July 28: Psalm 28; Job 1-7

Song for today: Like a River Glorious

Today’s country: Hellenic Republic (Greece)

To you, O Lord, I call;
my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you be silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.
Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
when I cry to you for help,
when I lift up my hands
toward your most holy sanctuary.
•••
Blessed be the Lord!
For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
from Psalm 28

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.
•••
this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.
•••
the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
•••
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
from Job 1

the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
•••
his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
•••
when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place
from Job 2

After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
from Job 3

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
“If one ventures a word with you, will you be impatient?
Yet who can keep from speaking?
Behold, you have instructed many,
and you have strengthened the weak hands.
Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
and you have made firm the feeble knees.
•••
But now it has come to you, and you are impatient;
it touches you, and you are dismayed.
Is not your fear of God your confidence,
and the integrity of your ways your hope?
“Remember: who that was innocent ever perished?
Or where were the upright cut off?
•••
Can mortal man be in the right before God?
Can a man be pure before his Maker?
Even in his servants he puts no trust,
and his angels he charges with error;
how much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed like the moth.
from Job 4

but man is born to trouble
as the sparks fly upward.
“As for me, I would seek God,
and to God would I commit my cause,
who does great things and unsearchable,
marvelous things without number:
•••
Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves;
therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he binds up;
he shatters, but his hands heal.
He will deliver you from six troubles;
in seven no evil shall touch you.
•••
Behold, this we have searched out; it is true.
Hear, and know it for your good.”
from Job 5

Then Job answered
•••
Oh that I might have my request,
and that God would fulfill my hope,
that it would please God to crush me,
that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!
This would be my comfort;
I would even exult in pain unsparing,
for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
•••
He who withholds kindness from a friend
forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
My brothers are treacherous as a torrent-bed,
as torrential streams that pass away,
which are dark with ice,
and where the snow hides itself.
•••
Teach me, and I will be silent;
make me understand how I have gone astray.
How forceful are upright words!
But what does reproof from you reprove?
from Job 6

Remember that my life is a breath;
my eye will never again see good.
•••
Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
•••
What is man, that you make so much of him,
and that you set your heart on him,
visit him every morning
and test him every moment?
•••
If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind?
Why have you made me your mark?
Why have I become a burden to you?
Why do you not pardon my transgression
and take away my iniquity?
For now I shall lie in the earth;
you will seek me, but I shall not be.”
from Job 7

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