Job 21-23

Posted on October 7, 2011 by

(Based upon the ESV chronological Bible reading plan.)

Job 21

Job Replies: The Wicked Do Prosper

1Then Job answered and said:
2 “Keep listening to my words,
and let this be your comfort.
3Bear with me, and I will speak,
and after I have spoken, mock on.
4As for me, is my complaint against man?
Why should I not be impatient?
5Look at me and be appalled,
and lay your hand over your mouth.
6When I remember, I am dismayed,
and shuddering seizes my flesh.
7 Why do the wicked live,
reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
8Their offspring are established in their presence,
and their descendants before their eyes.
9Their houses are safe from fear,
and no rod of God is upon them.
10Their bull breeds without fail;
their cow calves and does not miscarry.
11They send out their little boys like a flock,
and their children dance.
12They sing to the tambourine and the lyre
and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
13They spend their days in prosperity,
and in peace they go down to Sheol.
14They say to God, ‘Depart from us!
We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.
15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’
16Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand?
The counsel of the wicked is far from me.

17“How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out?
That their calamity comes upon them?
That God[a] distributes pains in his anger?
18That they are like straw before the wind,
and like chaff that the storm carries away?
19You say, ‘God stores up their iniquity for their children.’
Let him pay it out to them, that they may know it.
20Let their own eyes see their destruction,
and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
21For what do they care for their houses after them,
when the number of their months is cut off?
22 Will any teach God knowledge,
seeing that he judges those who are on high?
23One dies in his full vigor,
being wholly at ease and secure,
24his pails[b] full of milk
and the marrow of his bones moist.
25Another dies in bitterness of soul,
never having tasted of prosperity.
26They lie down alike in the dust,
and the worms cover them.

27“Behold, I know your thoughts
and your schemes to wrong me.
28For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince?
Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’
29Have you not asked those who travel the roads,
and do you not accept their testimony
30that the evil man is spared in the day of calamity,
that he is rescued in the day of wrath?
31Who declares his way to his face,
and who repays him for what he has done?
32When he is carried to the grave,
watch is kept over his tomb.
33 The clods of the valley are sweet to him;
all mankind follows after him,
and those who go before him are innumerable.
34How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?
There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”

Job 22

Eliphaz Speaks: Job’s Wickedness Is Great

1Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
2 “Can a man be profitable to God?
Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
3Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right,
or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
4Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you
and enters into judgment with you?
5Is not your evil abundant?
There is no end to your iniquities.
6For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing
and stripped the naked of their clothing.
7You have given no water to the weary to drink,
and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
8 The man with power possessed the land,
and the favored man lived in it.
9You have sent widows away empty,
and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.
10Therefore snares are all around you,
and sudden terror overwhelms you,
11or darkness, so that you cannot see,
and a flood of water covers you.

12“Is not God high in the heavens?
See the highest stars, how lofty they are!
13But you say, ‘What does God know?
Can he judge through the deep darkness?
14 Thick clouds veil him, so that he does not see,
and he walks on the vault of heaven.’
15Will you keep to the old way
that wicked men have trod?
16They were snatched away before their time;
their foundation was washed away.
17They said to God, ‘Depart from us,’
and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’[c]
18Yet 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;
the innocent one mocks at them,
20saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off,
and what they left the fire has consumed.’

21 “Agree with God, and be at peace;
thereby good will come to you.
22Receive instruction from his mouth,
and lay up his words in your heart.
23If you return to the Almighty you will be built up;
if you remove injustice far from your tents,
24if you lay gold in the dust,
and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed,
25then the Almighty will be your gold
and your precious silver.
26For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty
and lift up your face to God.
27You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you,
and you will pay your vows.
28You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
and light will shine on your ways.
29For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride’;[d]
but he saves the lowly.
30He delivers even the one who is not innocent,[e]
who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

Job 23

Job Replies: Where Is God?

1Then Job answered and said:
2“Today also my complaint is bitter;[f]
my hand is heavy on account of my groaning.
3Oh, that I knew where I might find him,
that I might come even to his seat!
4I would lay my case before him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
5I would know what he would answer me
and understand what he would say to me.
6Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
No; he would pay attention to me.
7There an upright man could argue with him,
and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.

8“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there,
and backward, but I do not perceive him;
9on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;
he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
10But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
11My foot has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
12I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
13But he is unchangeable,[g] and who can turn him back?
What he desires, that he does.
14For he will complete what he appoints for me,
and many such things are in his mind.
15Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
when I consider, I am in dread of him.
16God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me;
17yet I am not silenced because of the darkness,
nor because thick darkness covers my face.

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