January 10, Job 24-28

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24 Why does the Almighty not reserve times for judgment?
Why do those who know him never see his days?
The wicked displace boundary markers.
They steal a flock and provide pasture for it.
They drive away the donkeys owned by the fatherless
and take the widow’s ox as collateral.
They push the needy off the road;
the poor of the land are forced into hiding.
Like wild donkeys in the wilderness,
the poor go out to their task of foraging for food;
the desert provides nourishment for their children.
They gather their fodder in the field
and glean the vineyards of the wicked.
Without clothing, they spend the night naked,
having no covering against the cold.
Drenched by mountain rains,
they huddle against[a] the rocks, shelterless.
The fatherless infant is snatched from the breast;
the nursing child of the poor is seized as collateral.[b]
10 Without clothing, they wander about naked.
They carry sheaves but go hungry.
11 They crush olives in their presses;[c]
they tread the winepresses, but go thirsty.
12 From the city, men[d] groan;
the mortally wounded cry for help,
yet God pays no attention to this crime.13 The wicked are those who rebel against the light.
They do not recognize its ways
or stay on its paths.
14 The murderer rises at dawn
to kill the poor and needy,
and by night he becomes a thief.
15 The adulterer’s eye watches for twilight,
thinking, “No eye will see me,”
and he covers his face.
16 In the dark they break[e] into houses;
by day they lock themselves in,[f]
never experiencing the light.
17 For the morning is like darkness to them.
Surely they are familiar with the terrors of darkness!18 They float[g] on the surface of the water.
Their section of the land is cursed,
so that they never go to their vineyards.
19 As dry ground and heat snatch away the melted snow,
so Sheol steals those who have sinned.
20 The womb forgets them;
worms feed on them;
they are remembered no more.
So injustice is broken like a tree.
21 They prey on[h] the childless woman who is unable to conceive,
and do not deal kindly with the widow.
22 Yet God drags away[i] the mighty by his power;
when he rises up, they have no assurance of life.
23 He gives them a sense of security, so they can rely on it,
but his eyes watch over their ways.
24 They are exalted for a moment, then gone;
they are brought low and shrivel up like everything else.[j]
They wither like heads of grain.25 If this is not true, then who can prove me a liar
and show that my speech is worthless?

Bildad Speaks

25 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:Dominion and dread belong to him,
the one who establishes harmony in his heights.
Can his troops be numbered?
Does his light not shine on everyone?
How can a human be justified before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?
If even the moon does not shine
and the stars are not pure in his sight,
how much less a human, who is a maggot,
a son of man,[k] who is a worm!

Job’s Reply to Bildad

26 Then Job answered:How you have helped the powerless
and delivered the arm that is weak!
How you have counseled the unwise
and abundantly provided insight!
With whom did you speak these words?
Whose breath came out of your mouth?The departed spirits tremble
beneath the waters and all that inhabit them.
Sheol is naked before God,
and Abaddon has no covering.He stretches the northern skies over empty space;
he hangs the earth on nothing.
He wraps up the water in his clouds,
yet the clouds do not burst beneath its weight.
He obscures the view of his throne,
spreading his cloud over it.
10 He laid out the horizon on the surface of the waters
at the boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars that hold up the sky tremble,
astounded at his rebuke.
12 By his power he stirred the sea,
and by his understanding he crushed Rahab.13 By his breath the heavens gained their beauty;
his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.[l]
14 These are but the fringes of his ways;
how faint is the word we hear of him!
Who can understand his mighty thunder?27 Job continued his discourse, saying:As God lives, who has deprived me of justice,
and the Almighty who has made me bitter,
as long as my breath is still in me
and the breath from God remains in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak unjustly,
and my tongue will not utter deceit.
I will never affirm that you are right.
I will maintain my integrity[m] until I die.
I will cling to my righteousness and never let it go.
My conscience will not accuse me as long as I live!
May my enemy be like the wicked
and my opponent like the unjust.
For what hope does the godless person have when he is cut off,
when God takes away his life?
Will God hear his cry
when distress comes on him?
10 Will he delight in the Almighty?
Will he call on God at all times?
11 I will teach you about God’s power.
I will not conceal what the Almighty has planned.[n]
12 All of you have seen this for yourselves,
why do you keep up this empty talk?
13 This is a wicked man’s lot from God,
the inheritance the ruthless receive from the Almighty.
14 Even if his children increase, they are destined for the sword;
his descendants will never have enough food.
15 Those who survive him will be buried by the plague,
yet their widows will not weep for them.
16 Though he piles up silver like dust
and heaps up fine clothing like clay—
17 he may heap it up, but the righteous will wear it,
and the innocent will divide up his silver.
18 The house he built is like a moth’s cocoon
or a shelter set up by a watchman.
19 He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more;
when he opens his eyes, it is gone.
20 Terrors overtake him like a flood;
a storm wind sweeps him away at night.
21 An east wind picks him up, and he is gone;
it carries him away from his place.
22 It blasts at him without mercy,
while he flees desperately from its force.
23 It claps its hands at him
and scoffs at him from its place.

A Hymn to Wisdom

28 Surely there is a mine for silver
and a place where gold is refined.
Iron is taken from the ground,
and copper is smelted from ore.
A miner puts an end to the darkness;
he probes[o] the deepest recesses
for ore in the gloomy darkness.
He cuts a shaft far from human habitation,
in places unknown to those who walk above ground.
Suspended far away from people,
the miners swing back and forth.
Food may come from the earth,
but below the surface the earth is transformed as by fire.
Its rocks are a source of lapis lazuli,
containing flecks of gold.
No bird of prey knows that path;
no falcon’s eye has seen it.
Proud beasts have never walked on it;
no lion has ever prowled over it.
The miner uses a flint tool
and turns up ore from the root of the mountains.
10 He cuts out channels in the rocks,
and his eyes spot every treasure.
11 He dams up the streams from flowing[p]
so that he may bring to light what is hidden.12 But where can wisdom be found,
and where is understanding located?
13 No one can know its value,[q]
since it cannot be found in the land of the living.
14 The ocean depths say, “It’s not in me,”
while the sea declares, “I don’t have it.”
15 Gold cannot be exchanged for it,
and silver cannot be weighed out for its price.
16 Wisdom cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
in precious onyx or lapis lazuli.
17 Gold and glass do not compare with it,
and articles of fine gold cannot be exchanged for it.
18 Coral and quartz are not worth mentioning.
The price of wisdom is beyond pearls.
19 Topaz from Cush cannot compare with it,
and it cannot be valued in pure gold.20 Where then does wisdom come from,
and where is understanding located?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing
and concealed from the birds of the sky.
22 Abaddon and Death say,
“We have heard news of it with our ears.”
23 But God understands the way to wisdom,
and he knows its location.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When God fixed the weight of the wind
and distributed the water by measure,
26 when he established a limit[r] for the rain
and a path for the lightning,
27 he considered wisdom and evaluated it;
he established it and examined it.
28 He said to mankind,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom.
And to turn from evil is understanding.”

An agnostic college professor decided to have some fun with a small boy who was reading a Bible lesson. Trying to trip up the faith of the young lad, he said to him, “Tell me where God is, and I will give you an apple.” The boy replied, “I will give you a whole barrel of apples if you tell me where he is not.” 

Job seems to not be able to find God, but this young lad understands a foundational truth in theology.  God is spirit and God is everywhere.  He is omniscient.  Sometimes it feels as if God is not there.  Sometimes it feels as if God has deserted us and left us to fend for ourselves.  When you feel that way, remind yourself of the truth of the omniscience of God.  He cares for you and he is there, even when things are difficult.

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