August 1: Psalm 32; Job 25-31

Song for today: Ever be / Home

Today’s country: Republic of Djibouti

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones grew old
Through my groaning all the day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.
Selah
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
Selah
For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.
Selah
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous;
And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
from Psalm 32

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said: “Dominion and fear belong to Him;
He makes peace in His high places.
Is there any number to His armies?
Upon whom does His light not rise?
How then can man be righteous before God?
Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman?
If even the moon does not shine,
And the stars are not pure in His sight,
How much less man, who is a maggot,
And a son of man, who is a worm?”
from Job 25

But Job answered and said: “How have you helped him who is without power?
How have you saved the arm that has no strength?
How have you counseled one who has no wisdom?
And how have you declared sound advice to many?
•••
these are the mere edges of His ways,
And how small a whisper we hear of Him!
But the thunder of His power who can understand?”
from Job 26

Job continued his discourse, and said: “As God lives, who has taken away my justice,
And the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,
As long as my breath is in me,
And the breath of God in my nostrils,
My lips will not speak wickedness,
Nor my tongue utter deceit.
Far be it from me
That I should say you are right;
Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go;
My heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.
•••
I will teach you about the hand of God;
What is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
Surely all of you have seen it;
Why then do you behave with complete nonsense?
“This is the portion of a wicked man with God,
And the heritage of oppressors, received from the Almighty:
from Job 27

Surely there is a mine for silver, And a place where gold is refined.
Iron is taken from the earth,
And copper is smelted from ore.
Man puts an end to darkness,
And searches every recess
For ore in the darkness and the shadow of death.
•••
where can wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
Man does not know its value,
Nor is it found in the land of the living.
The deep says, “It is not in me’;
And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
It cannot be purchased for gold,
Nor can silver be weighed for its price.
•••
the price of wisdom is above rubies.
The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
Nor can it be valued in pure gold.
“From where then does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
•••
God understands its way,
And He knows its place.
For He looks to the ends of the earth,
And sees under the whole heavens,
•••
to man He said,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’ ”
from Job 28

Job further continued his discourse, and said: “Oh, that I were as in months past,
As in the days when God watched over me;
When His lamp shone upon my head,
And when by His light I walked through darkness;
Just as I was in the days of my prime,
When the friendly counsel of God was over my tent;
When the Almighty was yet with me,
When my children were around me;
When my steps were bathed with cream,
And the rock poured out rivers of oil for me!
from Job 29

But now they mock at me, men younger than I,
Whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock.
•••
And now I am their taunting song;
Yes, I am their byword.
They abhor me, they keep far from me;
They do not hesitate to spit in my face.
Because He has loosed my bowstring and afflicted me,
They have cast off restraint before me.
•••
I cry out to You, but You do not answer me;
I stand up, and You regard me.
But You have become cruel to me;
With the strength of Your hand You oppose me.
You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride on it;
You spoil my success.
from Job 30

I have made a covenant with my eyes;
Why then should I look upon a young woman?
For what is the allotment of God from above,
And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
Is it not destruction for the wicked,
And disaster for the workers of iniquity?
•••
Let me be weighed on honest scales,
That God may know my integrity.
If my step has turned from the way,
Or my heart walked after my eyes,
Or if any spot adheres to my hands,
Then let me sow, and another eat;
Yes, let my harvest be rooted out.
“If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
Or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,
Then let my wife grind for another,
And let others bow down over her.
For that would be wickedness;
Yes, it would be iniquity deserving of judgment.
•••
Oh, that I had one to hear me!
Here is my mark.
Oh, that the Almighty would answer me,
That my Prosecutor had written a book!
Surely I would carry it on my shoulder,
And bind it on me like a crown;
I would declare to Him the number of my steps;
Like a prince I would approach Him.
“If my land cries out against me,
And its furrows weep together;
If I have eaten its fruit without money,
Or caused its owners to lose their lives;
Then let thistles grow instead of wheat,
And weeds instead of barley.” The words of Job are ended.
from Job 31

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