Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my lamentation. Hearken to the voice of my crying, my King and my God, for to you I make my prayer. In the morning, Lord, you will hear my voice; early in the morning I make my appeal to you, and look up. For you are the God who takes no pleasure in wickedness; no evil can dwell with you.
The boastful cannot stand in your sight; you hate all those that work wickedness. You destroy those who speak lies; the bloodthirsty and deceitful the Lord will abhor. But as for me, through the greatness of your mercy, I will come into your house; I will bow down towards your holy temple in awe of you.
Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness, because of my enemies; make your way straight before my face. For there is no truth in their mouth, in their heart is destruction, their throat is an open sepulchre, and they flatter with their tongue. Punish them, O God; let them fall through their own devices. Because of their many transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them sing out their joy for ever. You will shelter them, so that those who love your name may exult in you. For you, O Lord, will bless the righteous; and with your favour you will defend them as with a shield.
O Lord, rebuke me not in your wrath; neither chasten me in your fierce anger. Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am weak; Lord, heal me, for my bones are racked. My soul also shakes with terror; how long, O Lord, how long? Turn again, O Lord, and deliver my soul; save me for your loving mercy’s sake. For in death no one remembers you; and who can give you thanks in the grave?
I am weary with my groaning; every night I drench my pillow and flood my bed with my tears. My eyes are wasted with grief and worn away because of all my enemies.
Depart from me, all you that do evil, for the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer. All my enemies shall be put to shame and confusion; they shall suddenly turn back in their shame.
O Lord our governor, how glorious is your name in all the world! Your majesty above the heavens is praised out of the mouths of babes at the breast.You have founded a stronghold against your foes, that you might still the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have ordained, What is man, that you should be mindful of him; the son of man, that you should seek him out?
You have made him little lower than the angels and crown him with glory and honour.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands and put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen, even the wild beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea and whatsoever moves in the paths of the sea.
O Lord our governor, how glorious is your name in all the world!
Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
‘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 sinned against him, he delivered them into the power of their transgression.
If you will seek God and make supplication to the Almighty,
if you are pure and upright,
surely then he will rouse himself for you and restore to you your rightful place.
Though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great.
For inquire now of bygone generations,
and consider what their ancestors have found;
for we are but of yesterday, and we know nothing,
for our days on earth are but a shadow.
Will they not teach you and tell you and utter words out of their understanding?
Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
While yet in flower and not cut down, they wither before any other plant.
Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of the godless shall perish.
Their confidence is gossamer, a spider’s house their trust.
If one leans against its house, it will not stand;
if one lays hold of it, it will not endure.
The wicked thrive before the sun, and their shoots spread over the garden.
Their roots twine around the stoneheap; they live among the rocks.
If they are destroyed from their place,
then it will deny them, saying, “I have never seen you.”
See, these are their happy ways, and out of the earth still others will spring.
See, God will not reject a blameless person, nor take the hand of evildoers.
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouts of joy.
Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more.’
For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations’)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become ‘the father of many nations’, according to what was said, ‘So numerous shall your descendants be.’ He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith ‘was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ Now the words, ‘it was reckoned to him’, were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.
Holy God, faithful and unchanging: enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth, and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love, that we may truly worship you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.