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(Aug 8, 2000)
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Thursday, January 19, 2017
The Books of Poetry
"My eyes have seen all this, my ears have heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you.
But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God.
You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians, all of you!
If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom.
Hear now my argument; listen to the plea of my lips.
Will you speak wickedly on God's behalf? Will you speak deceitfully for him?
Will you show him partiality? Will you argue the case for God?
Would it turn out well if he examined you? Could you deceive him as you might deceive men?
He would surely rebuke you if you secretly showed partiality.
Would not his splendor terrify you? Would not the dread of him fall on you?
Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay.
"Keep silent and let me speak; then let come to me what may.
Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands?
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.
Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless man would dare come before him!
Listen carefully to my words; let your ears take in what I say.
Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated.
Can anyone bring charges against me? If so, I will be silent and die.
"Only grant me these two things, O God, and then I will not hide from you:
Withdraw your hand far from me, and stop frightening me with your terrors.
Then summon me and I will answer, or let me speak, and you reply.
How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offense and my sin.
Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy?
Will you torment a windblown leaf? Will you chase after dry chaff?
For you write down bitter things against me and make me inherit the sins of my youth.
You fasten my feet in shackles; you keep close watch on all my paths by putting marks on the soles of my feet.
"So man wastes away like something rotten, like a garment eaten by moths.
"Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.
He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.
Do you fix your eye on such a one? Will you bring him before you for judgment?
Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!
Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.
So look away from him and let him alone, till he has put in his time like a hired man.
"At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.
Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.
But man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more.
As water disappears from the sea or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
so man lies down and does not rise; till the heavens are no more, men will not awake or be roused from their sleep.
"If only you would hide me in the grave and conceal me till your anger has passed! If only you would set me a time and then remember me!
If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come.
You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.
Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin.
My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.
"But as a mountain erodes and crumbles and as a rock is moved from its place,
as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy man's hope.
You overpower him once for all, and he is gone; you change his countenance and send him away.
If his sons are honored, he does not know it; if they are brought low, he does not see it.
He feels but the pain of his own body and mourns only for himself."
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
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