

3When you see trouble coming,
don't be stupid
and walk right into it--
be smart and hide.

4Respect and serve the LORD!
Your reward will be wealth,
a long life, and honor.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bible Readings for August 25, 2011

Today our passages are Job 16:1–19:29; 1 Corinthians 16:1-24; Psalm 40:1-10; and Proverbs 22:1. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


Job 16-19:29 (Contemporary English Version)

Job 16

Job's Reply to Eliphaz

I Have Often Heard This

1Job said:

2I have often heard this,
and it offers no comfort.
3So why don't you keep quiet?
What's bothering you?
4If I were in your place,
it would be easy to criticize
or to give advice.
5But I would offer hope
and comfort instead.
6If I speak, or if I don't,
I hurt all the same.
My torment continues.
7God has worn me down
and destroyed my family;
8my shriveled up skin proves
that I am his prisoner.
9God is my hateful enemy,
glaring at me
and attacking
with his sharp teeth.
10Everyone is against me;
they sneer and slap my face.
11And God is the one
who handed me over
to this merciless mob.

Everything Was Going Well

12Everything was going well,
until God grabbed my neck
and shook me to pieces.
God set me up as the target
13for his arrows,
and without showing mercy,
he slashed my stomach open,
spilling out my insides.
14God never stops attacking,
15and so, in my sorrow
I dress in sackcloth [a] and sit in the dust.
16My face is red with tears,
and dark shadows
circle my eyes,
17though I am not violent,
and my prayers are sincere.
18If I should die,
I beg the earth
not to cover
my cry for justice.
19Even now, God in heaven
is both my witness
and my protector.
20My friends have rejected me,
but God is the one I beg [b]
21to show that I am right,
just as a friend should.
22Because in only a few years,
I will be dead and gone.

Job 17

Job Complains to God

My Hopes Have Died

1My hopes have died,
my time is up,
and the grave is ready.
2All I can see are angry crowds,
making fun of me.
3If you, LORD, don't help,
who will pay the price
for my release?
4My friends won't really listen,
all because of you,
and so you must be the one
to prove them wrong.
5They have condemned me,
just to benefit themselves;
now blind their children.
6You, God, are the reason
I am insulted and spit on.
7I am almost blind with grief;
my body is a mere shadow.
8People who are truly good
would feel so alarmed,
that they would become angry
at my worthless friends.
9They would do the right thing
and because they did,
they would grow stronger. [c]
10But none of my friends
show any sense.
11My life is drawing to an end;
hope has disappeared.
12But all my friends can do
is offer empty hopes. [d]
13I could tell the world below
to prepare me a bed.
14Then I could greet the grave
as my father
and say to the worms,
"Hello, mother and sisters!"
15But what kind of hope is that?
16Will it keep me company
in the world of the dead?

Job 18

Bildad's Second Speech

How Long Will You Talk?

1Bildad from Shuah [e] said:

2How long will you talk?
Be sensible! Let us speak.
3Or do you think that we
are dumb animals?
4You cut yourself in anger.
Will that shake the earth
or even move the rocks?
5The lamps of sinful people
soon are snuffed out,
6leaving their tents dark.
7Their powerful legs become weak,
and they stumble on schemes
of their own doing.
8Before they know it,
9they are trapped
in a net,
10hidden along the path.
11Terror strikes and pursues
from every side.
12Starving, they run,
only to meet disaster,
13then afterwards to be eaten alive
by death itself.
14Those sinners are dragged
from the safety of their tents
to die a gruesome death.
15Then their tents and possessions
are burned to ashes,
16and they are left like trees,
dried up from the roots.
17They are gone and forgotten,
18thrown far from the light
into a world of darkness,
19without any children
to carry on their name.
20Everyone, from east to west,
is overwhelmed with horror.
21Such is the fate of sinners
and their families
who don't know God.

Job 19

Job's Reply to Bildad

How Long Will You Torture Me?

1Job said:

2How long will you torture me
with your words?
3Isn't ten times enough
for you to accuse me?
Aren't you ashamed?
4Even if I have sinned,
you haven't been harmed.
5You boast of your goodness,
claiming I am suffering
because I am guilty.
6But God is the one at fault
for finding fault with me.
7Though I pray to be rescued
from this torment,
no whisper of justice
answers me.
8God has me trapped
with a wall of darkness
9and stripped of respect.
10God rips me apart,
uproots my hopes,
11and attacks with fierce anger,
as though I were his enemy.
12His entire army advances,
then surrounds my tent.

