Day #208: Job 15-17 & Rom 2:17-3:8

Eliphaz Accuses Job of Folly

15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

2
“Should a wise man answer with empty knowledge,
And fill himself with the east wind?

3
Should he reason with unprofitable talk,
Or by speeches with which he can do no good?

4
Yes, you cast off fear,
And restrain prayer before God.

5
For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
And you choose the tongue of the crafty.

6
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
Yes, your own lips testify against you.

7
“Are you the first man who was born?
Or were you made before the hills?

8
Have you heard the counsel of God?
Do you limit wisdom to yourself?

9
What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not in us?

10
Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us,
Much older than your father.

11
Are the consolations of God too small for you,
And the word spoken gently[a] with you?

12
Why does your heart carry you away,
And what do your eyes wink at,

13
That you turn your spirit against God,
And let such words go out of your mouth?

14
“What is man, that he could be pure?
And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous?

15
If God puts no trust in His saints,
And the heavens are not pure in His sight,

16
How much less man, who is abominable and filthy,
Who drinks iniquity like water!

17
“I will tell you, hear me;
What I have seen I will declare,

18
What wise men have told,
Not hiding anything received from their fathers,

19
To whom alone the land was given,
And no alien passed among them:

20
The wicked man writhes with pain all his days,
And the number of years is hidden from the oppressor.

21
Dreadful sounds are in his ears;
In prosperity the destroyer comes upon him.

22
He does not believe that he will return from darkness,
For a sword is waiting for him.

23
He wanders about for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand.

24
Trouble and anguish make him afraid;
They overpower him, like a king ready for battle.

25
For he stretches out his hand against God,
And acts defiantly against the Almighty,

26
Running stubbornly against Him
With his strong, embossed shield.

27
“Though he has covered his face with his fatness,
And made his waist heavy with fat,

28
He dwells in desolate cities,
In houses which no one inhabits,
Which are destined to become ruins.

29
He will not be rich,
Nor will his wealth continue,
Nor will his possessions overspread the earth.

30
He will not depart from darkness;
The flame will dry out his branches,
And by the breath of His mouth he will go away.

31
Let him not trust in futile things, deceiving himself,
For futility will be his reward.

32
It will be accomplished before his time,
And his branch will not be green.

33
He will shake off his unripe grape like a vine,
And cast off his blossom like an olive tree.

34
For the company of hypocrites will be barren,
And fire will consume the tents of bribery.

35
They conceive trouble and bring forth futility;
Their womb prepares deceit.”

Job 16 New King James Version (NKJV)

Job Reproaches His Pitiless Friends

16 Then Job answered and said:

2
“I have heard many such things;
Miserable comforters are you all!

3
Shall words of wind have an end?
Or what provokes you that you answer?

4
I also could speak as you do,
If your soul were in my soul’s place.
I could heap up words against you,
And shake my head at you;

5
But I would strengthen you with my mouth,
And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.

6
“Though I speak, my grief is not relieved;
And if I remain silent, how am I eased?

7
But now He has worn me out;
You have made desolate all my company.

8
You have shriveled me up,
And it is a witness against me;
My leanness rises up against me
And bears witness to my face.

9
He tears me in His wrath, and hates me;
He gnashes at me with His teeth;
My adversary sharpens His gaze on me.

10
They gape at me with their mouth,
They strike me reproachfully on the cheek,
They gather together against me.

11
God has delivered me to the ungodly,
And turned me over to the hands of the wicked.

12
I was at ease, but He has shattered me;
He also has taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces;
He has set me up for His target,

13
His archers surround me.
He pierces my heart[a] and does not pity;
He pours out my gall on the ground.

14
He breaks me with wound upon wound;
He runs at me like a warrior.[b]

15
“I have sewn sackcloth over my skin,
And laid my head[c] in the dust.

16
My face is flushed from weeping,
And on my eyelids is the shadow of death;

17
Although no violence is in my hands,
And my prayer is pure.

18
“O earth, do not cover my blood,
And let my cry have no resting place!

19
Surely even now my witness is in heaven,
And my evidence is on high.

20
My friends scorn me;
My eyes pour out tears to God.

21
Oh, that one might plead for a man with God,
As a man pleads for his neighbor!

22
For when a few years are finished,
I shall go the way of no return.

Job 17 New King James Version (NKJV)

Job Prays for Relief

17 “My spirit is broken,
My days are extinguished,
The grave is ready for me.

2
Are not mockers with me?
And does not my eye dwell on their provocation?

3
“Now put down a pledge for me with Yourself.
Who is he who will shake hands with me?

4
For You have hidden their heart from understanding;
Therefore You will not exalt them.

5
He who speaks flattery to his friends,
Even the eyes of his children will fail.

6
“But He has made me a byword of the people,
And I have become one in whose face men spit.

