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(Aug 8, 2000)
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Thursday, January 19, 2017
The Books of Poetry
"Behold, my eye has seen all this, My ear has heard and understood it.
" What you know I also know; I am not inferior to you.
"But I would speak to the Almighty, And I desire to argue with God.
"But you smear with lies; You are all worthless physicians.
"O that you would be completely silent, And that it would become your wisdom!
"Please hear my argument And listen to the contentions of my lips.
"Will you speak what is unjust for God, And speak what is deceitful for Him?
"Will you show partiality for Him? Will you contend for God?
"Will it be well when He examines you? Or will you deceive Him as one deceives a man?
"He will surely reprove you If you secretly show partiality.
"Will not His majesty terrify you, And the dread of Him fall on you?
"Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, Your defenses are defenses of clay.
" Be silent before me so that I may speak; Then let come on me what may.
"Why should I take my flesh in my teeth And put my life in my hands?
" Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.
"This also will be my salvation, For a godless man may not come before His presence.
"Listen carefully to my speech, And let my declaration fill your ears.
"Behold now, I have prepared my case; I know that I will be vindicated.
" Who will contend with me? For then I would be silent and die.
"Only two things do not do to me, Then I will not hide from Your face:
Remove Your hand from me, And let not the dread of You terrify me.
"Then call, and I will answer; Or let me speak, then reply to me.
" How many are my iniquities and sins? Make known to me my rebellion and my sin.
"Why do You hide Your face And consider me Your enemy?
"Will You cause a driven leaf to tremble? Or will You pursue the dry chaff?
"For You write bitter things against me And make me to inherit the iniquities of my youth.
"You put my feet in the stocks And watch all my paths; You set a limit for the soles of my feet,
While I am decaying like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth-eaten. 14
"Man, who is born of woman, Is short-lived and full of turmoil.
" Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.
"You also open Your eyes on him And bring him into judgment with Yourself.
" Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one!
"Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass.
" Turn Your gaze from him that he may rest, Until he fulfills his day like a hired man.
"For there is hope for a tree, When it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And its shoots will not fail.
"Though its roots grow old in the ground And its stump dies in the dry soil,
At the scent of water it will flourish And put forth sprigs like a plant.
"But man dies and lies prostrate. Man expires, and where is he?
"As water evaporates from the sea, And a river becomes parched and dried up,
So man lies down and does not rise. Until the heavens are no longer, He will not awake nor be aroused out of his sleep.
"Oh that You would hide me in Sheol, That You would conceal me until Your wrath returns to You, That You would set a limit for me and remember me!
"If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait Until my change comes.
"You will call, and I will answer You; You will long for the work of Your hands.
"For now You number my steps, You do not observe my sin.
"My transgression is sealed up in a bag, And You wrap up my iniquity.
"But the falling mountain crumbles away, And the rock moves from its place;
Water wears away stones, Its torrents wash away the dust of the earth; So You destroy man's hope.
"You forever overpower him and he departs; You change his appearance and send him away.
"His sons achieve honor, but he does not know it; Or they become insignificant, but he does not perceive it.
"But his body pains him, And he mourns only for himself.' 15
Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission.
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