Happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.
Happy are those who keep his decrees,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways.
You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous ordinances.
I will observe your statutes; do not utterly forsake me.
How can young people keep their way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you; do not let me stray from your commandments.
I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare all the ordinances of your mouth.
I delight in the way of your decrees as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts, and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
Deal bountifully with your servant, so that I may live and observe your word.
Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
I live as an alien in the land; do not hide your commandments from me.
My soul is consumed with longing for your ordinances at all times.
You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments;
take away from me their scorn and contempt, for I have kept your decrees.
Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.
Your decrees are my delight, they are my counsellors.
My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to your word.
When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Put false ways far from me; and graciously teach me your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your ordinances before me.
I cling to your decrees, O Lord; let me not be put to shame.
I run the way of your commandments, for you enlarge my understanding.
Then Job answered:
‘Indeed I know that this is so; but how can a mortal be just before God?
If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand.
He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength - who has resisted him, and succeeded? -
he who removes mountains, and they do not know it, 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;
who does great things beyond understanding, and marvellous things without number.
Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him;
he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
He snatches away; who can stop him?
Who will say to him, “What are you doing?”
‘God will not turn back his anger; the helpers of Rahab bowed beneath him.
How then can I answer him, choosing my words with him?
Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.
If I summoned him and he answered me, I do not believe that he would listen to my voice.
For he crushes me with a tempest, and multiplies my wounds without cause;
he will not let me get my breath, but fills me with bitterness.
If it is a contest of strength, he is the strong one!
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?
Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me;
though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
I am blameless; I do not know myself; I loathe my life.
It is all one; therefore I say, he destroys both the blameless and the wicked.
When disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamity of the innocent.
The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
he covers the eyes of its judges - if it is not he, who then is it?
‘My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good.
They go by like skiffs of reed, like an eagle swooping on the prey.
If I say, “I will forget my complaint; I will put off my sad countenance and be of good cheer”,
I become afraid of all my suffering, for I know you will not hold me innocent.
I shall be condemned; why then do I labour in vain?
If I wash myself with soap and cleanse my hands with lye,
yet you will plunge me into filth, and my own clothes will abhor me.
For he is not a mortal, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together.
There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand on us both.
If he would take his rod away from me, and not let dread of him terrify me,
then I would speak without fear of him, for I know I am not what I am thought to be.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Almighty and everlasting God,
you have given us your servants grace,
by the confession of a true faith,
to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity
and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity:
keep us steadfast in this faith,
that we may evermore be defended from all adversities;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.