Read the Bible | June 27th
Job Continues: A Plea to God
 “I loathe my life;
I will give free utterance to my complaint;
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
 I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
let me know why you contend against me.
 Does it seem good to you to oppress,
to despise the work of your hands
and favor the designs of the wicked?
 Have you eyes of flesh?
Do you see as man sees?
 Are your days as the days of man,
or your years as a man's years,
 that you seek out my iniquity
and search for my sin,
 although you know that I am not guilty,
and there is none to deliver out of your hand?
 Your hands fashioned and made me,
and now you have destroyed me altogether.
 Remember that you have made me like clay;
and will you return me to the dust?
 Did you not pour me out like milk
and curdle me like cheese?
 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
and knit me together with bones and sinews.
 You have granted me life and steadfast love,
and your care has preserved my spirit.
 Yet these things you hid in your heart;
I know that this was your purpose.
 If I sin, you watch me
and do not acquit me of my iniquity.
 If I am guilty, woe to me!
If I am in the right, I cannot lift up my head,
for I am filled with disgrace
and look on my affliction.
 And were my head lifted up, you would hunt me like a lion
and again work wonders against me.
 You renew your witnesses against me
and increase your vexation toward me;
you bring fresh troops against me.
 “Why did you bring me out from the womb?
Would that I had died before any eye had seen me
 and were as though I had not been,
carried from the womb to the grave.
 Are not my days few?
Then cease, and leave me alone, that I may find a little cheer
 before I go—and I shall not return—
to the land of darkness and deep shadow,
 the land of gloom like thick darkness,
like deep shadow without any order,
where light is as thick darkness.” (ESV)
Zophar Speaks: You Deserve Worse
 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:
 “Should a multitude of words go unanswered,
and a man full of talk be judged right?
 Should your babble silence men,
and when you mock, shall no one shame you?
 For you say, ‘My doctrine is pure,
and I am clean in God's eyes.’
 But oh, that God would speak
and open his lips to you,
 and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom!
For he is manifold in understanding.
Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
 “Can you find out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
 It is higher than heaven—what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
 Its measure is longer than the earth
and broader than the sea.
 If he passes through and imprisons
and summons the court, who can turn him back?
 For he knows worthless men;
when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
 But a stupid man will get understanding
when a wild donkey's colt is born a man!
 “If you prepare your heart,
you will stretch out your hands toward him.
 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
and let not injustice dwell in your tents.
 Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish;
you will be secure and will not fear.
 You will forget your misery;
you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
 And your life will be brighter than the noonday;
its darkness will be like the morning.
 And you will feel secure, because there is hope;
you will look around and take your rest in security.
 You will lie down, and none will make you afraid;
many will court your favor.
 But the eyes of the wicked will fail;
all way of escape will be lost to them,
and their hope is to breathe their last.” (ESV)
Job Replies: The LORD Has Done This
 Then Job answered and said:
 “No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you.
 But I have understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know such things as these?
 I am a laughingstock to my friends;
I, who called to God and he answered me,
a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock.
 In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune;
it is ready for those whose feet slip.
 The tents of robbers are at peace,
and those who provoke God are secure,
who bring their god in their hand.
 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
 or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
 Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this?
 In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
 Does not the ear test words
as the palate tastes food?
 Wisdom is with the aged,
and understanding in length of days.
 “With God are wisdom and might;
he has counsel and understanding.
 If he tears down, none can rebuild;
if he shuts a man in, none can open.
 If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
 With him are strength and sound wisdom;
the deceived and the deceiver are his.
 He leads counselors away stripped,
and judges he makes fools.
 He looses the bonds of kings
and binds a waistcloth on their hips.
 He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows the mighty.
 He deprives of speech those who are trusted
and takes away the discernment of the elders.
 He pours contempt on princes
and loosens the belt of the strong.
 He uncovers the deeps out of darkness
and brings deep darkness to light.
 He makes nations great, and he destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and leads them away.
 He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth
and makes them wander in a trackless waste.
 They grope in the dark without light,
and he makes them stagger like a drunken man. (ESV)
Job Continues: Still I Will Hope in God
 “Behold, my eye has seen all this,
my ear has heard and understood it.
 What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
 But I would speak to the Almighty,
and I desire to argue my case with God.
 As for you, you whitewash with lies;
worthless physicians are you all.
 Oh that you would keep silent,
and it would be your wisdom!
 Hear now my argument
and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
 Will you speak falsely for God
and speak deceitfully for him?
 Will you show partiality toward him?
Will you plead the case for God?
 Will it be well with you when he searches you out?
Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man?
 He will surely rebuke you
if in secret you show partiality.
 Will not his majesty terrify you,
and the dread of him fall upon you?
 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;
your defenses are defenses of clay.
 “Let me have silence, and I will speak,
and let come on me what may.
 Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
and put my life in my hand?
 Though he slay me, I will hope in him;
yet I will argue my ways to his face.
 This will be my salvation,
that the godless shall not come before him.
 Keep listening to my words,
and let my declaration be in your ears.
 Behold, I have prepared my case;
I know that I shall be in the right.
 Who is there who will contend with me?
For then I would be silent and die.
 Only grant me two things,
then I will not hide myself from your face:
 withdraw your hand far from me,
and let not dread of you terrify me.
 Then call, and I will answer;
or let me speak, and you reply to me.
 How many are my iniquities and my sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.
 Why do you hide your face
and count me as your enemy?
 Will you frighten a driven leaf
and pursue dry chaff?
 For you write bitter things against me
and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
 You put my feet in the stocks
and watch all my paths;
you set a limit for the soles of my feet.
 Man wastes away like a rotten thing,
like a garment that is moth-eaten. (ESV)
Job Continues: Death Comes Soon to All
 “Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.
 He comes out like a flower and withers;
he flees like a shadow and continues not.
 And do you open your eyes on such a one
and bring me into judgment with you?
 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
There is not one.
 Since his days are determined,
and the number of his months is with you,
and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
 look away from him and leave him alone,
that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day.
 “For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
 Though its root grow old in the earth,
and its stump die in the soil,
 yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put out branches like a young plant.
 But a man dies and is laid low;
man breathes his last, and where is he?
 As waters fail from a lake
and a river wastes away and dries up,
 so a man lies down and rises not again;
till the heavens are no more he will not awake
or be roused out of his sleep.
 Oh that you would hide me in Sheol,
that you would conceal me until your wrath be past,
that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
 If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my service I would wait,
till my renewal should come.
 You would call, and I would answer you;
you would long for the work of your hands.
 For then you would number my steps;
you would not keep watch over my sin;
 my transgression would be sealed up in a bag,
and you would cover over my iniquity.
 “But the mountain falls and crumbles away,
and the rock is removed from its place;
 the waters wear away the stones;
the torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
so you destroy the hope of man.
 You prevail forever against him, and he passes;
you change his countenance, and send him away.
 His sons come to honor, and he does not know it;
they are brought low, and he perceives it not.
 He feels only the pain of his own body,
and he mourns only for himself.” (ESV)
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place.  And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship  and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.  And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”  So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”  And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.  Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
 In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”  Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.  And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”  And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.  And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.  But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea. (ESV)
The Conversion of Saul
 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest  and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.  And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”  And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.  But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”  The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.  Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.  And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (ESV)