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First Reading: Job Chapter 22 and 23
22:1 Eliphaz Accuses Job of Wickedness
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
2 "Can a man be profitable to God,Though he who is wise may be profitable to himself? 3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that you are righteous?Or is it gain to Him that you make your ways blameless?
4 "Is it because of your fear of Him that He corrects you,And enters into judgment with you? 5 Is not your wickedness great,And your iniquity without end? 6 For you have taken pledges from your brother for no reason,And stripped the naked of their clothing. 7 You have not given the weary water to drink,And you have withheld bread from the hungry. 8 But the mighty man possessed the land,And the honorable man dwelt in it. 9 You have sent widows away empty,And the strength of the fatherless was crushed. 10 Therefore snares are all around you,And sudden fear troubles you, 11 Or darkness so that you cannot see;And an abundance of water covers you.
12 "Is not God in the height of heaven?And see the highest stars, how lofty they are! 13 And you say,'What does God know?Can He judge through the deep darkness? 14 Thick clouds cover Him, so that He cannot see,And He walks above the circle of heaven.' 15 Will you keep to the old way Which wicked men have trod, 16 Who were cut down before their time,Whose foundations were swept away by a flood? 17 They said to God, 'Depart from us!What can the Almighty do to them?' 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 at them: 20'Surely our adversaries are cut down,And the fire consumes their remnant.'
21 "Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace;Thereby good will come to you. 22 Receive, please, instruction from His mouth,And lay up His words in your heart. 23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up;You will remove iniquity far from your tents. 24 Then you will lay your gold in the dust,And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks. 25 Yes, the Almighty will be your gold And your precious silver; 26 For then you will have your delight in the Almighty,And lift up your face to God. 27 You will make your prayer to Him,He will hear you,And you will pay your vows. 28 You will also declare a thing,And it will be established for you;So light will shine on your ways. 29 When they cast you down, and you say, 'Exaltation will come!'Then He will save the humble person. 30 He will even deliver one who is not innocent;Yes, he will be delivered by the purity of your hands."
23:1 Job Proclaims God's Righteous Judgments
Then Job answered and said:
2 "Even today my complaint is bitter;My hand is listless because of my groaning. 3 Oh, that I knew where I might find Him,That I might come to His seat! 4 I would present my case 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 to me. 6 Would He contend with me in His great power?No! But He would take note of me. 7 There the upright could reason with Him,And I would be delivered forever from my Judge.
8 "Look, I go forward, but He is not there,And backward, but I cannot perceive Him; 9 When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him;When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. 10 But He knows the way that I take;When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. 11 My foot has held fast to His steps;I have kept His way and not turned aside. 12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.
13 "But He is unique, and who can make Him change?And whatever His soul desires, that He does. 14 For He performs what is appointed for me,And many such things are with Him. 15 Therefore I am terrified at His presence;When I consider this, I am afraid of Him. 16 For God made my heart weak,And the Almighty terrifies me; 17 Because I was not cut off from the presence of darkness,And He did not hide deep darkness from my face.
Second Reading: Luke Chapter 11
11:1 The Model Prayer
Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples."
2 So He said to them, "When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins,For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.And do not lead us into temptation,But deliver us from the evil one."
5 A Friend Comes at Midnight
And He said to them, "Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him
at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of
mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; 7
and he will answer from within and say, 'Do not trouble me; the door is now
shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you'? 8
I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend,
yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
9 Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
14 A House Divided Cannot Stand
(Matt 12:22-30; Mark 3:22-27)
And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. So it was, when the demon had gone out, that the mute spoke; and the multitudes marveled. 15 But some of them said,"He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons."
16 Others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven. 17 But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. 18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? Because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. 22 But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. 23 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
24 An Unclean Spirit Returns
"When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' 25 And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. 26 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first."
27 Keeping the Word
And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd
raised her voice and said to Him,"Blessed is the womb that bore You, and
the breasts which nursed You!"
28 But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"
29 Seeking a Sign
And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, "This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. 30 For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation. 31 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.
33 The Lamp of the Body
"No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. 34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light."
37 Woe to the Pharisees and Lawyers
And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went
in and sat down to eat. 38 When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that He had
not first washed before dinner.
39 Then the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. 40 Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you.
42 "But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them."
45 Then one of the lawyers answered and said to Him, "Teacher, by saying these things You reproach us also."
46 And He said, "Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 48 In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore the wisdom of God also said,'I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will 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 to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.
52 "Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered."
53 And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, 54 lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him.
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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