ESV: Every Day in the Word
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Read through the Bible in 15 Minutes Per Day

The popular reading plan features a reading from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs each day. This plan divides the text into 365 sections, so you can read through the entire Bible in one unforgettable year—in as little as 15 minutes a day. In one year, you read the full Old Testament and the New Testament once, and Psalms and Proverbs twice.

© 2018 Crossway. All Rights Reserved.



August 21: Job 9–10; Colossians 3:1–17; Psalm 47; Proverbs 21:30–31

Old Testament: Job 9–10

Job 9–10 (Listen)

Job Replies: There Is No Arbiter

Then Job answered and said:

  “Truly I know that it is so:
    But how can a man be in the right before God?
  If one wished to contend with him,
    one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
  He is wise in heart and mighty in strength
    —who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?—
  he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
    when he overturns them in his anger,
  who shakes the earth out of its place,
    and its pillars tremble;
  who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
    who seals up the stars;
  who alone stretched out the heavens
    and trampled the waves of the sea;
  who made the Bear and Orion,
    the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
10   who does great things beyond searching out,
    and marvelous things beyond number.
11   Behold, he passes by me, and I see him not;
    he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
12   Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back?
    Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13   “God will not turn back his anger;
    beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab.
14   How then can I answer him,
    choosing my words with him?
15   Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him;
    I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.1
16   If I summoned him 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 let me get my breath,
    but fills me with bitterness.
19   If it is a contest of strength, behold, he is mighty!
    If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?2
20   Though I am in the right, my own mouth would condemn me;
    though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
21   I am blameless; I regard not myself;
    I loathe my life.
22   It is all one; therefore I say,
    ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23   When disaster brings sudden death,
    he mocks at the calamity3 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 then is it?
25   “My days are swifter than a runner;
    they flee away; they see no good.
26   They go by like skiffs of reed,
    like an eagle swooping on the prey.
27   If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
    I will put off my sad face, and be of good cheer,’
28   I become afraid of all my suffering,
    for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29   I shall be condemned;
    why then do I labor in vain?
30   If I wash myself with snow
    and cleanse my hands with lye,
31   yet you will plunge me into a pit,
    and my own clothes will abhor me.
32   For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,
    that we should come to trial together.
33   There is no4 arbiter between us,
    who might lay his hand on us both.
34   Let him take his rod away from me,
    and let not dread of him terrify me.
35   Then I would speak without fear of him,
    for I am not so in myself.

Job Continues: A Plea to God

10   “I loathe my life;
  I will give free utterance to my complaint;
    I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
  I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
    let me know why you contend against me.
  Does it seem good to you to oppress,
    to despise the work of your hands
    and favor the designs of the wicked?
  Have you eyes of flesh?
    Do you see as man sees?
  Are your days as the days of man,
    or your years as a man's years,
  that you seek out my iniquity
    and search for my sin,
  although you know that I am not guilty,
    and there is none to deliver out of your hand?
  Your hands fashioned and made me,
    and now you have destroyed me altogether.
  Remember that you have made me like clay;
    and will you return me to the dust?
10   Did you not pour me out like milk
    and curdle me like cheese?
11   You clothed me with skin and flesh,
    and knit me together with bones and sinews.
12   You have granted me life and steadfast love,
    and your care has preserved my spirit.
13   Yet these things you hid in your heart;
    I know that this was your purpose.
14   If I sin, you watch me
    and do not acquit me of my iniquity.
15   If I am guilty, woe to me!
    If I am in the right, I cannot lift up my head,
  for I am filled with disgrace
    and look on my affliction.
16   And were my head lifted up,5 you would hunt me like a lion
    and again work wonders against me.
17   You renew your witnesses against me
    and increase your vexation toward me;
    you bring fresh troops against me.
18   “Why did you bring me out from the womb?
    Would that I had died before any eye had seen me
19   and were as though I had not been,
    carried from the womb to the grave.
20   Are not my days few?
    Then cease, and leave me alone, that I may find a little cheer
21   before I go—and I shall not return—
    to the land of darkness and deep shadow,
22   the land of gloom like thick darkness,
    like deep shadow without any order,
    where light is as thick darkness.”

