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First Reading: Job Chapter 18 and 19
1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
2 How long will ye hunt for words? Consider, and afterwards we will speak.
3 Wherefore are we counted as beasts, `And' are become unclean in your sight?
4 Thou that tearest thyself in thine anger, Shall the earth be forsaken for thee? Or shall the rock be removed out of its place?
5 Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, And the spark of his fire shall not shine.
6 The light shall be dark in his tent, And his lamp above him shall be put out.
7 The steps of his strength shall be straitened, And his own counsel shall cast him down.
8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet, And he walketh upon the toils.
9 A gin shall take `him' by the heel, `And' a snare shall lay hold on him.
10 A noose is hid for him in the ground, And a trap for him in the way.
11 Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, And shall chase him at his heels.
12 His strength shall be hunger-bitten, And calamity shall be ready at his side.
13 The members of his body shall be devoured, `Yea', the first-born of death shall devour his members.
14 He shall be rooted out of his tent where he trusteth; And he shall be brought to the king of terrors.
15 There shall dwell in his tent that which is none of his: Brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation.
16 His roots shall be dried up beneath, And above shall his branch be cut off.
17 His remembrance shall perish from the earth, And he shall have no name in the street.
18 He shall be driven from light into darkness, And chased out of the world.
19 He shall have neither son nor son's son among his people, Nor any remaining where he sojourned.
20 They that come after shall be astonished at his day, As they that went before were affrighted.
21 Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous, And this is the place of him that knoweth not God.
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 How long will ye vex my soul, And break me in pieces with words?
3 These ten times have ye reproached me: Ye are not ashamed that ye deal hardly with me.
4 And be it indeed that I have erred, Mine error remaineth with myself.
5 If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, And plead against me my reproach;
6 Know now that God hath subverted me `in my cause', And hath compassed me with his net.
7 Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry for help, but there is no justice.
8 He hath walled up my way that I cannot pass, And hath set darkness in my paths.
9 He hath stripped me of my glory, And taken the crown from my head.
10 He hath broken me down on every side, and I am gone; And my hope hath he plucked up like a tree.
11 He hath also kindled his wrath against me, And he counteth me unto him as `one of' his adversaries.
12 His troops come on together, And cast up their way against me, And encamp round about my tent.
13 He hath put my brethren far from me, And mine acquaintance are wholly estranged from me.
14 My kinsfolk have failed, And my familiar friends have forgotten me.
15 They that dwell in my house, and my maids, count me for a stranger; I am an alien in their sight.
16 I call unto my servant, and he giveth me no answer, `Though' I entreat him with my mouth.
17 My breath is strange to my wife, And my supplication to the children of mine own mother.
18 Even young children despise me; If I arise, they speak against me.
19 All my familiar friends abhor me, And they whom I loved are turned against me.
20 My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, And I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.
21 Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; For the hand of God hath touched me.
22 Why do ye persecute me as God, And are not satisfied with my flesh?
23 Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 That with an iron pen and lead They were graven in the rock for ever!
25 But as for me I know that my Redeemer liveth, And at last he will stand up upon the earth:
26 And after my skin, `even' this `body', is destroyed, Then without my flesh shall I see God;
27 Whom I, even I, shall see, on my side, And mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger. My heart is consumed within me.
28 If ye say, How we will persecute him! And that the root of the matter is found in me;
29 Be ye afraid of the sword: For wrath `bringeth' the punishments of the sword, That ye may know there is a judgment.
Second Reading: Luke Chapter 9
1 And he called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
2 And he sent them forth to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staff, nor wallet, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats.
4 And into whatsoever house ye enter, there abide, and thence depart.
5 And as many as receive you not, when ye depart from that city, shake off the dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
6 And they departed, and went throughout the villages, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done: and he was much perplexed, because that it was said by some, that John was risen from the dead;
8 and by some, that Elijah had appeared; and by others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.
9 And Herod said, John I beheaded: but who is this, about whom I hear such things? And he sought to see him.
10 And the apostles, when they were returned, declared unto him what things they had done. And he took them, and withdrew apart to a city called Bethsaida.
11 But the multitudes perceiving it followed him: and he welcomed them, and spake to them of the kingdom of God, and them that had need of healing he cured.
12 And the day began to wear away; and the twelve came, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages and country round about, and lodge, and get provisions: for we are here in a desert place.
13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more than five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy food for all this people.
14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said unto his disciples, Make them sit down in companies, about fifty each.
15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.
16 And he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake; and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.
17 And they ate, and were all filled: and there was taken up that which remained over to them of broken pieces, twelve baskets.
18 And it came to pass, as he was praying apart, the disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Who do the multitudes say that I am?
19 And they answering said, John the Baptist; but others `say', Elijah; and others, that one of the old prophets is risen again.
20 And he said unto them, But who say ye that I am? And Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
21 But he charged them, and commanded `them' to tell this to no man;
22 saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.
23 And he said unto all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25 For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit his own self?
26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in his own glory, and `the glory' of the Father, and of the holy angels.
27 But I tell you of a truth, There are some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
28 And it came to pass about eight days after these sayings, that he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up into the mountain to pray.
29 And as he was praying, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment `became' white `and' dazzling.
30 And behold, there talked with him two men, who were Moses and Elijah;
31 who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
32 Now Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: but when they were fully awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.
33 And it came to pass, as they were parting from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah: not knowing what he said.
34 And while he said these things, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.
35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my Son, my chosen: hear ye him.
36 And when the voice came, Jesus was found alone. And they held their peace, and told no man in those days any of the things which they had seen.
37 And it came to pass, on the next day, when they were come down from the mountain, a great multitude met him.
38 And behold, a man from the multitude cried, saying, Teacher, I beseech thee to look upon my son; for he is mine only child:
39 and behold, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth, and it hardly departeth from him, bruising him sorely.
40 And I besought thy disciples to cast it out; and they could not.
41 And Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and bear with you? bring hither thy son.
42 And as he was yet a coming, the demon dashed him down, and tare `him' grievously. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.
43 And they were all astonished at the majesty of God. But while all were marvelling at all the things which he did, he said unto his disciples,
44 Let these words sink into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered up into the hands of men.
45 But they understood not this saying, and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
46 And there arose a reasoning among them, which of them was the greatest.
47 But when Jesus saw the reasoning of their heart, he took a little child, and set him by his side,
48 and said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this little child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same is great.
49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out demons in thy name; and we forbade him, because he followeth not with us.
50 But Jesus said unto him, Forbid `him' not: for he that is not against you is for you.
51 And it came to pass, when the days were well-nigh come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52 and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was `as though he were' going to Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw `this', they said, Lord, wilt thou that we bid fire to come down from heaven, and consume them?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them.
56 And they went to another village.
57 And as they went on the way, a certain man said unto him, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
58 And Jesus said unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven `have' nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60 But he said unto him, Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but go thou and publish abroad the kingdom of God.
61 And another also said, I will follow thee, Lord; but first suffer me to bid farewell to them that are at my house.
62 But Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
GOOD VS. EVIL
Part 4 of 7
The Bible clearly shows, in each book of the Bible, that man is essentially "evil" by nature. The enmity between man and God has continued throughout the ages:
The bottom line is that Man is evil and God is good. Evil may prevail for a while, but ultimately good will prevail forever according to God's timetable. Consider the wonderful promise found in Paul's letter to the Romans:
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." Romans 8:18-21 (NIV)
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