7
My eye has also grown dim because of sorrow,
And all my members are like shadows.

8
Upright men are astonished at this,
And the innocent stirs himself up against the hypocrite.

9
Yet the righteous will hold to his way,
And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.

10
“But please, come back again, all of you,[a]
For I shall not find one wise man among you.

11
My days are past,
My purposes are broken off,
Even the thoughts of my heart.

12
They change the night into day;
‘The light is near,’ they say, in the face of darkness.

13
If I wait for the grave as my house,
If I make my bed in the darkness,

14
If I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’
And to the worm, ‘You are my mother and my sister,’

15
Where then is my hope?
As for my hope, who can see it?

16
Will they go down to the gates of Sheol?
Shall we have rest together in the dust?”

Romans 2 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Jews Guilty as the Gentiles

17 Indeed[b] you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. 21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,”[c] as it is written.

Circumcision of No Avail

25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

Romans 3 New King James Version (NKJV)

God’s Judgment Defended

3 What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. 3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:

“That You may be justified in Your words,
And may overcome when You are judged.”[a]

5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?

7 For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

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Day #207: Job 11-14 & Rom 1:18-2:16

Job 11 New King James Version (NKJV)

Zophar Urges Job to Repent

11 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:

2
“Should not the multitude of words be answered?
And should a man full of talk be vindicated?

3
Should your empty talk make men hold their peace?
And when you mock, should no one rebuke you?

4
For you have said,
‘My doctrine is pure,
And I am clean in your eyes.’

5
But oh, that God would speak,
And open His lips against you,

6
That He would show you the secrets of wisdom!
For they would double your prudence.
Know therefore that God exacts from you
Less than your iniquity deserves.

7
“Can you search out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?

8
They are higher than heaven— what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol— what can you know?

9
Their measure is longer than the earth
And broader than the sea.

10
“If He passes by, imprisons, and gathers to judgment,
Then who can hinder Him?

11
For He knows deceitful men;
He sees wickedness also.
Will He not then consider it?

12
For an empty-headed man will be wise,
When a wild donkey’s colt is born a man.

13
“If you would prepare your heart,
And stretch out your hands toward Him;

14
If iniquity were in your hand, and you put it far away,
And would not let wickedness dwell in your tents;

15
Then surely you could lift up your face without spot;
Yes, you could be steadfast, and not fear;

16
Because you would forget your misery,
And remember it as waters that have passed away,

17
And your life would be brighter than noonday.
Though you were dark, you would be like the morning.

18
And you would be secure, because there is hope;
Yes, you would dig around you, and take your rest in safety.

19
You would also lie down, and no one would make you afraid;
Yes, many would court your favor.

20
But the eyes of the wicked will fail,
And they shall not escape,
And their hope—loss of life!”

Job 12 New King James Version (NKJV)

Job Answers His Critics

12 Then Job answered and said:

2
“No doubt you are the people,
And wisdom will die with you!

3
But I have understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Indeed, who does not know such things as these?

4
“I am one mocked by his friends,
Who called on God, and He answered him,
The just and blameless who is ridiculed.

5
A lamp[a] is despised in the thought of one who is at ease;
It is made ready for those whose feet slip.

6
The tents of robbers prosper,
And those who provoke God are secure—
In what God provides by His hand.

7
“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;

8
Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;
And the fish of the sea will explain to you.

9
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the Lord has done this,

10
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?

11
Does not the ear test words
And the mouth taste its food?

12
Wisdom is with aged men,
And with length of days, understanding.

13
“With Him are wisdom and strength,
He has counsel and understanding.

14
If He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt;
If He imprisons a man, there can be no release.

15
If He withholds the waters, they dry up;
If He sends them out, they overwhelm the earth.

16
With Him are strength and prudence.
The deceived and the deceiver are His.

17
He leads counselors away plundered,
And makes fools of the judges.

18
He loosens the bonds of kings,
And binds their waist with a belt.

19
He leads princes[b] away plundered,
And overthrows the mighty.

20
He deprives the trusted ones of speech,
And takes away the discernment of the elders.

21
He pours contempt on princes,
And disarms the mighty.

22
He uncovers deep things out of darkness,
And brings the shadow of death to light.

23
He makes nations great, and destroys them;
He enlarges nations, and guides them.

24
He takes away the understanding[c] of the chiefs of the people of the earth,
And makes them wander in a pathless wilderness.

25
They grope in the dark without light,
And He makes them stagger like a drunken man.

Job 13 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 “Behold, my eye has seen all this,
My ear has heard and understood it.

