Job 41; Psalm 45; Nehemiah 2; Zephaniah 1; 2 Peter 1

41  1 Can you draw out uLeviathan2 with a fishhook

or press down his tongue with a cord?

Can you put va rope in his nose

or pierce his jaw with va hook?

Will he make many pleas to you?

Will he speak to you soft words?

Will he make a covenant with you

to take him for wyour servant forever?

Will you play with him as with a bird,

or will you put him on a leash for your girls?

Will traders bargain over him?

Will they divide him up among the merchants?

Can you fill his skin with harpoons

or his head with fishing spears?

Lay your hands on him;

remember the battleyou will not do it again!

3 Behold, the hope of a man is false;

he is laid low even at the sight of him.

10  No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up.

Who then is he who can stand before me?

11  xWho has first given to me, that I should repay him?

yWhatever is under the whole heaven is mine.

12  I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,

or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame.

13  Who can strip off his outer garment?

Who would come near him with a bridle?

14  Who can open the doors of his face?

Around his teeth is terror.

15  His back is made of4 rows of shields,

shut up closely as with a seal.

16  One is so near to another

that no air can come between them.

17  They are zjoined one to another;

they clasp each other and cannot be separated.

18  His sneezings flash forth light,

and his eyes are like athe eyelids of the dawn.

19  Out of his mouth go flaming torches;

sparks of fire leap forth.

20  Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke,

as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.

21  His breath bkindles coals,

and a flame comes forth from his mouth.

22  In his neck abides strength,

and terror dances before him.

23  The folds of his flesh cstick together,

firmly cast on him and immovable.

24  His heart is hard as a stone,

hard as the lower millstone.

25  When he raises himself up, the mighty5 are afraid;

at the crashing they are beside themselves.

26  Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail,

nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin.

27  He counts iron as straw,

and bronze as rotten wood.

28  The arrow cannot make him flee;

for him, sling stones are turned to stubble.

29  Clubs are counted as stubble;

he laughs at the rattle of javelins.

30  His underparts are like sharp dpotsherds;

he spreads himself like ea threshing sledge on the mire.

31  He makes the deep boil like a pot;

he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.

32  Behind him he leaves a shining wake;

one would think the deep to be white-haired.

33  fOn earth there is not his like,

a creature without fear.

34  He sees everything that is high;

he is king over all the gsons of pride.


Your Throne, O God, Is Forever

To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Maskil1 of vthe Sons of Korah; a love song.

45  My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;

I address my verses to the king;

my tongue is like the pen of wa ready scribe.

You are xthe most handsome of the sons of men;

ygrace is poured upon your lips;

therefore God has blessed you forever.

zGird your asword on your thigh, O bmighty one,

in cyour splendor and majesty!

In your majesty dride out victoriously

for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;

let your right hand teach you eawesome deeds!

Your arrows are sharp

in the heart of the king's enemies;

the peoples fall under you.

fYour throne, O God, is forever and ever.

The gscepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;

hyou have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.

Therefore iGod, your God, has janointed you

with the oil of kgladness lbeyond your companions;

your robes are all fragrant with mmyrrh and aloes and cassia.

From ivory palaces nstringed instruments make you glad;

daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;

oat your right hand stands the queen in pgold of Ophir.

10  Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:

forget your people and your father's house,

11  and the king will desire your beauty.

Since he is your qlord, rbow to him.

12  The people2 of Tyre will sseek your favor with tgifts,

uthe richest of the people.3

13  All glorious is vthe princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.

14  wIn many-colored robes xshe is led to the king,

with her virgin companions following behind her.

15  With joy and gladness they are led along

as they enter the palace of the king.

16  In place of your fathers shall be your sons;

you will make them yprinces in all the earth.

17  zI will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;

therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.


Nehemiah Sent to Judah

In the month of Nisan, win the twentieth year of King xArtaxerxes, when wine was before him, yI took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but zsadness of the heart. Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, aLet the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, bwhen the city, the place of my fathers' graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire? Then the king said to me, What are you requesting? So I prayed cto the God of heaven. And I said to the king, If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' graves, that I may rebuild it. And the king said to me (dthe queen sitting beside him), How long will you be gone, and when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me ewhen I had given him a time. And I said to the king, If it pleases the king, let letters be given me fto the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of gthe fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy. And the king granted me what I asked, hfor the good hand of my God was upon me.

