Read the Bible | June 25th
Job Laments His Birth
 After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.  And Job said:
 “Let the day perish on which I was born,
and the night that said,
‘A man is conceived.’
 Let that day be darkness!
May God above not seek it,
nor light shine upon it.
 Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.
Let clouds dwell upon it;
let the blackness of the day terrify it.
 That night—let thick darkness seize it!
Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
let it not come into the number of the months.
 Behold, let that night be barren;
let no joyful cry enter it.
 Let those curse it who curse the day,
who are ready to rouse up Leviathan.
 Let the stars of its dawn be dark;
let it hope for light, but have none,
nor see the eyelids of the morning,
 because it did not shut the doors of my mother's womb,
nor hide trouble from my eyes.
 “Why did I not die at birth,
come out from the womb and expire?
 Why did the knees receive me?
Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?
 For then I would have lain down and been quiet;
I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,
 with kings and counselors of the earth
who rebuilt ruins for themselves,
 or with princes who had gold,
who filled their houses with silver.
 Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child,
as infants who never see the light?
 There the wicked cease from troubling,
and there the weary are at rest.
 There the prisoners are at ease together;
they hear not the voice of the taskmaster.
 The small and the great are there,
and the slave is free from his master.
 “Why is light given to him who is in misery,
and life to the bitter in soul,
 who long for death, but it comes not,
and dig for it more than for hidden treasures,
 who rejoice exceedingly
and are glad when they find the grave?
 Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,
whom God has hedged in?
 For my sighing comes instead of my bread,
and my groanings are poured out like water.
 For the thing that I fear comes upon me,
and what I dread befalls me.
 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
I have no rest, but trouble comes.” (ESV)
Eliphaz Speaks: The Innocent Prosper
 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
 “If one ventures a word with you, will you be impatient?
Yet who can keep from speaking?
 Behold, you have instructed many,
and you have strengthened the weak hands.
 Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
and you have made firm the feeble knees.
 But now it has come to you, and you are impatient;
it touches you, and you are dismayed.
 Is not your fear of God your confidence,
and the integrity of your ways your hope?
 “Remember: who that was innocent ever perished?
Or where were the upright cut off?
 As I have seen, those who plow iniquity
and sow trouble reap the same.
 By the breath of God they perish,
and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.
 The roar of the lion, the voice of the fierce lion,
the teeth of the young lions are broken.
 The strong lion perishes for lack of prey,
and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
 “Now a word was brought to me stealthily;
my ear received the whisper of it.
 Amid thoughts from visions of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men,
 dread came upon me, and trembling,
which made all my bones shake.
 A spirit glided past my face;
the hair of my flesh stood up.
 It stood still,
but I could not discern its appearance.
A form was before my eyes;
there was silence, then I heard a voice:
 ‘Can mortal man be in the right before God?
Can a man be pure before his Maker?
 Even in his servants he puts no trust,
and his angels he charges with error;
 how much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed like the moth.
 Between morning and evening they are beaten to pieces;
they perish forever without anyone regarding it.
 Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them,
do they not die, and that without wisdom?’ (ESV)
 “Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?
To which of the holy ones will you turn?
 Surely vexation kills the fool,
and jealousy slays the simple.
 I have seen the fool taking root,
but suddenly I cursed his dwelling.
 His children are far from safety;
they are crushed in the gate,
and there is no one to deliver them.
 The hungry eat his harvest,
and he takes it even out of thorns,
and the thirsty pant after his wealth.
 For affliction does not come from the dust,
nor does trouble sprout from the ground,
 but man is born to trouble
as the sparks fly upward.
 “As for me, I would seek God,
and to God would I commit my cause,
 who does great things and unsearchable,
marvelous things without number:
 he gives rain on the earth
and sends waters on the fields;
 he sets on high those who are lowly,
and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
 He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
so that their hands achieve no success.
 He catches the wise in their own craftiness,
and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.
 They meet with darkness in the daytime
and grope at noonday as in the night.
 But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth
and from the hand of the mighty.
 So the poor have hope,
and injustice shuts her mouth.
 “Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves;
therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.
 For he wounds, but he binds up;
he shatters, but his hands heal.
 He will deliver you from six troubles;
in seven no evil shall touch you.
 In famine he will redeem you from death,
and in war from the power of the sword.
 You shall be hidden from the lash of the tongue,
and shall not fear destruction when it comes.
 At destruction and famine you shall laugh,
and shall not fear the beasts of the earth.
 For you shall be in league with the stones of the field,
and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you.
 You shall know that your tent is at peace,
and you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.
 You shall know also that your offspring shall be many,
and your descendants as the grass of the earth.
 You shall come to your grave in ripe old age,
like a sheaf gathered up in its season.
 Behold, this we have searched out; it is true.
Hear, and know it for your good.” (ESV)
 Is there any injustice on my tongue?
Cannot my palate discern the cause of calamity? (ESV)
 “This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.  This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years.  This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’  This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us.  Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt,  saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’  And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the works of their hands.  But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets:
“‘Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices,
during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
 You took up the tent of Moloch
and the star of your god Rephan,
the images that you made to worship;
and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.’
 “Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen.  Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David,  who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.  But it was Solomon who built a house for him.  Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says,
 “‘Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
or what is the place of my rest?
 Did not my hand make all these things?’
 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.  Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered,  you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”
The Stoning of Stephen
 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him.  But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”  But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him.  Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.  And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (ESV)
Saul Ravages the Church
 And Saul approved of his execution.
And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.  Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him.  But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. (ESV)