Read the Bible | June 29th
Eliphaz Accuses: Job Does Not Fear God
 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
 “Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge,
and fill his belly with the east wind?
 Should he argue in unprofitable talk,
or in words with which he can do no good?
 But you are doing away with the fear of God
and hindering meditation before God.
 For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
your own lips testify against you.
 “Are you the first man who was born?
Or were you brought forth before the hills?
 Have you listened in the council of God?
And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
 What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not clear to us?
 Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us,
older than your father.
 Are the comforts of God too small for you,
or the word that deals gently with you?
 Why does your heart carry you away,
and why do your eyes flash,
 that you turn your spirit against God
and bring such words out of your mouth?
 What is man, that he can be pure?
Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?
 Behold, God puts no trust in his holy ones,
and the heavens are not pure in his sight;
 how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
a man who drinks injustice like water!
 “I will show you; hear me,
and what I have seen I will declare
 (what wise men have told,
without hiding it from their fathers,
 to whom alone the land was given,
and no stranger passed among them).
 The wicked man writhes in pain all his days,
through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
 Dreadful sounds are in his ears;
in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him.
 He does not believe that he will return out of darkness,
and he is marked for the sword.
 He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand;
 distress and anguish terrify him;
they prevail against him, like a king ready for battle.
 Because he has stretched out his hand against God
and defies the Almighty,
 running stubbornly against him
with a thickly bossed shield;
 because he has covered his face with his fat
and gathered fat upon his waist
 and has lived in desolate cities,
in houses that none should inhabit,
which were ready to become heaps of ruins;
 he will not be rich, and his wealth will not endure,
nor will his possessions spread over the earth;
 he will not depart from darkness;
the flame will dry up his shoots,
and by the breath of his mouth he will depart.
 Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself,
for emptiness will be his payment.
 It will be paid in full before his time,
and his branch will not be green.
 He will shake off his unripe grape like the vine,
and cast off his blossom like the olive tree.
 For the company of the godless is barren,
and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil,
and their womb prepares deceit.” (ESV)
Job Replies: Miserable Comforters Are You
 Then Job answered and said:
 “I have heard many such things;
miserable comforters are you all.
 Shall windy words have an end?
Or what provokes you that you answer?
 I also could speak as you do,
if you were in my place;
I could join words together against you
and shake my head at you.
 I could strengthen you with my mouth,
and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.
 “If I speak, my pain is not assuaged,
and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me?
 Surely now God has worn me out;
he has made desolate all my company.
 And he has shriveled me up,
which is a witness against me,
and my leanness has risen up against me;
it testifies to my face.
 He has torn me in his wrath and hated me;
he has gnashed his teeth at me;
my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
 Men have gaped at me with their mouth;
they have struck me insolently on the cheek;
they mass themselves together against me.
 God gives me up to the ungodly
and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
 I was at ease, and he broke me apart;
he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces;
he set me up as his target;
 his archers surround me.
He slashes open my kidneys and does not spare;
he pours out my gall on the ground.
 He breaks me with breach upon breach;
he runs upon me like a warrior.
 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin
and have laid my strength in the dust.
 My face is red with weeping,
and on my eyelids is deep darkness,
 although there is no violence in my hands,
and my prayer is pure.
 “O earth, cover not my blood,
and let my cry find no resting place.
 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and he who testifies for me is on high.
 My friends scorn me;
my eye pours out tears to God,
 that he would argue the case of a man with God,
as a son of man does with his neighbor.
 For when a few years have come
I shall go the way from which I shall not return. (ESV)
Job Continues: Where Then Is My Hope?
 “My spirit is broken; my days are extinct;
the graveyard is ready for me.
 Surely there are mockers about me,
and my eye dwells on their provocation.
 “Lay down a pledge for me with you;
who is there who will put up security for me?
 Since you have closed their hearts to understanding,
therefore you will not let them triumph.
 He who informs against his friends to get a share of their property—
the eyes of his children will fail.
 “He has made me a byword of the peoples,
and I am one before whom men spit.
 My eye has grown dim from vexation,
and all my members are like a shadow.
 The upright are appalled at this,
and the innocent stirs himself up against the godless.
 Yet the righteous holds to his way,
and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.
 But you, come on again, all of you,
and I shall not find a wise man among you.
 My days are past; my plans are broken off,
the desires of my heart.
 They make night into day:
‘The light,’ they say, ‘is near to the darkness.’
 If I hope for Sheol as my house,
if I make my bed in darkness,
 if I say to the pit, ‘You are my father,’
and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’
 where then is my hope?
Who will see my hope?
 Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
Shall we descend together into the dust?” (ESV)
 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”  And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying,  and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”  But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.  And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”  But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.  For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”  So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized;  and taking food, he was strengthened.
Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues
For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.  And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”  And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?”  But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.
Saul Escapes from Damascus
 When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him,  but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night in order to kill him,  but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.
Saul in Jerusalem
 And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.  But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.  So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.  And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists. But they were seeking to kill him.  And when the brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
 So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. (ESV)