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First Reading: Job Chapter 22 and 23
1 Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,
2 Can a man be profitable unto God? Surely he that is wise is profitable unto himself.
3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? Or is it gain `to him', that thou makest thy ways perfect?
4 Is it for thy fear `of him' that he reproveth thee, That he entereth with thee into judgment?
5 Is not thy wickedness great? Neither is there any end to thine iniquities.
6 For thou hast taken pledges of thy brother for nought, And stripped the naked of their clothing.
7 Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, And thou hast withholden bread from the hungry.
8 But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; And the honorable man, he dwelt in it.
9 Thou hast sent widows away empty, And the arms of the fatherless have been broken.
10 Therefore snares are round about thee, And sudden fear troubleth thee,
11 Or darkness, so that thou canst not see, And abundance of waters cover thee.
12 Is not God in the height of heaven? And behold the height of the stars, how high they are!
13 And thou sayest, What doth God know? Can he judge through the thick darkness?
14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, so that he seeth not; And he walketh on the vault of heaven.
15 Wilt thou keep the old way Which wicked men have trodden?
16 Who were snatched away before their time, Whose foundation was poured out as a stream,
17 Who said unto God, Depart from us; And, What can the Almighty do for us?
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things: But the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
19 The righteous see it, and are glad; And the innocent laugh them to scorn,
20 `Saying', Surely they that did rise up against us are cut off, And the remnant of them the fire hath consumed.
21 Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: Thereby good shall come unto thee.
22 Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, And lay up his words in thy heart.
23 If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, If thou put away unrighteousness far from thy tents.
24 And lay thou `thy' treasure in the dust, And `the gold of' Ophir among the stones of the brooks;
25 And the Almighty will be thy treasure, And precious silver unto thee.
26 For then shalt thou delight thyself in the Almighty, And shalt lift up thy face unto God.
27 Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he will hear thee; And thou shalt pay thy vows.
28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee; And light shall shine upon thy ways.
29 When they cast `thee' down, thou shalt say, `There is' lifting up; And the humble person he will save.
30 He will deliver `even' him that is not innocent: Yea, he shall be delivered through the cleanness of thy hands.
1 Then Job answered and said,
2 Even to-day is my complaint rebellious: My stroke is heavier than my groaning.
3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! That I might come even to his seat!
4 I would set my cause in order before him, And fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would know the words which he would answer me, And understand what he would say unto me.
6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? Nay; but he would give heed unto me.
7 There the upright might reason with him; So should I be delivered for ever from my judge.
8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not `there'; And backward, but I cannot perceive him;
9 On the left hand, when he doth work, but I cannot behold him; He hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him.
10 But he knoweth the way that I take; When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
11 My foot hath held fast to his steps; His way have I kept, and turned not aside.
12 I have not gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured up the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
13 But he is in one `mind', and who can turn him? And what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.
14 For he performeth that which is appointed for me: And many such things are with him.
15 Therefore am I terrified at his presence; When I consider, I am afraid of him.
16 For God hath made my heart faint, And the Almighty hath terrified me;
17 Because I was not cut off before the darkness, Neither did he cover the thick darkness from my face.
Second Reading: Luke Chapter 11
1 And it came to pass, as he was praying in a certain place, that when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, even as John also taught his disciples.
2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Father, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins; for we ourselves also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And bring us not into temptation.
5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 for a friend of mine is come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him;
7 and he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee?
8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will arise and give him as many as he needeth.
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 And of which of you that is a father shall his son ask a loaf, and he give him a stone? or a fish, and he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or `if' he shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall `your' heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
14 And he was casting out a demon `that was' dumb. And it came to pass, when the demon was gone out, the dumb man spake; and the multitudes marvelled.
15 But some of them said, By Beelzebub the prince of the demons casteth he out demons.
16 And others, trying `him', sought of him a sign from heaven.
17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house `divided' against a house falleth.
18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out demons by Beelzebub.
19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.
20 But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you.
21 When the strong `man' fully armed guardeth his own court, his goods are in peace:
22 but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him his whole armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
23 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
24 The unclean spirit when he is gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and finding none, he saith, I will turn back unto my house whence I came out.
25 And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished.
26 Then goeth he, and taketh `to him' seven other spirits more evil than himself; and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man becometh worse than the first.
27 And it came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the breasts which thou didst suck.
28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
29 And when the multitudes were gathering together unto him, he began to say, This generation is an evil generation: it seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it but the sign of Jonah.
30 For even as Jonah became a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.
31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
32 The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
33 No man, when he hath lighted a lamp, putteth it in a cellar, neither under the bushel, but on the stand, that they which enter in may see the light.
34 The lamp of thy body is thine eye: when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when it is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.
35 Look therefore whether the light that is in thee be not darkness.
36 If therefore thy whole body be full of light, having no part dark, it shall be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining doth give thee light.
37 Now as he spake, a Pharisee asketh him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.
38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first bathed himself before dinner.
39 And the Lord said unto him, Now ye the Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter; but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness.
40 Ye foolish ones, did not he that made the outside make the inside also?
41 But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, all things are clean unto you.
42 But woe unto you Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and every herb, and pass over justice and the love of God: but these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
43 Woe unto you Pharisees! for ye love the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the marketplaces.
44 Woe unto you! for ye are as the tombs which appear not, and the men that walk over `them' know it not.
45 And one of the lawyers answering saith unto him, Teacher, in saying this thou reproachest us also.
46 And he said, Woe unto you lawyers also! for ye load men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.
47 Woe unto you! for ye build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
48 So ye are witnesses and consent unto the works of your fathers: for they killed them, and ye build `their tombs'.
49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send unto them prophets and apostles; and `some' of them they shall kill and persecute;
50 that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
51 from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary: yea, I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation.
52 Woe unto you lawyers! for ye took away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
53 And when he was come out from thence, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press upon `him' vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things;
54 laying wait for him, to catch something out of his mouth.
GOOD VS. EVIL
Part 6 of 7
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
One of the most difficult lessons that Israel should have learned was that there is only one God. They wanted to have many gods. The history of the kings of Israel show a constant tendency to make idols and worship these rather than the One God. God is described in the Bible as being all-powerful and the only one with immortality. There is no second god of evil. Satan and the devil in the Bible are representations of the evil of men's hearts. Compare these three verses:
Hebrews 2:14 (NIV) Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is the devil."
Romans 5:12 & 19 (NIV) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned....For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
Philippians 2:8 (NIV) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death..even death on a cross.
By his obedience, Jesus overcame sin and, therefore, he overcame death.
The word "satan" is an untranslated Hebrew word that simply means "adversary" or "opponent."
Devil comes from a Greek word which means slanderer or accuser.
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