2
What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.

3
But I would speak to the Almighty,
And I desire to reason with God.

4
But you forgers of lies,
You are all worthless physicians.

5
Oh, that you would be silent,
And it would be your wisdom!

6
Now hear my reasoning,
And heed the pleadings of my lips.

7
Will you speak wickedly for God,
And talk deceitfully for Him?

8
Will you show partiality for Him?
Will you contend for God?

9
Will it be well when He searches you out?
Or can you mock Him as one mocks a man?

10
He will surely rebuke you
If you secretly show partiality.

11
Will not His excellence make you afraid,
And the dread of Him fall upon you?

12
Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes,
Your defenses are defenses of clay.

13
“Hold your peace with me, and let me speak,
Then let come on me what may!

14
Why do I take my flesh in my teeth,
And put my life in my hands?

15
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.

16
He also shall be my salvation,
For a hypocrite could not come before Him.

17
Listen carefully to my speech,
And to my declaration with your ears.

18
See now, I have prepared my case,
I know that I shall be vindicated.

19
Who is he who will contend with me?
If now I hold my tongue, I perish.

Job’s Despondent Prayer

20
“Only two things do not do to me,
Then I will not hide myself from You:

21
Withdraw Your hand far from me,
And let not the dread of You make me afraid.

22
Then call, and I will answer;
Or let me speak, then You respond to me.

23
How many are my iniquities and sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.

24
Why do You hide Your face,
And regard me as Your enemy?

25
Will You frighten a leaf driven to and fro?
And will You pursue dry stubble?

26
For You write bitter things against me,
And make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.

27
You put my feet in the stocks,
And watch closely all my paths.
You set a limit[a] for the soles of my feet.

28
“Man[b] decays like a rotten thing,
Like a garment that is moth-eaten.

Job 14 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 “Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of trouble.

2
He comes forth like a flower and fades away;
He flees like a shadow and does not continue.

3
And do You open Your eyes on such a one,
And bring me[a] to judgment with Yourself?

4
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
No one!

5
Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You;
You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.

6
Look away from him that he may rest,
Till like a hired man he finishes his day.

7
“For there is hope for a tree,
If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And that its tender shoots will not cease.

8
Though its root may grow old in the earth,
And its stump may die in the ground,

9
Yet at the scent of water it will bud
And bring forth branches like a plant.

10
But man dies and is laid away;
Indeed he breathes his last
And where is he?

11
As water disappears from the sea,
And a river becomes parched and dries up,

12
So man lies down and does not rise.
Till the heavens are no more,
They will not awake
Nor be roused from their sleep.

13
“Oh, that You would hide me in the grave,
That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past,
That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!

14
If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my hard service I will wait,
Till my change comes.

15
You shall call, and I will answer You;
You shall desire the work of Your hands.

16
For now You number my steps,
But do not watch over my sin.

17
My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
And You cover[b] my iniquity.

18
“But as a mountain falls and crumbles away,
And as a rock is moved from its place;

19
As water wears away stones,
And as torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
So You destroy the hope of man.

20
You prevail forever against him, and he passes on;
You change his countenance and send him away.

21
His sons come to honor, and he does not know it;
They are brought low, and he does not perceive it.

22
But his flesh will be in pain over it,
And his soul will mourn over it.”

Romans 1 New King James Version (NKJV)
God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[c] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[d] unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Romans 2 New King James Version (NKJV)

God’s Righteous Judgment

2 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:[a] 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Day #206: Job 8-10 & Rom 1:1-17

Job 8 New King James Version (NKJV)

Bildad: Job Should Repent

8 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

2
“How long will you speak these things,
And the words of your mouth be like a strong wind?

3
Does God subvert judgment?
Or does the Almighty pervert justice?

4
If your sons have sinned against Him,
He has cast them away for their transgression.

5
If you would earnestly seek God
And make your supplication to the Almighty,

6
If you were pure and upright,
Surely now He would awake for you,
And prosper your rightful dwelling place.

7
Though your beginning was small,
Yet your latter end would increase abundantly.

8
“For inquire, please, of the former age,
And consider the things discovered by their fathers;

9
For we were born yesterday, and know nothing,
Because our days on earth are a shadow.

10
Will they not teach you and tell you,
And utter words from their heart?

11
“Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh?
Can the reeds flourish without water?

12
While it is yet green and not cut down,
It withers before any other plant.

13
So are the paths of all who forget God;
And the hope of the hypocrite shall perish,

14
Whose confidence shall be cut off,
And whose trust is a spider’s web.

15
He leans on his house, but it does not stand.
He holds it fast, but it does not endure.

16
He grows green in the sun,
And his branches spread out in his garden.

17
His roots wrap around the rock heap,
And look for a place in the stones.

18
If he is destroyed from his place,
Then it will deny him, saying, ‘I have not seen you.’

19
“Behold, this is the joy of His way,
And out of the earth others will grow.

20
Behold, God will not cast away the blameless,
Nor will He uphold the evildoers.

21
He will yet fill your mouth with laughing,
And your lips with rejoicing.

22
Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
And the dwelling place of the wicked will come to nothing.”

