In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel. At Salem is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion. There broke he the flashing arrows of the bow, the shield, the sword and the weapons of war.
In the light of splendour you appeared, glorious from the eternal mountains. The boastful were plundered; they have slept their sleep; none of the warriors can lift their hand. At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and chariot fell stunned.
Terrible are you in majesty: who can stand before your face when you are angry?
You caused your judgement to be heard from heaven; the earth trembled and was still, When God arose to judgement, to save all the meek upon earth.
You crushed the wrath of the peoples and bridled the wrathful remnant.
Make a vow to the Lord your God and keep it; let all who are round about him bring gifts to him that is worthy to be feared. He breaks down the spirit of princes and strikes terror in the kings of the earth.
O God, the heathen have come into your heritage; your holy temple have they defiled and made Jerusalem a heap of stones. The dead bodies of your servants they have given to be food for the birds of the air, and the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the field. Their blood have they shed like water on every side of Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them. We have become the taunt of our neighbours, the scorn and derision of those that are round about us.
Lord, how long will you be angry, for ever?
How long will your jealous fury blaze like fire?
Pour out your wrath upon the nations that have not known you, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon your name. For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his dwelling place.
Remember not against us our former sins; let your compassion make haste to meet us, for we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and wipe away our sins for your name’s sake. Why should the heathen say,
‘Where is now their God?’
Let vengeance for your servants’ blood that is shed be known among the nations in our sight.
Let the sorrowful sighing of the prisoners come before you, and by your mighty arm preserve those who are condemned to die.
May the taunts with which our neighbours taunted you, Lord, return sevenfold into their bosom.
But we that are your people and the sheep of your pasture will give you thanks for ever, and tell of your praise from generation to generation.
So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; he was angry also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, though they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job, because they were older than he. But when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry.
Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite answered:
I am young in years, and you are aged; therefore I was timid and afraid to declare my opinion to you.
I said, “Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.”
But truly it is the spirit in a mortal, the breath of the Almighty, that makes for understanding.
It is not the old that are wise, nor the aged that understand what is right.
Therefore I say, “Listen to me; let me also declare my opinion.”
See, I waited for your words, I listened for your wise sayings, while you searched out what to say.
I gave you my attention, but there was in fact no one that confuted Job,
no one among you that answered his words.
Yet do not say, “We have found wisdom; God may vanquish him, not a human.”
He has not directed his words against me, and I will not answer him with your speeches.
They are dismayed, they answer no more; they have not a word to say.
And am I to wait, because they do not speak, because they stand there, and answer no more?
I also will give my answer; I also will declare my opinion.
For I am full of words; the spirit within me constrains me.
My heart is indeed like wine that has no vent; like new wineskins, it is ready to burst.
I must speak, so that I may find relief; I must open my lips and answer.
I will not show partiality to any person or use flattery towards anyone.
For I do not know how to flatter - or my Maker would soon put an end to me!
Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God.
We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written,
‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’
So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
God our saviour, look on this wounded world in pity and in power; hold us fast to your promises of peace won for us by your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.