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem's Walls

Then I came to ithe governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. 10 But when jSanballat the Horonite and kTobiah the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.

11 lSo I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. 13 I went out by night by mthe Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to nthe Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem othat were broken down pand its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I went on to qthe Fountain Gate and to rthe King's Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. 15 Then I went up in the night sby the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. 16 And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work.

17 Then I said to them, You see the trouble we are in, thow Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer usuffer derision. 18 And I told them vof the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. wSo they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and xGeshem the Arab heard of it, ythey jeered at us and despised us and said, What is this thing that you are doing? zAre you rebelling against the king? 20 Then I replied to them, aThe God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim1 in Jerusalem.


Zephaniah Illustration

Zephaniah

The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, ain the days of bJosiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

The Coming Judgment on Judah

cI will utterly sweep away everything

from the face of the earth, declares the Lord.

I will sweep away dman and beast;

I will sweep away the birds of the heavens

and dthe fish of the sea,

and ethe rubble1 with the wicked.

I will fcut off mankind

from the face of the earth, declares the Lord.

I will stretch out my hand against Judah

and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

gand I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal

and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests,

hthose who bow down on the roofs

to the host of the heavens,

ithose who bow down and swear to the Lord

and yet swear by jMilcom,2

kthose who have turned back from following the Lord,

lwho do not seek the Lord or inquire of him.

The Day of the Lord Is Near

mBe silent before the Lord God!

For nthe day of the Lord is near;

othe Lord has prepared a sacrifice

and pconsecrated his guests.

And on the day of the Lord's sacrifice

qI will punish the officials and the king's sons

and rall who array themselves in foreign attire.

On that day I will punish

everyone swho leaps over the threshold,

and those who fill their master's3 house

with violence and fraud.

10  On that day, declares the Lord,

a cry will be heard from tthe Fish Gate,

ua wail from vthe Second Quarter,

a loud crash from the hills.

11  wWail, O inhabitants of the Mortar!

For all the traders4 are no more;

all who weigh out silver are cut off.

12  At that time xI will search Jerusalem with lamps,

and I will punish the men

ywho are complacent,5

zthose who say in their hearts,

The Lord will not do good,

nor will he do ill.

13  Their goods shall be aplundered,

and their houses laid waste.

bThough they build houses,

they shall not inhabit them;

cthough they plant vineyards,

they shall not drink wine from them.

14  dThe great day of the Lord is near,

near and hastening fast;

the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter;

ethe mighty man cries aloud there.

15  fA day of wrath is that day,

a day of distress and anguish,

a day of gruin and devastation,

ha day of darkness and gloom,

ha day of clouds and thick darkness,

16  ia day of trumpet blast and battle cry

jagainst the fortified cities

and against the lofty battlements.

17  kI will bring distress on mankind,

so that they shall walk llike the blind,

because they have sinned against the Lord;

mtheir blood shall be poured out like dust,

and their flesh nlike dung.

18  oNeither their silver nor their gold

shall be able to deliver them

on the day of the wrath of the Lord.

pIn the fire of his jealousy,

qall the earth shall be consumed;

rfor a full and sudden end

he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.


2 Peter Illustration

2 Peter

Greeting

Simeon1 Peter, a servant2 and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained aa faith of equal standing with ours bby the righteousness of our cGod and Savior Jesus Christ:

dMay grace and peace be multiplied to you ein the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Confirm Your Calling and Election

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him fwho called us to3 his own glory and excellence,4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become gpartakers of the divine nature, hhaving escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith iwith virtue,5 and virtue jwith knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control kwith steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness lwith brotherly affection, and brotherly affection mwith love. For if these qualities6 are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or nunfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he ois blind, having forgotten that he was pcleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers,7 be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and qelection, for if you practice these qualities ryou will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you san entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

12 Therefore I intend talways to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in uthe truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this vbody,8 wto stir you up by way of reminder, 14 xsince I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, yas our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

Christ's Glory and the Prophetic Word

16 For we did not follow zcleverly devised amyths when we made known to you bthe power and ccoming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but dwe were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, eThis is my beloved Son,9 with whom I am well pleased, 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on fthe holy mountain. 19 And gwe have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention has to a lamp shining in a dark place, until ithe day jdawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21 For kno prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God las they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.