Job 9 New King James Version (NKJV)

Job: There Is No Mediator

9 Then Job answered and said:

2
“Truly I know it is so,
But how can a man be righteous before God?

3
If one wished to contend with Him,
He could not answer Him one time out of a thousand.

4
God is wise in heart and mighty in strength.
Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered?

5
He removes the mountains, and they do not know
When He overturns them in His anger;

6
He shakes the earth out of its place,
And its pillars tremble;

7
He commands the sun, and it does not rise;
He seals off the stars;

8
He alone spreads out the heavens,
And treads on the waves of the sea;

9
He made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades,
And the chambers of the south;

10
He does great things past finding out,
Yes, wonders without number.

11
If He goes by me, I do not see Him;
If He moves past, I do not perceive Him;

12
If He takes away, who can hinder Him?
Who can say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’

13
God will not withdraw His anger,
The allies of the proud[a] lie prostrate beneath Him.

14
“How then can I answer Him,
And choose my words to reason with Him?

15
For though I were righteous, I could not answer Him;
I would beg mercy of my Judge.

16
If I called and He answered me,
I would not believe that He was listening to my voice.

17
For He crushes me with a tempest,
And multiplies my wounds without cause.

18
He will not allow me to catch my breath,
But fills me with bitterness.

19
If it is a matter of strength, indeed He is strong;
And if of justice, who will appoint my day in court?

20
Though I were righteous, my own mouth would condemn me;
Though I were blameless, it would prove me perverse.

21
“I am blameless, yet I do not know myself;
I despise my life.

22
It is all one thing;
Therefore I say, ‘He destroys the blameless and the wicked.’

23
If the scourge slays suddenly,
He laughs at the plight of the innocent.

24
The earth is given into the hand of the wicked.
He covers the faces of its judges.
If it is not He, who else could it be?

25
“Now my days are swifter than a runner;
They flee away, they see no good.

26
They pass by like swift ships,
Like an eagle swooping on its prey.

27
If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will put off my sad face and wear a smile,’

28
I am afraid of all my sufferings;
I know that You will not hold me innocent.

29
If I am condemned,
Why then do I labor in vain?

30
If I wash myself with snow water,
And cleanse my hands with soap,

31
Yet You will plunge me into the pit,
And my own clothes will abhor me.

32
“For He is not a man, as I am,
That I may answer Him,
And that we should go to court together.

33
Nor is there any mediator between us,
Who may lay his hand on us both.

34
Let Him take His rod away from me,
And do not let dread of Him terrify me.

35
Then I would speak and not fear Him,
But it is not so with me.

Job 10 New King James Version (NKJV)

Job: I Would Plead with God

10 “My soul loathes my life;
I will give free course to my complaint,
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.

2
I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me;
Show me why You contend with me.

3
Does it seem good to You that You should oppress,
That You should despise the work of Your hands,
And smile on the counsel of the wicked?

4
Do You have eyes of flesh?
Or do You see as man sees?

5
Are Your days like the days of a mortal man?
Are Your years like the days of a mighty man,

6
That You should seek for my iniquity
And search out my sin,

7
Although You know that I am not wicked,
And there is no one who can deliver from Your hand?

8
‘Your hands have made me and fashioned me,
An intricate unity;
Yet You would destroy me.

9
Remember, I pray, that You have made me like clay.
And will You turn me into dust again?

10
Did You not pour me out like milk,
And curdle me like cheese,

11
Clothe me with skin and flesh,
And knit me together with bones and sinews?

12
You have granted me life and favor,
And Your care has preserved my spirit.

13
‘And these things You have hidden in Your heart;
I know that this was with You:

14
If I sin, then You mark me,
And will not acquit me of my iniquity.

15
If I am wicked, woe to me;
Even if I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head.
I am full of disgrace;
See my misery!

16
If my head is exalted,
You hunt me like a fierce lion,
And again You show Yourself awesome against me.

17
You renew Your witnesses against me,
And increase Your indignation toward me;
Changes and war are ever with me.

18
‘Why then have You brought me out of the womb?
Oh, that I had perished and no eye had seen me!

19
I would have been as though I had not been.
I would have been carried from the womb to the grave.

20
Are not my days few?
Cease! Leave me alone, that I may take a little comfort,

21
Before I go to the place from which I shall not return,
To the land of darkness and the shadow of death,

22
A land as dark as darkness itself,
As the shadow of death, without any order,
Where even the light is like darkness.’”

Romans 1 New King James Version (NKJV)

Greeting

1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. 5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Desire to Visit Rome

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, 10 making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. 14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. 15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.

The Just Live by Faith

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,[a] for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Day #205: Job 4-7 & Acts 28

Job 4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Eliphaz: Job Has Sinned

4 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

2
“If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary?
But who can withhold himself from speaking?

