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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Monday, August 31, 2015

Bible Readings for August 31

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 VersionIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal. 

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.
  1. Job 37:4 commands: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 4.
  2. Job 38:36 way: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 36.
  3. Job 39:18 starts running: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 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!"

Verse of the Day

“Bow down and worship the LORD our Creator! The LORD is our God, and we are his people, the sheep he takes care of in his own pasture. Listen to God's voice today!” - Psalm 95:6-7
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.pngThought for the Day

American politician, diplomat, and activist, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.”

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bible Readings for August 30, 2015

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 VersionIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal. 

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]
  1. Job 34:30 people: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 29,30.
  2. Job 35:2 are. . . God: Or "is it right for you to accuse God?"
  3. 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.
  4. Job 36:20 below: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 18-20.
  5. 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.
  1. 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.

Verse of the Day

“You Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens with everyone else who belongs to the family of God.” - Ephesians 2:19
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Frans Hals - Portret van René Descartes.jpgThought for the Day

French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist who spent most of his life in the Dutch Republic, René Descartes wrote, “It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.”  

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bible Readings for August 29, 2015

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 VersionIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal. 

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.
  1. Job 31:12 flames: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
  2. Job 31:18 widows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 18.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Job 31:39 pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 39.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. Job 33:4 the Spirit of God All-Powerful: Or "God All-Powerful."
  9. 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.
  1. 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.

Verse of the Day

“Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman.” - Galatians 3:28
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

King of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty, Alexander the Great wrote, “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”