I Am Forgotten

13God has turned relatives
and friends against me,
14and I am forgotten.
15My guests and my servants
consider me a stranger,
16and when I call my servants,
they pay no attention.
17My breath disgusts my wife;
everyone in my family
turns away.
18Young children can't stand me,
and when I come near,
they make fun.
19My best friends and loved ones
have turned from me.
20I am skin and bones--
just barely alive.
21My friends, I beg you for pity!
God has made me his target.
22Hasn't he already done enough?
Why do you join the attack?
23I wish that my words
could be written down
24or chiseled into rock.
25I know that my Savior [f]
lives, and at the end
he will stand on this earth.
26My flesh may be destroyed,
yet from this body
I will see God. [g]
27Yes, I will see him for myself,
and I long for that moment.
28My friends, you think up ways
to blame and torment me,
I brought it on myself.
29But watch out for the judgment,
when God will punish you!

Job 16:15 sackcloth: A rough, dark-colored cloth made from goat hair and used to make grain sacks. It was worn in times of trouble or sorrow.
Job 16:20 My friends. . . beg: Or "God is my friend, and he is the one I beg."
Job 17:9 stronger: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 8,9.
Job 17:12 hopes: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
Job 18:1 Shuah: See the note at 2.11.
Job 19:25 Savior: Or "Defender."
Job 19:26 God: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 25,26.

1 Corinthians 16:1-24 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Corinthians 16

A Collection for God's People

1When you collect money for God's people, I want you to do exactly what I told the churches in Galatia to do. 2That is, each Sunday each of you must put aside part of what you have earned. If you do this, you won't have to take up a collection when I come. 3Choose some followers to take the money to Jerusalem. I will send them on with the money and with letters which show that you approve of them. 4If you think I should go along, they can go with me.

Paul's Travel Plans

5After I have gone through Macedonia, I hope to see you 6and visit with you for a while. I may even stay all winter, so that you can help me on my way to wherever I will be going next. 7If the Lord lets me, I would rather come later for a longer visit than to stop off now for only a short visit. 8I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9because there is a wonderful opportunity for me to do some work here. But there are also many people who are against me.

10When Timothy arrives, give him a friendly welcome. He is doing the Lord's work, just as I am. 11Don't let anyone mistreat him. I am looking for him to return to me together with the other followers. So when he leaves, send him off with your blessings.

12I have tried hard to get our friend Apollos to visit you with the other followers. He doesn't want to come just now, but he will come when he can.

Personal Concerns and Greetings

13Keep alert. Be firm in your faith. Stay brave and strong. 14Show love in everything you do.

15You know that Stephanas and his family were the first in Achaia to have faith in the Lord. They have done all they can for God's people. My friends, I ask you 16to obey leaders like them and to do the same for all others who work hard with you.

17I was glad to see Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus. Having them here was like having you. 18They made me feel much better, just as they made you feel better. You should appreciate people like them.

19Greetings from the churches in Asia.

Aquila and Priscilla, together with the church that meets in their house, send greetings in the name of the Lord.

20All of the Lord's followers send their greetings.

Give each other a warm greeting.

21I am signing this letter myself: PAUL.

22I pray that God will put a curse on everyone who doesn't love the Lord. And may the Lord come soon.

23I pray that the Lord Jesus will be kind to you.

24I love everyone who belongs to Christ Jesus.

Psalm 40:1-10 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 40
(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

A Prayer for Help

1I patiently waited, LORD,
for you to hear my prayer.
You listened 2and pulled me
from a lonely pit
full of mud and mire.
You let me stand on a rock
with my feet firm,
3and you gave me a new song,
a song of praise to you.
Many will see this,
and they will honor
and trust
you, the LORD God.
4You bless all of those
who trust you, LORD,
and refuse to worship idols
or follow false gods.
5You, LORD God, have done
many wonderful things,
and you have planned
marvelous things for us.
No one is like you!
I would never be able to tell
all you have done.
6Sacrifices and offerings
are not what please you;
gifts and payment for sin
are not what you demand.
But you made me willing
to listen and obey.
7And so, I said, "I am here
to do what is written
about me in the book,
where it says,
8'I enjoy pleasing you.
Your Law is in my heart.' "
9When your people worshiped,
you know I told them,
"Our LORD always helps!"
10When all your people met,
I did not keep silent.
I said, "Our LORD is kind.
He is faithful and caring,
and he saves us."