3
Surely you have instructed many,
And you have strengthened weak hands.

4
Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
And you have strengthened the feeble knees;

5
But now it comes upon you, and you are weary;
It touches you, and you are troubled.

6
Is not your reverence your confidence?
And the integrity of your ways your hope?

7
“Remember now, who ever perished being innocent?
Or where were the upright ever cut off?

8
Even as I have seen,
Those who plow iniquity
And sow trouble reap the same.

9
By the blast of God they perish,
And by the breath of His anger they are consumed.

10
The roaring of the lion,
The voice of the fierce lion,
And the teeth of the young lions are broken.

11
The old lion perishes for lack of prey,
And the cubs of the lioness are scattered.

12
“Now a word was secretly brought to me,
And my ear received a whisper of it.

13
In disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night,
When deep sleep falls on men,

14
Fear came upon me, and trembling,
Which made all my bones shake.

15
Then a spirit passed before my face;
The hair on my body stood up.

16
It stood still,
But I could not discern its appearance.
A form was before my eyes;
There was silence;
Then I heard a voice saying:

17
‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God?
Can a man be more pure than his Maker?

18
If He puts no trust in His servants,
If He charges His angels with error,

19
How much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
Whose foundation is in the dust,
Who are crushed before a moth?

20
They are broken in pieces from morning till evening;
They perish forever, with no one regarding.

21
Does not their own excellence go away?
They die, even without wisdom.’

Job 5 New King James Version (NKJV)

Eliphaz: Job Is Chastened by God

5 “Call out now;
Is there anyone who will answer you?
And to which of the holy ones will you turn?

2
For wrath kills a foolish man,
And envy slays a simple one.

3
I have seen the foolish taking root,
But suddenly I cursed his dwelling place.

4
His sons are far from safety,
They are crushed in the gate,
And there is no deliverer.

5
Because the hungry eat up his harvest,
Taking it even from the thorns,[a]
And a snare snatches their substance.[b]

6
For affliction does not come from the dust,
Nor does trouble spring from the ground;

7
Yet man is born to trouble,
As the sparks fly upward.

8
“But as for me, I would seek God,
And to God I would commit my cause—

9
Who does great things, and unsearchable,
Marvelous things without number.

10
He gives rain on the earth,
And sends waters on the fields.

11
He sets on high those who are lowly,
And those who mourn are lifted to safety.

12
He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
So that their hands cannot carry out their plans.

13
He catches the wise in their own craftiness,
And the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them.

14
They meet with darkness in the daytime,
And grope at noontime as in the night.

15
But He saves the needy from the sword,
From the mouth of the mighty,
And from their hand.

16
So the poor have hope,
And injustice shuts her mouth.

17
“Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects;
Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.

18
For He bruises, but He binds up;
He wounds, but His hands make whole.

19
He shall deliver you in six troubles,
Yes, in seven no evil shall touch you.

20
In famine He shall redeem you from death,
And in war from the power of the sword.

21
You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue,
And you shall not be afraid of destruction when it comes.

22
You shall laugh at destruction and famine,
And you shall not be afraid of the beasts of the earth.

23
For you shall have a covenant with the stones of the field,
And the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you.

24
You shall know that your tent is in peace;
You shall visit your dwelling and find nothing amiss.

25
You shall also know that your descendants shall be many,
And your offspring like the grass of the earth.

26
You shall come to the grave at a full age,
As a sheaf of grain ripens in its season.

27
Behold, this we have searched out;
It is true.
Hear it, and know for yourself.”

Job 6 New King James Version (NKJV)

Job: My Complaint Is Just

6 Then Job answered and said:

2
“Oh, that my grief were fully weighed,
And my calamity laid with it on the scales!

3
For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea—
Therefore my words have been rash.

4
For the arrows of the Almighty are within me;
My spirit drinks in their poison;
The terrors of God are arrayed against me.

5
Does the wild donkey bray when it has grass,
Or does the ox low over its fodder?

6
Can flavorless food be eaten without salt?
Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?

7
My soul refuses to touch them;
They are as loathsome food to me.

8
“Oh, that I might have my request,
That God would grant me the thing that I long for!

9
That it would please God to crush me,
That He would loose His hand and cut me off!

10
Then I would still have comfort;
Though in anguish I would exult,
He will not spare;
For I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.

11
“What strength do I have, that I should hope?
And what is my end, that I should prolong my life?

12
Is my strength the strength of stones?
Or is my flesh bronze?

13
Is my help not within me?
And is success driven from me?

14
“To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend,
Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

15
My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook,
Like the streams of the brooks that pass away,

16
Which are dark because of the ice,
And into which the snow vanishes.

17
When it is warm, they cease to flow;
When it is hot, they vanish from their place.

18
The paths of their way turn aside,
They go nowhere and perish.

19
The caravans of Tema look,
The travelers of Sheba hope for them.

20
They are disappointed because they were confident;
They come there and are confused.

21
For now you are nothing,
You see terror and are afraid.

22
Did I ever say, ‘Bring something to me’?
Or, ‘Offer a bribe for me from your wealth’?

23
Or, ‘Deliver me from the enemy’s hand’?
Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of oppressors’?

24
“Teach me, and I will hold my tongue;
Cause me to understand wherein I have erred.

