Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, you that led Joseph like a flock; Shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim, before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your mighty strength and come to our salvation.
Turn us again, O God; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry at your people’s prayer?
You feed them with the bread of tears; you give them abundance of tears to drink. You have made us the derision of our neighbours and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
Turn us again, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You made room around it, and when it had taken root, it filled the land. The hills were covered with its shadow and the cedars of God by its boughs. It stretched out its branches to the Sea and its tendrils to the River. Why then have you broken down its wall, so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes The wild boar out of the wood tears it off, and all the insects of the field devour it.
Turn again, O God of hosts, look down from heaven and behold;
Cherish this vine which your right hand has planted, and the branch that you made so strong for yourself. Let those who burnt it with fire, who cut it down, perish at the rebuke of your countenance. Let your hand be upon the man at your right hand, the son of man you made so strong for yourself. And so will we not go back from you; give us life, and we shall call upon your name.
Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
God has taken his stand in the council of heaven; in the midst of the gods he gives judgement:
‘How long will you judge unjustly and show such favour to the wicked?
‘You were to judge the weak and the orphan; defend the right of the humble and needy;
‘Rescue the weak and the poor; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
‘They have no knowledge or wisdom; they walk on still in darkness:
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
‘Therefore I say that though you are gods and all of you children of the Most High,
‘Nevertheless, you shall die like mortals and fall like one of their princes.’
Arise, O God and judge the earth, for it is you that shall take all nations for your possession.
But now, hear my speech, O Job, and listen to all my words.
See, I open my mouth; the tongue in my mouth speaks.
My words declare the uprightness of my heart, and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Answer me, if you can; set your words in order before me; take your stand.
See, before God I am as you are; I too was formed from a piece of clay.
No fear of me need terrify you; my pressure will not be heavy on you.
Surely, you have spoken in my hearing, and I have heard the sound of your words.
You say, “I am clean, without transgression; I am pure, and there is no iniquity in me.
Look, he finds occasions against me, he counts me as his enemy;
he puts my feet in the stocks, and watches all my paths.”
But in this you are not right. I will answer you: God is greater than any mortal.
Why do you contend against him, saying, “He will answer none of my words”?
For God speaks in one way, and in two, though people do not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on mortals,
while they slumber on their beds, then he opens their ears,
and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn them aside from their deeds,
and keep them from pride, to spare their souls from the Pit,
their lives from traversing the River.
They are also chastened with pain upon their beds, and with continual strife in their bones,
so that their lives loathe bread, and their appetites dainty food.
Their flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen; and their bones, once invisible, now stick out.
Their souls draw near the Pit, and their lives to those who bring death.
Then, if there should be for one of them an angel, a mediator, one of a thousand,
one who declares a person upright, and he is gracious to that person, and says,
“Deliver him from going down into the Pit; I have found a ransom;
let his flesh become fresh with youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigour”;
then he prays to God, and is accepted by him, he comes into his presence with joy,
and God repays him for his righteousness.
That person sings to others and says,
“I sinned, and perverted what was right, and it was not paid back to me.
He has redeemed my soul from going down to the Pit, and my life shall see the light.”
God indeed does all these things, twice, three times, with mortals,
to bring back their souls from the Pit, so that they may see the light of life.
Pay heed, Job, listen to me; be silent, and I will speak.
If you have anything to say, answer me; speak, for I desire to justify you.
If not, listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.’
Let us therefore no longer pass judgement on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of another. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual edification. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God.
Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat; it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble. The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve. But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
Gracious Father, by the obedience of Jesus you brought salvation to our wayward world: draw us into harmony with your will, that we may find all things restored in him, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.