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First Reading: Job Chapter 24 and 25

Job 24

1 Why are times not laid up by the Almighty? And why do not they that know him see his days?

2 There are that remove the landmarks; They violently take away flocks, and feed them.

3 They drive away the ass of the fatherless; They take the widow's ox for a pledge.

4 They turn the needy out of the way: The poor of the earth all hide themselves.

5 Behold, as wild asses in the desert They go forth to their work, seeking diligently for food; The wilderness `yieldeth' them bread for their children.

6 They cut their provender in the field; And they glean the vintage of the wicked.

7 They lie all night naked without clothing, And have no covering in the cold.

8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains, And embrace the rock for want of a shelter.

9 There are that pluck the fatherless from the breast, And take a pledge of the poor;

10 `So that' they go about naked without clothing, And being hungry they carry the sheaves.

11 They make oil within the walls of these men; They tread `their' winepresses, and suffer thirst.

12 From out of the populous city men groan, And the soul of the wounded crieth out: Yet God regardeth not the folly.

13 These are of them that rebel against the light; They know not the ways thereof, Nor abide in the paths thereof.

14 The murderer riseth with the light; He killeth the poor and needy; And in the night he is as a thief.

15 The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, Saying, No eye shall see me: And he disguiseth his face.

16 In the dark they dig through houses: They shut themselves up in the day-time; They know not the light.

17 For the morning is to all of them as thick darkness; For they know the terrors of the thick darkness.

18 Swiftly they `pass away' upon the face of the waters; Their portion is cursed in the earth: They turn not into the way of the vineyards.

19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters: `So doth' Sheol `those that' have sinned.

20 The womb shall forget him; The worm shall feed sweetly on him; He shall be no more remembered; And unrighteousness shall be broken as a tree.

21 He devoureth the barren that beareth not, And doeth not good to the widow.

22 Yet `God' preserveth the mighty by his power: He riseth up that hath no assurance of life.

23 `God' giveth them to be in security, and they rest thereon; And his eyes are upon their ways.

24 They are exalted; yet a little while, and they are gone; Yea, they are brought low, they are taken out of the way as all others, And are cut off as the tops of the ears of grain.

25 And if it be not so now, who will prove me a liar, And make my speech nothing worth?

Job 25

1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,

2 Dominion and fear are with him; He maketh peace in his high places.

3 Is there any number of his armies? And upon whom doth not his light arise?

4 How then can man be just with God? Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?

5 Behold, even the moon hath no brightness, And the stars are not pure in his sight:

6 How much less man, that is a worm! And the son of man, that is a worm!

Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 57

Psalms 57

1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me; For my soul taketh refuge in thee: Yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I take refuge, Until `these' calamities be overpast.

2 I will cry unto God Most High, Unto God that performeth `all things' for me.

3 He will send from heaven, and save me, `When' he that would swallow me up reproacheth; Selah God will send forth his lovingkindness and his truth.

4 My soul is among lions; I lie among them that are set on fire, Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, And their tongue a sharp sword.

5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; `Let' thy glory `be' above all the earth.

6 They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down: They have digged a pit before me; They are fallen into the midst thereof themselves. Selah

7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing, yea, I will sing praises.

8 Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake right early.

9 I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the peoples: I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.

10 For thy lovingkindness is great unto the heavens, And thy truth unto the skies.

11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; `Let' thy glory `be' above all the earth. Psalm 58 For the Chief Musician; `set to' Al-tashheth. `A Psalm' of David Michtam.

Bible Background


Part 7 of 7


We are told in the first chapters of Genesis that death was the ultimate punishment for sin. In Romans 6 we are told that the wages of sin is death. Sin--that which is in opposition to God-- cannot survive. The original pronouncement against sin is found in Genesis 3:17-19:

"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

Death came because of sin. God could have killed Adam and Eve immediately. Instead he allowed them to live for a time. That time of living though included suffering and pain. As with any pain, there is a purpose. Pain tells us that something is wrong and needs to be fixed. If we did not have pain, when we cut ourselves we may not be aware of the injury. An untreated injury can cause premature death. Untreated sin can lead to eternal death. Suffering and pain is God's warning system.

Why do the righteous suffer? Consider these verses:


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