Today's SoulFood Reading

for Saturday, Mar 18

Job 5–7 ()

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5:1   “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,
    and the thirsty pant after his 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 evil 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.”

6:1 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?
  My appetite refuses to touch them;
    they are as food that is loathsome to me.
  “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 exult 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 withholds 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?

7:1   “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.”

Luke 18:18–43 ()

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18 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” 21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24 Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” 28 And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” 29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

31 And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33 And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” 34 But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.

35 As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

Psalm 19 ()

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To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

19:1   The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
  Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
  There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
  Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
  In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
  Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
  The law of the LORD is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
  the testimony of the LORD is sure,
    making wise the simple;
  the precepts of the LORD are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
  the commandment of the LORD is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
  the fear of the LORD is clean,
    enduring forever;
  the rules of the LORD are true,
    and righteous altogether.
10   More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
  sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
11   Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.
12   Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13   Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
  Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.
14   Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Proverbs 8:6–7 ()

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  Hear, for I will speak noble things,
    and from my lips will come what is right,
  for my mouth will utter truth;
    wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

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