Proverbs 22:1 (Contemporary English Version)

Proverbs 22

The Value of a Good Reputation

1A good reputation and respect
are worth much more
than silver and gold.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bible Readings for August 24, 2011

Today our passages are Job 12:1–15:35; 1 Corinthians 15:29-58; Psalm 39:1-13; and Proverbs 21:30-31. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


Job 12-15:35 (Contemporary English Version)

Job 12

Job's Reply to Zophar

You Think You Are So Great

1Job said to his friends:
2You think you are so great,
with all the answers.
3But I know as much as you do,
and so does everyone else.
4I have always lived right,
and God answered my prayers;
now friends make fun of me.
5It's easy to condemn
those who are suffering,
when you have no troubles.
6Robbers and other godless people
live safely at home
and say,
"God is in our hands!" [a]
If You Want To Learn
7If you want to learn,
then go and ask
the wild animals and the birds,
8the flowers and the fish.
9Any of them can tell you
what the LORD has done. [b] 10Every living creature
is in the hands of God.
11We hear with our ears,
taste with our tongues,
12and gain some wisdom from those
who have lived a long time.
13But God is the real source
of wisdom and strength.
14No one can rebuild
what he destroys,
or release
those he has imprisoned.
15God can hold back the rain
or send a flood,
16just as he rules over liars
and those they lie to.
17God destroys counselors,
turns judges into fools,
18and makes slaves of kings.
19God removes priests and others
who have great power--
20he confuses wise,
experienced advisors,
21puts mighty kings to shame,
and takes away their power.
22God turns darkness to light;
23he makes nations strong,
then shatters their strength.
24God strikes their rulers senseless,
then leaves them to roam
through barren deserts,
25lost in the dark, staggering
like someone drunk.

Job 13

Job Continues

I Know and Understand
1I know and understand
every bit of this.
2None of you are smarter
than I am;
there's nothing you know
that I don't.
3But I prefer to argue my case
with God All-Powerful--
4you are merely useless doctors,
who treat me with lies.
5The wisest thing you can do
is to keep quiet
6and listen
to my argument.
7Are you telling lies for God
8and not telling the whole truth
when you argue his case?
9If he took you to court,
could you fool him,
just as you fool others?
10If you were secretly unfair,
he would correct you,
11and his glorious splendor
would make you terrified.
12Your wisdom and arguments
are as delicate as dust. 1I told myself, "I'll be careful
not to sin by what I say,
and I'll muzzle my mouth
when evil people are near."
2I kept completely silent,
but it did no good, a] and I hurt even worse.
3I felt a fire burning inside,
and the more I thought,
the more it burned,
until at last I said:
4"Please, LORD,
show me my future.
Will I soon be gone?
5You made my life short,
so brief that the time
means nothing to you.
"Human life is but a breath,
6and it disappears
like a shadow.
Our struggles are senseless;
we store up more and more,
without ever knowing
who will get it all.
7"What am I waiting for?
I depend on you, Lord!
8Save me from my sins.
Don't let fools sneer at me.
9You treated me like this,
and I kept silent,
not saying a word.
10"Won't you stop punishing me?
You have worn me down.
11You punish us severely
because of our sins.
Like a moth, you destroy
what we treasure most.
We are as frail as a breath.
12"Listen, LORD, to my prayer!
My eyes are flooded with tears,
as I pray to you.
I am merely a stranger
visiting in your home
as my ancestors did.
13Stop being angry with me
and let me smile again
before I am dead and gone."

Be Quiet While I Speak

13Be quiet while I speak,
then say what you will.
14I will be responsible
for what happens to me.
15God may kill me, but still
I will trust him [c] and offer my defense.
16This may be what saves me,
because no guilty person
would come to his court.
17Listen carefully to my words!
18I have prepared my case well,
and I am certain to win.
19If you can prove me guilty,
I will give up and die.