Footnotes

[1] 9:15 Or to my judge
[2] 9:19 Or who can grant me a hearing?
[3] 9:23 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[4] 9:33 Or Would that there were an
[5] 10:16 Hebrew lacks my head

(ESV)

New Testament: Colossians 3:1–17

Colossians 3:1–17 (Listen)

Put On the New Self

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your1 life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:2 sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.3 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self4 with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,5 free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Footnotes

[1] 3:4 Some manuscripts our
[2] 3:5 Greek therefore your members that are on the earth
[3] 3:6 Some manuscripts add upon the sons of disobedience
[4] 3:9 Greek man; also as supplied in verse 10
[5] 3:11 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; likewise for Bondservants in verse 22

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 47

Psalm 47 (Listen)

God Is King over All the Earth

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

47   Clap your hands, all peoples!
    Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
  For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
    a great king over all the earth.
  He subdued peoples under us,
    and nations under our feet.
  He chose our heritage for us,
    the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah
  God has gone up with a shout,
    the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
  Sing praises to God, sing praises!
    Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
  For God is the King of all the earth;
    sing praises with a psalm!1
  God reigns over the nations;
    God sits on his holy throne.
  The princes of the peoples gather
    as the people of the God of Abraham.
  For the shields of the earth belong to God;
    he is highly exalted!

Footnotes

[1] 47:7 Hebrew maskil

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 21:30–31

Proverbs 21:30–31 (Listen)

30   No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
    can avail against the LORD.
31   The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to the LORD.

(ESV)


August 20: Job 7–8; Colossians 2:6–23; Psalm 46; Proverbs 21:28–29

Old Testament: Job 7–8

Job 7–8 (Listen)

Job Continues: My Life Has No Hope

  “Has not man a hard service on earth,
    and are not his days like the days of a hired hand?
  Like a slave who longs for the shadow,
    and like a hired hand who looks for his wages,
  so I am allotted months of emptiness,
    and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
  When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’
    But the night is long,
    and I am full of tossing till the dawn.
  My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt;
    my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh.
  My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle
    and come to their end without hope.
  “Remember that my life is a breath;
    my eye will never again see good.
  The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;
    while your eyes are on me, I shall be gone.
  As the cloud fades and vanishes,
    so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up;
10   he returns no more to his house,
    nor does 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 the sea, or a sea monster,
    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 I would choose strangling
    and death rather than my bones.
16   I loathe my life; I would not live forever.
    Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
17   What is man, that you make so much of him,
    and that you set your heart on him,
18   visit him every morning
    and test him every moment?
19   How long will you not look away from me,
    nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit?
20   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?
21   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.”

Bildad Speaks: Job Should Repent

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

  “How long will you say these things,
    and the words of your mouth be a great wind?
  Does God pervert justice?
    Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
  If your children have sinned against him,
    he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression.
  If you will seek God
    and plead with the Almighty for mercy,
  if you are pure and upright,
    surely then he will rouse himself for you
    and restore your rightful habitation.
  And though your beginning was small,
    your latter days will be very great.
  “For inquire, please, of bygone ages,
    and consider what the fathers have searched out.
  For we are but of yesterday and know nothing,
    for our days on earth are a shadow.
10   Will they not teach you and tell you
    and utter words out of their understanding?
11   “Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
    Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
12   While yet in flower and not cut down,
    they wither before any other plant.
13   Such are the paths of all who forget God;
    the hope of the godless shall perish.
14   His confidence is severed,
    and his trust is a spider's web.1
15   He leans against his house, but it does not stand;
    he lays hold of it, but it does not endure.
16   He is a lush plant before the sun,
    and his shoots spread over his garden.
17   His roots entwine the stone heap;
    he looks upon a house of stones.
18   If he is destroyed from his place,
    then it will deny him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’
19   Behold, this is the joy of his way,
    and out of the soil others will spring.
20   “Behold, God will not reject a blameless man,
    nor take the hand of evildoers.
21   He will yet fill your mouth with laughter,
    and your lips with shouting.
22   Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
    and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

Footnotes

[1] 8:14 Hebrew house

(ESV)

New Testament: Colossians 2:6–23

Colossians 2:6–23 (Listen)

Alive in Christ

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits1 of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities2 and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.3

Let No One Disqualify You

16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,4 puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Footnotes

[1] 2:8 Or elementary principles; also verse 20
[2] 2:15 Probably demonic rulers and authorities
[3] 2:15 Or in it (that is, the cross)
[4] 2:18 Or about the things he has seen

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 46

Psalm 46 (Listen)

God Is Our Fortress

To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth.1 A Song.

46   God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present2 help in trouble.
  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
  though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
  The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
  The LORD of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
  Come, behold the works of the LORD,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the chariots with fire.
10   “Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”
11   The LORD of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Footnotes

[1] 46:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[2] 46:1 Or well proved

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 21:28–29

Proverbs 21:28–29 (Listen)

28   A false witness will perish,
    but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29   A wicked man puts on a bold face,
    but the upright gives thought to1 his ways.

