This week: Job 1, Psalm 23, Proverbs 3
There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.
He had seven sons and three daughters.
He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area.
Job’s sons would take turns preparing feasts in their homes, and they would also invite their three sisters to celebrate with them.
When these celebrations ended—sometimes after several days—Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.
One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them.
“Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan.
Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”
Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”
Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God.
You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is!
But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”
“All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.
One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house,
a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them,
when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: “Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home.
Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship.
“I came naked from my mother’s womb,
and I will be naked when I leave.
The Lord gave me what I had,
and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord!”
In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,[
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
Store my commands in your heart.
If you do this, you will live many years,
and your life will be satisfying.
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
Then you will find favor with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones.
Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the best part of everything you produce.
Then he will fill your barns with grain,
and your vats will overflow with good wine.
My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
For the Lord corrects those he loves,
just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
Joyful is the person who finds wisdom,
the one who gains understanding.
For wisdom is more profitable than silver,
and her wages are better than gold.
Wisdom is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
She offers you long life in her right hand,
and riches and honor in her left.
She will guide you down delightful paths;
all her ways are satisfying.
Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
happy are those who hold her tightly.
By wisdom the Lord founded the earth;
by understanding he created the heavens.
By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth,
and the dew settles beneath the night sky.
My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment.
Hang on to them,
for they will refresh your soul.
They are like jewels on a necklace.
They keep you safe on your way,
and your feet will not stumble.
You can go to bed without fear;
you will lie down and sleep soundly.
You need not be afraid of sudden disaster
or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
for the Lord is your security.
He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it
when it’s in your power to help them.
If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say,
“Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”
Don’t plot harm against your neighbor,
for those who live nearby trust you.
Don’t pick a fight without reason,
when no one has done you harm.
Don’t envy violent people
or copy their ways.
Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord,
but he offers his friendship to the godly.
The Lord curses the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the upright.
The Lord mocks the mockers
but is gracious to the humble.[
The wise inherit honor,
but fools are put to shame!