Job Prays

I Ask Only Two Things

20I ask only two things
of you, my God,
and I will no longer
hide from you--
21stop punishing
and terrifying me!
22Then speak, and I will reply;
or else let me speak,
and you reply.
23Please point out my sins,
so I will know them.
24Why have you turned your back
and count me your enemy?
25Do you really enjoy
frightening a fallen leaf?
26Why do you accuse me
of horrible crimes
and make me pay for sins
I did in my youth?
27You have tied my feet down
and keep me surrounded;
28I am rotting away like cloth
eaten by worms.

Job 14

Job Continues his Prayer

Life Is Short and Sorrowful

1Life is short and sorrowful
for every living soul.
2We are flowers that fade
and shadows that vanish.
3And so, I ask you, God,
why pick on me?
4There's no way a human
can be completely pure.
5Our time on earth is brief;
the number of our days
is already decided by you.
6Why don't you leave us alone
and let us find some happiness
while we toil and labor?

When a Tree Is Chopped Down

7When a tree is chopped down,
there is always the hope
that it will sprout again.
8Its roots and stump may rot,
9but at the touch of water,
fresh twigs shoot up.
10Humans are different--
we die, and that's the end.
11We are like streams and lakes
after the water has gone;
12we fall into the sleep of death,
never to rise again,
until the sky disappears.
13Please hide me, God,
deep in the ground--
and when you are angry no more,
remember to rescue me.

Will We Humans Live Again?

14Will we humans live again?
I would gladly suffer
and wait for my time.
15My Creator, you would want me;
you would call out,
and I would answer.
16You would take care of me,
but not count my sins--
17you would put them in a bag,
tie it tight,
and toss them away.
18But in the real world,
mountains tumble,
and rocks crumble;
19streams wear away stones
and wash away soil.
And you destroy our hopes!
20You change the way we look,
then send us away,
wiped out forever.
21We never live to know
if our children are praised
or disgraced.
22We feel no pain but our own,
and when we mourn,
it's only for ourselves.

Job 15

Eliphaz's Second Speech

If You Had Any Sense

1Eliphaz from Teman [d] said:
2Job, if you had any sense,
3you would stop spreading
all of this hot air.
4Your words are enough
to make others turn from God
and lead them to doubt.
5And your sinful, scheming mind
is the source of all you say.
6I am not here as your judge;
your own words are witnesses
against you.
7Were you the first human?
Are you older than the hills?
8Have you ever been present
when God's council [e] meets? Do you alone have wisdom?
9Do you know and understand
something we don't?
10We have the benefit of wisdom
older than your father.
11And you have been offered
comforting words from God.
Isn't this enough?
12Your emotions are out of control,
making you look fierce;
13that's why you attack God
with everything you say.
14No human is pure and innocent,
15and neither are angels--
not in the sight of God.
If God doesn't trust his angels,
16what chance do humans have?
We are so terribly evil
that we thirst for sin.

Just Listen to What I Know

17Just listen to what I know,
and you will learn
18wisdom known by others
since ancient times.
19Those who gained such insights
also gained the land,
and they were not influenced
by foreign teachings.
20But suffering is in store
each day for those who sin.
21Even in times of success,
they constantly hear
the threat of doom.
22Darkness, despair, and death
are their destiny.
23They scrounge around for food,
all the while dreading
the approaching darkness.
24They are overcome with despair,
like a terrified king
about to go into battle.
25This is because they rebelled
against God All-Powerful
26and have attacked him
with their weapons.
27They may be rich and fat,
28but they will live in the ruins
of deserted towns.
29Their property and wealth
will shrink and disappear.
30They won't escape the darkness,
and the blazing breath of God
will set their future aflame.
31They have put their trust
in something worthless;
now they will become worthless
32like a date palm tree
without a leaf. [f]
33Or like vineyards or orchards
whose blossoms and unripe fruit
drop to the ground.
34Yes, the godless and the greedy
will have nothing but flames
feasting on their homes,
35because they are the parents
of trouble and vicious lies.

Job 12:6 God is in our hands: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Job 12:9 Any. . . done: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Job 13:15 God. . . trust him: Or "God will surely kill me; I have lost all hope."
Job 15:1 Teman: See the note at 2.11.
Job 15:8 God's council: The angels and others who gather to discuss matters with God (see 1.6; 2.1).
Job 15:32 leaf: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of Verse 32.