Footnotes

[1] 21:29 Or establishes

(ESV)


August 19: Job 5–6; Colossians 1:21–2:5; Psalm 45; Proverbs 21:27

Old Testament: Job 5–6

Job 5–6 (Listen)

  “Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?
    To which of the holy ones will you turn?
  Surely vexation kills the fool,
    and jealousy slays the simple.
  I have seen the fool taking root,
    but suddenly I cursed his dwelling.
  His children are far from safety;
    they are crushed in the gate,
    and there is no one to deliver them.
  The hungry eat his harvest,
    and he takes it even out of thorns,1
    and the thirsty pant2 after his3 wealth.
  For affliction does not come from the dust,
    nor does trouble sprout from the ground,
  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:
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 achieve no success.
13   He catches the wise in their own craftiness,
    and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.
14   They meet with darkness in the daytime
    and grope at noonday as in the night.
15   But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth
    and from the hand of the mighty.
16   So the poor have hope,
    and injustice shuts her mouth.
17   “Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves;
    therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.
18   For he wounds, but he binds up;
    he shatters, but his hands heal.
19   He will deliver you from six troubles;
    in seven no evil4 shall touch you.
20   In famine he will redeem you from death,
    and in war from the power of the sword.
21   You shall be hidden from the lash of the tongue,
    and shall not fear destruction when it comes.
22   At destruction and famine you shall laugh,
    and shall not fear the beasts of the earth.
23   For you shall be in league 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 at peace,
    and you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.
25   You shall know also that your offspring shall be many,
    and your descendants as the grass of the earth.
26   You shall come to your grave in ripe old age,
    like a sheaf gathered up in its season.
27   Behold, this we have searched out; it is true.
    Hear, and know it for your good.”5

Job Replies: My Complaint Is Just

Then Job answered and said:

  “Oh that my vexation were weighed,
    and all my calamity laid in the balances!
  For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea;
    therefore my words have been rash.
  For the arrows of the Almighty are in me;
    my spirit drinks their poison;
    the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
  Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass,
    or the ox low over his fodder?
  Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt,
    or is there any taste in the juice of the mallow?6
  My appetite refuses to touch them;
    they are as food that is loathsome to me.7
  “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!
10   This would be my comfort;
    I would even exult8 in pain unsparing,
    for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
11   What is my strength, that I should wait?
    And what is my end, that I should be patient?
12   Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze?
13   Have I any help in me,
    when resource is driven from me?
14   “He who withholds9 kindness from a friend
    forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
15   My brothers are treacherous as a torrent-bed,
    as torrential streams that pass away,
16   which are dark with ice,
    and where the snow hides itself.
17   When they melt, they disappear;
    when it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18   The caravans turn aside from their course;
    they go up into the waste and perish.
19   The caravans of Tema look,
    the travelers of Sheba hope.
20   They are ashamed because they were confident;
    they come there and are disappointed.
21   For you have now become nothing;
    you see my calamity and are afraid.
22   Have I said, ‘Make me a gift’?
    Or, ‘From your wealth offer a bribe for me’?
23   Or, ‘Deliver me from the adversary's hand’?
    Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the ruthless’?
24   “Teach me, and I will be silent;
    make me understand how I have gone astray.
25   How forceful are upright words!
    But what does reproof from you reprove?
26   Do you think that you can reprove words,
    when the speech of a despairing man is wind?
27   You would even cast lots over the fatherless,
    and bargain over your friend.
28   “But now, be pleased to look at me,
    for I will not lie to your face.
29   Please turn; let no injustice be done.
    Turn now; my vindication is at stake.
30   Is there any injustice on my tongue?
    Cannot my palate discern the cause of calamity?

Footnotes

[1] 5:5 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
[2] 5:5 Aquila, Symmachus, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew could be read as and the snare pants
[3] 5:5 Hebrew their
[4] 5:19 Or disaster
[5] 5:27 Hebrew for yourself
[6] 6:6 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[7] 6:7 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
[8] 6:10 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[9] 6:14 Syriac, Vulgate (compare Targum); the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain

(ESV)

New Testament: Colossians 1:21–2:5

Colossians 1:21–2:5 (Listen)

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation1 under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Paul's Ministry to the Church

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Footnotes

[1] 1:23 Or to every creature

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 45

Psalm 45 (Listen)

Your Throne, O God, Is Forever

To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Maskil1 of the Sons of Korah; a love song.

