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First Reading: Job Chapter 14 and 15

Job 14

14:1 Job Speaks of Life's Woes

"Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble. 2 He comes forth like a flower and fades away;He flees like a shadow and does not continue. 3 And do You open Your eyes on such a one,And bring me to judgment with Yourself? 4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?No one! 5 Since his days are determined,The number of his months is with You;You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass. 6 Look away from him that he may rest,Till like a hired man he finishes his day.
7 "For there is hope for a tree,If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,And that its tender shoots will not cease. 8 Though its root may grow old in the earth,And its stump may die in the ground, 9 Yet at the scent of water it will bud And bring forth branches like a plant. 10 But man dies and is laid away;Indeed he breathes his last And where is he? 11 As water disappears from the sea,And a river becomes parched and dries up, 12 So man lies down and does not rise.Till the heavens are no more,They will not awake Nor be roused from their sleep.
13 "Oh, that You would hide me in the grave,That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past,That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If a man dies, shall he live again?All the days of my hard service I will wait,Till my change comes. 15 You shall call, and I will answer You;You shall desire the work of Your hands. 16 For now You number my steps,But do not watch over my sin. 17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag,And You cover my iniquity.
18 "But as a mountain falls and crumbles away,And as a rock is moved from its place; 19 As water wears away stones,And as torrents wash away the soil of the earth;So You destroy the hope of man. 20 You prevail forever against him, and he passes on;You change his countenance and send him away. 21 His sons come to honor, and he does not know it;They are brought low, and he does not perceive it. 22 But his flesh will be in pain over it,And his soul will mourn over it."

Job 15

15:1 Eliphaz Accuses Job of Folly

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
2 "Should a wise man answer with empty knowledge,And fill himself with the east wind? 3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk,Or by speeches with which he can do no good? 4 Yes, you cast off fear,And restrain prayer before God. 5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth,And you choose the tongue of the crafty. 6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;Yes, your own lips testify against you.
7 "Are you the first man who was born?Or were you made before the hills? 8 Have you heard the counsel of God?Do you limit wisdom to yourself? 9 What do you know that we do not know?What do you understand that is not in us? 10 Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us,Much older than your father. 11 Are the consolations of God too small for you,And the word spoken gently with you? 12 Why does your heart carry you away,And what do your eyes wink at, 13 That you turn your spirit against God,And let such words go out of your mouth?
14 "What is man, that he could be pure?And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous? 15 If God puts no trust in His saints,And the heavens are not pure in His sight, 16 How much less man, who is abominable and filthy,Who drinks iniquity like water!
17 "I will tell you, hear me;What I have seen I will declare, 18 What wise men have told,Not hiding anything received from their fathers, 19 To whom alone the land was given,And no alien passed among them: 20 The wicked man writhes with pain all his days,And the number of years is hidden from the oppressor. 21 Dreadful sounds are in his ears;In prosperity the destroyer comes upon him. 22 He does not believe that he will return from darkness,For a sword is waiting for him. 23 He wanders about for bread, saying, 'Where is it?'He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand. 24 Trouble and anguish make him afraid;They overpower him, like a king ready for battle. 25 For he stretches out his hand against God,And acts defiantly against the Almighty, 26 Running stubbornly against Him With his strong, embossed shield.
27 "Though he has covered his face with his fatness,And made his waist heavy with fat, 28 He dwells in desolate cities,In houses which no one inhabits,Which are destined to become ruins. 29 He will not be rich,Nor will his wealth continue,Nor will his possessions overspread the earth. 30 He will not depart from darkness;The flame will dry out his branches,And by the breath of His mouth he will go away. 31 Let him not trust in futile things, deceiving himself,For futility will be his reward. 32 It will be accomplished before his time,And his branch will not be green. 33 He will shake off his unripe grape like a vine,And cast off his blossom like an olive tree. 34 For the company of hypocrites will be barren,And fire will consume the tents of bribery. 35 They conceive trouble and bring forth futility;Their womb prepares deceit."

Second Reading: Luke Chapter 8

Luke 8

8:1 Many Women Minister to Jesus

Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities — Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
4 The Parable of the Sower
(Matt 13:1-9; Mark 4:1-9)

And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: 5 "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. 8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold." When He had said these things He cried, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
9 The Purpose of Parables
(Matt 13:10-17; Mark 4:10-12)

Then His disciples asked Him, saying, "What does this parable mean?"
10 And He said, "To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that
'Seeing they may not see,And hearing they may not understand.'
11 The Parable of the Sower Explained
(Matt 13:18-23; Mark 4:13-20)

"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
16 The Parable of the Revealed Light
(Mark 4:21-25)

"No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. 17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. 18 Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him."
19 Jesus' Mother and Brothers Come to Him
(Matt 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35)

Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. 20 And it was told Him by some, who said, "Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You."
21 But He answered and said to them, "My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it."
22 Wind and Wave Obey Jesus
(Matt 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41)

Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side of the lake." And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!"
Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, "Where is your faith?"
And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another,"Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!"
26 A Demon-Possessed Man Healed
(Matt 8:28-9:1; Mark 5:1-20)

Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said,"What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!" 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.
30 Jesus asked him, saying, "What is your name?"
And he said, "Legion," because many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.
32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. 33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.
34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.
38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 "Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you." And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
40 A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed
(Matt 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43)

So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him. 41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus' feet and begged Him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying.
But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. 43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
45 And Jesus said, "Who touched Me?"
When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, "Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?'"
46 But Jesus said, "Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me." 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.
48 And He said to her, "Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace."
49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, "Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher."
50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, "Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well." 51 When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. 52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, "Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping." 53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.
54 But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Little girl, arise." 55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat. 56 And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.

Bible Background


Part 2 of 7

The Bible states in several different places that evil or sin comes from the heart of mankind:

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