1 Corinthians 15:29-58 (Contemporary English Version)

29If the dead are not going to be raised to life, what will people do who are being baptized for them? Why are they being baptized for those dead people? 30And why do we always risk our lives 31and face death every day? The pride that I have in you because of Christ Jesus our Lord is what makes me say this. 32What do you think I gained by fighting wild animals in Ephesus? If the dead are not raised to life,

"Let's eat and drink.
Tomorrow we die."

33Don't fool yourselves. Bad friends will destroy you. 34Be sensible and stop sinning. You should be embarrassed that some people still don't know about God.

What Our Bodies Will Be Like

35Some of you have asked, "How will the dead be raised to life? What kind of bodies will they have?" 36Don't be foolish. A seed must die before it can sprout from the ground. 37Wheat seeds and all other seeds look different from the sprouts that come up. 38This is because God gives everything the kind of body he wants it to have. 39People, animals, birds, and fish are each made of flesh, but none of them are alike. 40Everything in the heavens has a body, and so does everything on earth. But each one is very different from all the others. 41The sun isn't like the moon, the moon isn't like the stars, and each star is different.

42That's how it will be when our bodies are raised to life. These bodies will die, but the bodies that are raised will live forever. 43These ugly and weak bodies will become beautiful and strong. 44As surely as there are physical bodies, there are spiritual bodies. And our physical bodies will be changed into spiritual bodies.

45The first man was named Adam, and the Scriptures tell us that he was a living person. But Jesus, who may be called the last Adam, is a life-giving spirit. 46We see that the one with a spiritual body did not come first. He came after the one who had a physical body. 47The first man was made from the dust of the earth, but the second man came from heaven. 48Everyone on earth has a body like the body of the one who was made from the dust of the earth. And everyone in heaven has a body like the body of the one who came from heaven. 49Just as we are like the one who was made out of earth, we will be like the one who came from heaven.

50My friends, I want you to know that our bodies of flesh and blood will decay. This means that they cannot share in God's kingdom, which lasts forever. 51I will explain a mystery to you. Not every one of us will die, but we will all be changed. 52It will happen suddenly, quicker than the blink of an eye. At the sound of the last trumpet the dead will be raised. We will all be changed, so that we will never die again. 53Our dead and decaying bodies will be changed into bodies that won't die or decay. 54The bodies we now have are weak and can die. But they will be changed into bodies that are eternal. Then the Scriptures will come true,

"Death has lost the battle!
55Where is its victory?
Where is its sting?"

56Sin is what gives death its sting, and the Law is the power behind sin. 57But thank God for letting our Lord Jesus Christ give us the victory!

58My dear friends, stand firm and don't be shaken. Always keep busy working for the Lord. You know that everything you do for him is worthwhile.

Psalm 39:1-13 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 39
(A psalm by David for Jeduthun, the music leader.)

A Prayer for Forgiveness

1I told myself, "I'll be careful
not to sin by what I say,
and I'll muzzle my mouth
when evil people are near."

2I kept completely silent,
but it did no good, a]
and I hurt even worse.

3I felt a fire burning inside,
and the more I thought,
the more it burned,
until at last I said:

4"Please, LORD,
show me my future.

Will I soon be gone?

5You made my life short,
so brief that the time
means nothing to you.

"Human life is but a breath,
6and it disappears
like a shadow.

Our struggles are senseless;
we store up more and more,
without ever knowing
who will get it all.

7"What am I waiting for?
I depend on you, Lord!

8Save me from my sins.

Don't let fools sneer at me.

9You treated me like this,
and I kept silent,
not saying a word.

10"Won't you stop punishing me?

You have worn me down.

11You punish us severely
because of our sins.

Like a moth, you destroy
what we treasure most.

We are as frail as a breath.

12"Listen, LORD, to my prayer!

My eyes are flooded with tears,
as I pray to you.

I am merely a stranger
visiting in your home
as my ancestors did.

13Stop being angry with me
and let me smile again
before I am dead and gone."

Psalm 39:2 but. . . good: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Proverbs 21:30-31 (Contemporary English Version)

30No matter how much you know
or what plans you make,
you can't defeat the LORD.

31Even if your army has horses
ready for battle,
the LORD will always win.