45   My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
    I address my verses to the king;
    my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
  You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
    grace is poured upon your lips;
    therefore God has blessed you forever.
  Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
    in your splendor and majesty!
  In your majesty ride out victoriously
    for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
    let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
  Your arrows are sharp
    in the heart of the king's enemies;
    the peoples fall under you.
  Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
    The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
    you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
  Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
    with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
    your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
  From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
    daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
    at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
10   Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
    forget your people and your father's house,
11     and the king will desire your beauty.
  Since he is your lord, bow to him.
12     The people2 of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
    the richest of the people.3
13   All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
14     In many-colored robes she is led to the king,
    with her virgin companions following behind her.
15   With joy and gladness they are led along
    as they enter the palace of the king.
16   In place of your fathers shall be your sons;
    you will make them princes in all the earth.
17   I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;
    therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.

Footnotes

[1] 45:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[2] 45:12 Hebrew daughter
[3] 45:12 Or The daughter of Tyre is here with gifts, the richest of people seek your favor

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 21:27

Proverbs 21:27 (Listen)

27   The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
    how much more when he brings it with evil intent.

(ESV)


August 18: Job 2–4; Colossians 1:1–20; Psalm 44; Proverbs 21:25–26

Old Testament: Job 2–4

Job 2–4 (Listen)

Satan Attacks Job's Health

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And 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. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 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?”1 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 evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. 12 And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. 13 And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

Job Laments His Birth

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

  “Let the day perish on which I was born,
    and the night that said,
    ‘A man is conceived.’
  Let that day be darkness!
    May God above not seek it,
    nor light shine upon it.
  Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.
    Let clouds dwell upon it;
    let the blackness of the day terrify it.
  That night—let thick darkness seize it!
    Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
    let it not come into the number of the months.
  Behold, let that night be barren;
    let no joyful cry enter it.
  Let those curse it who curse the day,
    who are ready to rouse up Leviathan.
  Let the stars of its dawn be dark;
    let it hope for light, but have none,
    nor see the eyelids of the morning,
10   because it did not shut the doors of my mother's womb,
    nor hide trouble from my eyes.
11   “Why did I not die at birth,
    come out from the womb and expire?
12   Why did the knees receive me?
    Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?
13   For then I would have lain down and been quiet;
    I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,
14   with kings and counselors of the earth
    who rebuilt ruins for themselves,
15   or with princes who had gold,
    who filled their houses with silver.
16   Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child,
    as infants who never see the light?
17   There the wicked cease from troubling,
    and there the weary are at rest.
18   There the prisoners are at ease together;
    they hear not the voice of the taskmaster.
19   The small and the great are there,
    and the slave is free from his master.
20   “Why is light given to him who is in misery,
    and life to the bitter in soul,
21   who long for death, but it comes not,
    and dig for it more than for hidden treasures,
22   who rejoice exceedingly
    and are glad when they find the grave?
23   Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,
    whom God has hedged in?
24   For my sighing comes instead of2 my bread,
    and my groanings are poured out like water.
25   For the thing that I fear comes upon me,
    and what I dread befalls me.
26   I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
    I have no rest, but trouble comes.”

Eliphaz Speaks: The Innocent Prosper

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 God3 your confidence,
    and the integrity of your ways your hope?
  “Remember: who that was innocent ever perished?
    Or where were the upright cut off?
  As I have seen, those who plow iniquity
    and sow trouble reap the same.
  By the breath of God they perish,
    and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.
10   The roar of the lion, the voice of the fierce lion,
    the teeth of the young lions are broken.
11   The strong lion perishes for lack of prey,
    and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
12   “Now a word was brought to me stealthily;
    my ear received the whisper of it.
13   Amid thoughts from visions of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on men,
14   dread came upon me, and trembling,
    which made all my bones shake.
15   A spirit glided past my face;
    the hair of my flesh 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:
17   ‘Can mortal man be in the right before4 God?
    Can a man be pure before his Maker?
18   Even in his servants he puts no trust,
    and his angels he charges with error;
19   how much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
    whose foundation is in the dust,
    who are crushed like5 the moth.
20   Between morning and evening they are beaten to pieces;
    they perish forever without anyone regarding it.
21   Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them,
    do they not die, and that without wisdom?’