25
How forceful are right words!
But what does your arguing prove?

26
Do you intend to rebuke my words,
And the speeches of a desperate one, which are as wind?

27
Yes, you overwhelm the fatherless,
And you undermine your friend.

28
Now therefore, be pleased to look at me;
For I would never lie to your face.

29
Yield now, let there be no injustice!
Yes, concede, my righteousness still stands!

30
Is there injustice on my tongue?
Cannot my taste discern the unsavory?

Job 7 New King James Version (NKJV)

Job: My Suffering Is Comfortless

7 “Is there not a time of hard service for man on earth?
Are not his days also like the days of a hired man?

2
Like a servant who earnestly desires the shade,
And like a hired man who eagerly looks for his wages,

3
So I have been allotted months of futility,
And wearisome nights have been appointed to me.

4
When I lie down, I say, ‘When shall I arise,
And the night be ended?’
For I have had my fill of tossing till dawn.

5
My flesh is caked with worms and dust,
My skin is cracked and breaks out afresh.

6
“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
And are spent without hope.

7
Oh, remember that my life is a breath!
My eye will never again see good.

8
The eye of him who sees me will see me no more;
While your eyes are upon me, I shall no longer be.

9
As the cloud disappears and vanishes away,
So he who goes down to the grave does not come up.

10
He shall never return to his house,
Nor shall his place know him anymore.

11
“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.

12
Am I a sea, or a sea serpent,
That You set a guard over me?

13
When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
My couch will ease my complaint,’

14
Then You scare me with dreams
And terrify me with visions,

15
So that my soul chooses strangling
And death rather than my body.[a]

16
I loathe my life;
I would not live forever.
Let me alone,
For my days are but a breath.

17
“What is man, that You should exalt him,
That You should set Your heart on him,

18
That You should visit him every morning,
And test him every moment?

19
How long?
Will You not look away from me,
And let me alone till I swallow my saliva?

20
Have I sinned?
What have I done to You, O watcher of men?
Why have You set me as Your target,
So that I am a burden to myself?[b]

21
Why then do You not pardon my transgression,
And take away my iniquity?
For now I will lie down in the dust,
And You will seek me diligently,
But I will no longer be.”

Acts 28 New King James Version (NKJV)

Paul’s Ministry on Malta

28 Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. 2 And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. 3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.” 5 But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. 6 However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

7 In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days. 8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. 10 They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary.

Arrival at Rome

11 After three months we sailed in an Alexandrian ship whose figurehead was the Twin Brothers, which had wintered at the island. 12 And landing at Syracuse, we stayed three days. 13 From there we circled round and reached Rhegium. And after one day the south wind blew; and the next day we came to Puteoli, 14 where we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them seven days. And so we went toward Rome. 15 And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.

16 Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him.

Paul’s Ministry at Rome

17 And it came to pass after three days that Paul called the leaders of the Jews together. So when they had come together, he said to them: “Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans, 18 who, when they had examined me, wanted to let me go, because there was no cause for putting me to death. 19 But when the Jews[a] spoke against it, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything of which to accuse my nation. 20 For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.”

21 Then they said to him, “We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren who came reported or spoken any evil of you. 22 But we desire to hear from you what you think; for concerning this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere.”

23 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. 24 And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved. 25 So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our[b] fathers, 26 saying,

‘Go to this people and say:
“Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand;
And seeing you will see, and not perceive;

27
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”’[c]

28 “Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves.[d]

30 Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

Day # 204: Psalms 82-85

Psalm 82 New King James Version (NKJV)

A Plea for Justice

A Psalm of Asaph.

82 God stands in the congregation of the mighty;
He judges among the gods.[a]

2
How long will you judge unjustly,
And show partiality to the wicked? Selah

3
Defend the poor and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and needy.

4
Deliver the poor and needy;
Free them from the hand of the wicked.

5
They do not know, nor do they understand;
They walk about in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth are unstable.

6
I said, “You are gods,[b]
And all of you are children of the Most High.

7
But you shall die like men,
And fall like one of the princes.”

8
Arise, O God, judge the earth;
For You shall inherit all nations.

Psalm 83 New King James Version (NKJV)

Prayer to Frustrate Conspiracy Against Israel

A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.

