Select: First Reading Second Reading Bible Background
First Reading: Job Chapter 16 and 17
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 I have heard many such things: Miserable comforters are ye all.
3 Shall vain words have an end? Or what provoketh thee that thou answerest?
4 I also could speak as ye do; If your soul were in my soul's stead, I could join words together against you, And shake my head at you.
5 `But' I would strengthen you with my mouth, And the solace of my lips would assuage `your grief'.
6 Though I speak, my grief is not assuaged; And though I forbear, what am I eased?
7 But now he hath made me weary: Thou hast made desolate all my company.
8 And thou hast laid fast hold on me, `which' is a witness `against me': And my leanness riseth up against me, It testifieth to my face.
9 He hath torn me in his wrath, and persecuted me; He hath gnashed upon me with his teeth: Mine adversary sharpeneth his eyes upon me.
10 They have gaped upon me with their mouth; They have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully: They gather themselves together against me.
11 God delivereth me to the ungodly, And casteth me into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, and he brake me asunder; Yea, he hath taken me by the neck, and dashed me to pieces: He hath also set me up for his mark.
13 His archers compass me round about; He cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; He poureth out my gall upon the ground.
14 He breaketh me with breach upon breach; He runneth upon me like a giant.
15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, And have laid my horn in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping, And on my eyelids is the shadow of death;
17 Although there is no violence in my hands, And my prayer is pure.
18 O earth, cover not thou my blood, And let my cry have no `resting' -place.
19 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, And he that voucheth for me is on high.
20 My friends scoff at me: `But' mine eye poureth out tears unto God,
21 That he would maintain the right of a man with God, And of a son of man with his neighbor!
22 For when a few years are come, I shall go the way whence I shall not return.
1 My spirit is consumed, my days are extinct, The grave is `ready' for me.
2 Surely there are mockers with me, And mine eye dwelleth upon their provocation.
3 Give now a pledge, be surety for me with thyself; Who is there that will strike hands with me?
4 For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: Therefore shalt thou not exalt `them'.
5 He that denounceth his friends for a prey, Even the eyes of his children shall fail.
6 But he hath made me a byword of the people; And they spit in my face.
7 Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, And all my members are as a shadow.
8 Upright men shall be astonished at this, And the innocent shall stir up himself against the godless.
9 Yet shall the righteous hold on his way, And he that hath clean hands shall wax stronger and stronger.
10 But as for you all, come on now again; And I shall not find a wise man among you.
11 My days are past, my purposes are broken off, Even the thoughts of my heart.
12 They change the night into day: The light, `say they', is near unto the darkness.
13 If I look for Sheol as my house; If I have spread my couch in the darkness;
14 If I have said to corruption, Thou art my father; To the worm, `Thou art' my mother, and my sister;
15 Where then is my hope? And as for my hope, who shall see it?
16 It shall go down to the bars of Sheol, When once there is rest in the dust.
Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 56
1 Be merciful unto me, O God; for man would swallow me up: All the day long he fighting oppresseth me.
2 Mine enemies would swallow me up all the day long; For they are many that fight proudly against me.
3 What time I am afraid, I will put my trust in thee.
4 In God (I will praise his word), In God have I put my trust, I will not be afraid; What can flesh do unto me?
5 All the day long they wrest my words: All their thoughts are against me for evil.
6 They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, They mark my steps, Even as they have waited for my soul.
7 Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God.
8 Thou numberest my wanderings: Put thou my tears into thy bottle; Are they not in thy book?
9 Then shall mine enemies turn back in the day that I call: This I know, that God is for me.
10 In God (I will praise `his' word), In Jehovah (I will praise `his' word),
11 In God have I put my trust, I will not be afraid; What can man do unto me?
12 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render thank-offerings unto thee.
13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death: `Hast thou' not `delivered' my feet from falling, That I may walk before God In the light of the living? Psalm 57 For the Chief Musician; `set to' Al-tash-heth. `A Psalm' of David. Michtam; when he fled from Saul, in the cave.
GOOD VS. EVIL
Part 3 of 7
WHAT IS SIN? In John's first epistle he writes, "Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness" (I John 3:4 NIV) The Greek word for lawlessness is "anomia." It indicates not merely a transgression of a given law, but involves also an attitude of rebellion. In other words, when one defies God either through thought, word, or deed, it is considered sin.
DOES GOD TEMPT ANYONE OR CAUSE THEM TO SIN? The answer is found in James 1:13-15: When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF SIN?: The answer is found in I John 2:16: For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world.
Select: First Reading Second Reading Bible Background