Footnotes

[1] 2:10 Or disaster; also verse 11
[2] 3:24 Or like; Hebrew before
[3] 4:6 Hebrew lacks of God
[4] 4:17 Or more than; twice in this verse
[5] 4:19 Or before

(ESV)

New Testament: Colossians 1:1–20

Colossians 1:1–20 (Listen)

Greeting

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the saints and faithful brothers1 in Christ at Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.2 He is a faithful minister of Christ on your3 behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks4 to the Father, who has qualified you5 to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Preeminence of Christ

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by6 him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Footnotes

[1] 1:2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
[2] 1:7 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word sundoulos, see Preface
[3] 1:7 Some manuscripts our
[4] 1:12 Or patience, with joy giving thanks
[5] 1:12 Some manuscripts us
[6] 1:16 That is, by means of; or in

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 44

Psalm 44 (Listen)

Come to Our Help

To the choirmaster. A Maskil1 of the Sons of Korah.

44   O God, we have heard with our ears,
    our fathers have told us,
  what deeds you performed in their days,
    in the days of old:
  you with your own hand drove out the nations,
    but them you planted;
  you afflicted the peoples,
    but them you set free;
  for not by their own sword did they win the land,
    nor did their own arm save them,
  but your right hand and your arm,
    and the light of your face,
    for you delighted in them.
  You are my King, O God;
    ordain salvation for Jacob!
  Through you we push down our foes;
    through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.
  For not in my bow do I trust,
    nor can my sword save me.
  But you have saved us from our foes
    and have put to shame those who hate us.
  In God we have boasted continually,
    and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah
  But you have rejected us and disgraced us
    and have not gone out with our armies.
10   You have made us turn back from the foe,
    and those who hate us have gotten spoil.
11   You have made us like sheep for slaughter
    and have scattered us among the nations.
12   You have sold your people for a trifle,
    demanding no high price for them.
13   You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,
    the derision and scorn of those around us.
14   You have made us a byword among the nations,
    a laughingstock2 among the peoples.
15   All day long my disgrace is before me,
    and shame has covered my face
16   at the sound of the taunter and reviler,
    at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.
17   All this has come upon us,
    though we have not forgotten you,
    and we have not been false to your covenant.
18   Our heart has not turned back,
    nor have our steps departed from your way;
19   yet you have broken us in the place of jackals
    and covered us with the shadow of death.
20   If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
21   would not God discover this?
    For he knows the secrets of the heart.
22   Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
23   Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?
    Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
24   Why do you hide your face?
    Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
25   For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
    our belly clings to the ground.
26   Rise up; come to our help!
    Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!

Footnotes

[1] 44:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[2] 44:14 Hebrew a shaking of the head

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 21:25–26

Proverbs 21:25–26 (Listen)

25   The desire of the sluggard kills him,
    for his hands refuse to labor.
26   All day long he craves and craves,
    but the righteous gives and does not hold back.

(ESV)


August 17: Job 1; Philippians 4:2–23; Psalm 43; Proverbs 21:23–24

Old Testament: Job 1

Job 1 (Listen)

Job's Character and Wealth

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. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate 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 children have sinned, and cursed1 God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

Satan Allowed to Test Job

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan2 also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And 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? 10 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. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 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.

Satan Takes Job's 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 there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants3 with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was yet speaking, there came another 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 yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 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.”

22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

Footnotes

[1] 1:5 The Hebrew word bless is used euphemistically for curse in 1:5, 11; 2:5, 9
[2] 1:6 Hebrew the Accuser or the Adversary; so throughout chapters 1–2
[3] 1:15 Hebrew the young men; also verses 16, 17

(ESV)

New Testament: Philippians 4:2–23

Philippians 4:2–23 (Listen)

Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion,1 help these women, who have labored2 side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness3 be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned4 and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

God's Provision

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

14 Yet it was kind of you to share5 my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.6 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household.

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Footnotes

[1] 4:3 Or loyal Syzygus; Greek true yokefellow
[2] 4:3 Or strived (see 1:27)
[3] 4:5 Or gentleness
[4] 4:9 Or these things— 9which things you have also learned
[5] 4:14 Or have fellowship in
[6] 4:17 Or I seek the profit that accrues to your account

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 43

Psalm 43 (Listen)

Send Out Your Light and Your Truth

43   Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
    against an ungodly people,
  from the deceitful and unjust man
    deliver me!
  For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
    why have you rejected me?
  Why do I go about mourning
    because of the oppression of the enemy?
  Send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
  let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling!
  Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God my exceeding joy,
  and I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.
  Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 21:23–24

Proverbs 21:23–24 (Listen)

23   Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
    keeps himself out of trouble.
24   “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
    who acts with arrogant pride.

(ESV)