83 Do not keep silent, O God!
Do not hold Your peace,
And do not be still, O God!

2
For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.

3
They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.

4
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

5
For they have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You:

6
The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites;
Moab and the Hagrites;

7
Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;

8
Assyria also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot. Selah

9
Deal with them as with Midian,
As with Sisera,
As with Jabin at the Brook Kishon,

10
Who perished at En Dor,
Who became as refuse on the earth.

11
Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb,
Yes, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,

12
Who said, “Let us take for ourselves
The pastures of God for a possession.”

13
O my God, make them like the whirling dust,
Like the chaff before the wind!

14
As the fire burns the woods,
And as the flame sets the mountains on fire,

15
So pursue them with Your tempest,
And frighten them with Your storm.

16
Fill their faces with shame,
That they may seek Your name, O Lord.

17
Let them be confounded and dismayed forever;
Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,

18
That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.

Psalm 84 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Blessedness of Dwelling in the House of God

To the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath.[a] A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

84 How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O Lord of hosts!

2
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

3
Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.

4
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You. Selah

5
Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

6
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.

7
They go from strength to strength;
Each one appears before God in Zion.[b]

8
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

9
O God, behold our shield,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.

10
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

12
O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Psalm 85 New King James Version (NKJV)

Prayer that the Lord Will Restore Favor to the Land

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

85 Lord, You have been favorable to Your land;
You have brought back the captivity of Jacob.

2
You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people;
You have covered all their sin. Selah

3
You have taken away all Your wrath;
You have turned from the fierceness of Your anger.

4
Restore us, O God of our salvation,
And cause Your anger toward us to cease.

5
Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?

6
Will You not revive us again,
That Your people may rejoice in You?

7
Show us Your mercy, Lord,
And grant us Your salvation.

8
I will hear what God the Lord will speak,
For He will speak peace
To His people and to His saints;
But let them not turn back to folly.

9
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.

10
Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed.

11
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.

12
Yes, the Lord will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.

13
Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway.

Day #203: Job 1-3 & Acts 27

Job 1 New King James Version (NKJV)

Job and His Family in Uz

1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. 2 And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. 3 Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.

4 And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed[a] God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.

Satan Attacks Job’s Character

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came among them. 7 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

8 Then 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, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

9 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”

12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Job Loses His Property and Children

13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; 14 and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 when the Sabeans[c] raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

17 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and suddenly a great wind came from across[d] the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Job 2 New King James Version (NKJV)

Satan Attacks Job’s Health

2 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”

Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

3 Then 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, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”

4 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”

6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”

7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.

9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”

10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Job’s Three Friends

11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. 12 And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. 13 So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.

Job 3 New King James Version (NKJV)

Job Deplores His Birth

3 After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2 And Job spoke, and said:

3
“May the day perish on which I was born,
And the night in which it was said,
‘A male child is conceived.’

4
May that day be darkness;
May God above not seek it,
Nor the light shine upon it.

5
May darkness and the shadow of death claim it;
May a cloud settle on it;
May the blackness of the day terrify it.

6
As for that night, may darkness seize it;
May it not rejoice[a] among the days of the year,
May it not come into the number of the months.

7
Oh, may that night be barren!
May no joyful shout come into it!

8
May those curse it who curse the day,
Those who are ready to arouse Leviathan.

9
May the stars of its morning be dark;
May it look for light, but have none,
And not see the dawning of the day;

10
Because it did not shut up the doors of my mother’s womb,
Nor hide sorrow from my eyes.

11
“Why did I not die at birth?
Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?

12
Why did the knees receive me?
Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?

13
For now I would have lain still and been quiet,
I would have been asleep;
Then I would have been at rest

14
With kings and counselors of the earth,
Who built ruins for themselves,

15
Or with princes who had gold,
Who filled their houses with silver;

16
Or why was I not hidden like a stillborn child,
Like infants who never saw light?

17
There the wicked cease from troubling,
And there the weary are at rest.

18
There the prisoners rest together;
They do not hear the voice of the oppressor.

19
The small and great are there,
And the servant is free from his master.

20
“Why is light given to him who is in misery,
And life to the bitter of soul,

21
Who long for death, but it does not come,
And search for it more than hidden treasures;

22
Who rejoice exceedingly,
And are glad when they can find the grave?

23
Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,
And whom God has hedged in?

24
For my sighing comes before I eat,[b]
And my groanings pour out like water.

25
For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me,
And what I dreaded has happened to me.

26
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
I have no rest, for trouble comes.”

Acts 27 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Voyage to Rome Begins

27 And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment. 2 So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us. 3 And the next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care. 4 When we had put to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. 5 And when we had sailed over the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board.

7 When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed, we sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone. 8 Passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.

Paul’s Warning Ignored

9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.” 11 Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.

In the Tempest

13 When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. 14 But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon.[a] 15 So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive. 16 And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda,[b] we secured the skiff with difficulty. 17 When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis[c] Sands, they struck sail and so were driven. 18 And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. 19 On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands. 20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.

21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. 26 However, we must run aground on a certain island.”

27 Now when the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven up and down in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors sensed that they were drawing near some land. 28 And they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms. 29 Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come. 30 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, when they had let down the skiff into the sea, under pretense of putting out anchors from the prow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the skiff and let it fall off.

33 And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.” 35 And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat. 36 Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves. 37 And in all we were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship. 38 So when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and threw out the wheat into the sea.

Shipwrecked on Malta

39 When it was day, they did not recognize the land; but they observed a bay with a beach, onto which they planned to run the ship if possible. 40 And they let go the anchors and left them in the sea, meanwhile loosing the rudder ropes; and they hoisted the mainsail to the wind and made for shore. 41 But striking a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves.

42 And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, 44 and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.

Day # 202: Esther 8-10 & Acts 25:23-26:32

Esther 8 New King James Version (NKJV)

Esther Saves the Jews

8 On that day King Ahasuerus gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her. 2 So the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman.

3 Now Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews. 4 And the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king, 5 and said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to annihilate the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen?”

7 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Indeed, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews. 8 You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.”

9 So the king’s scribes were called at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and it was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews, the satraps, the governors, and the princes of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all, to every province in its own script, to every people in their own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language. 10 And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horseback, riding on royal horses bred from swift steeds.[a]

11 By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and protect their lives—to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them, both little children and women, and to plunder their possessions, 12 on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.[b] 13 A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province and published for all people, so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. 14 The couriers who rode on royal horses went out, hastened and pressed on by the king’s command. And the decree was issued in Shushan the citadel.

15 So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. 16 The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor. 17 And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them.

Esther 9 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Jews Destroy Their Tormentors

9 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king’s command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them. 2 The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people. 3 And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king’s work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them. 4 For Mordecai was great in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai became increasingly prominent. 5 Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them.

6 And in Shushan the citadel the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men. 7 Also Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha— 10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews—they killed; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.

11 On that day the number of those who were killed in Shushan the citadel was brought to the king. 12 And the king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the citadel, and the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? Now what is your petition? It shall be granted to you. Or what is your further request? It shall be done.”

13 Then Esther said, “If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do again tomorrow according to today’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the gallows.”

14 So the king commanded this to be done; the decree was issued in Shushan, and they hanged Haman’s ten sons.

15 And the Jews who were in Shushan gathered together again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed three hundred men at Shushan; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.

16 The remainder of the Jews in the king’s provinces gathered together and protected their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder. 17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. And on the fourteenth of the month[a] they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

The Feast of Purim

18 But the Jews who were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth; and on the fifteenth of the month[b] they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. 19 Therefore the Jews of the villages who dwelt in the unwalled towns celebrated the fourteenth day of the month of Adar with gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and for sending presents to one another.

20 And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, 21 to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, 22 as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor. 23 So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them, 24 because Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to annihilate them, and had cast Pur (that is, the lot), to consume them and destroy them; 25 but when Esther[c] came before the king, he commanded by letter that this[d] wicked plot which Haman had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.

26 So they called these days Purim, after the name Pur. Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, what they had seen concerning this matter, and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews established and imposed it upon themselves and their descendants and all who would join them, that without fail they should celebrate these two days every year, according to the written instructions and according to the prescribed time, 28 that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city, that these days of Purim should not fail to be observed among the Jews, and that the memory of them should not perish among their descendants.

29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim. 30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews, to the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth, 31 to confirm these days of Purim at their appointed time, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had prescribed for them, and as they had decreed for themselves and their descendants concerning matters of their fasting and lamenting. 32 So the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book.

Esther 10 New King James Version (NKJV)

Mordecai’s Advancement

10 And King Ahasuerus imposed tribute on the land and on the islands of the sea. 2 Now all the acts of his power and his might, and the account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? 3 For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen.

Acts 25 New King James Version (NKJV)

23 So the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and had entered the auditorium with the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at Festus’ command Paul was brought in. 24 And Festus said: “King Agrippa and all the men who are here present with us, you see this man about whom the whole assembly of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying out that he was not fit to live any longer. 25 But when I found that he had committed nothing deserving of death, and that he himself had appealed to Augustus, I decided to send him. 26 I have nothing certain to write to my lord concerning him. Therefore I have brought him out before you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the examination has taken place I may have something to write. 27 For it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner and not to specify the charges against him.”

Acts 26 New King James Version (NKJV)

Paul’s Early Life

26 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.”

So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself: 2 “I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, 3 especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which have to do with the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently.

4 “My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know. 5 They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. 7 To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. 8 Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?

9 “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

Paul Recounts His Conversion

12 “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now[a] send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

Paul’s Post-Conversion Life

19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. 21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come— 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

Agrippa Parries Paul’s Challenge

24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”

25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.”

30 When he had said these things, the king stood up, as well as the governor and Bernice and those who sat with them; 31 and when they had gone aside, they talked among themselves, saying, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.”

32 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”