Friday, March 26, 2021
Fortieth Day of Great Lent
 For the land which you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your feet, like a garden of vegetables;
 but the land which you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven,
 a land which the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
 “And if you will obey my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
 he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil.
 And he will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you shall eat and be full.
 Take heed lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them,
 and the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and he shut up the heavens, so that there be no rain, and the land yield no fruit, and you perish quickly off the good land which the LORD gives you.
 “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
 And you shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
 And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates,
 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.
 For if you will be careful to do all this commandment which I command you to do, loving the LORD your God, walking in all his ways, and cleaving to him,
 then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves.
 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours; your territory shall be from the wilderness and Lebanon and from the River, the river Euphra’tes, to the western sea.
 No man shall be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that you shall tread, as he promised you.
 Then Job answered:
 “Listen carefully to my words,
and let this be your consolation.
 Bear with me, and I will speak,
and after I have spoken, mock on.
 As for me, is my complaint against man?
Why should I not be impatient?
 Look at me, and be appalled,
and lay your hand upon your mouth.
 When I think of it I am dismayed,
and shuddering seizes my flesh.
 Why do the wicked live,
reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
 Their children are established in their presence,
and their offspring before their eyes.
 Their houses are safe from fear,
and no rod of God is upon them.
 Their bull breeds without fail;
their cow calves, and does not cast her calf.
 They send forth their little ones like a flock,
and their children dance.
 They sing to the tambourine and the lyre,
and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
 They spend their days in prosperity,
and in peace they go down to Sheol.
 They say to God, `Depart from us!
We do not desire the knowledge of thy ways.
 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’
 Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand?
The counsel of the wicked is far from me.
 “How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out?
That their calamity comes upon them?
That God distributes pains in his anger?
 That they are like straw before the wind,
and like chaff that the storm carries away?
 You say, `God stores up their iniquity for their sons.’
Let him recompense it to themselves, that they may know it.
 Let their own eyes see their destruction,
and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
 For what do they care for their houses after them,
when the number of their months is cut off?
 Will any teach God knowledge,
seeing that he judges those that are on high?
 One dies in full prosperity,
being wholly at ease and secure,
 his body full of fat
and the marrow of his bones moist.
 Another dies in bitterness of soul,
never having tasted of good.
 They lie down alike in the dust,
and the worms cover them.
 “Behold, I know your thoughts,
and your schemes to wrong me.
 For you say, `Where is the house of the prince?
Where is the tent in which the wicked dwelt?’
 Have you not asked those who travel the roads,
and do you not accept their testimony
 that the wicked man is spared in the day of calamity,
that he is rescued in the day of wrath?
 Who declares his way to his face,
and who requites him for what he has done?
 When he is borne to the grave,
watch is kept over his tomb.
 The clods of the valley are sweet to him;
all men follow after him,
and those who go before him are innumerable.
 How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?
There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”
 “Hearken to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from your birth,
carried from the womb;
 even to your old age I am He,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.
 “To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
and compare me, that we may be alike?
 Those who lavish gold from the purse,
and weigh out silver in the scales,
hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
then they fall down and worship!
 They lift it upon their shoulders, they carry it,
they set it in its place, and it stands there;
it cannot move from its place.
If one cries to it, it does not answer
or save him from his trouble.
 “Remember this and consider,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, `My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
 calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
 “Hearken to me, you stubborn of heart,
you who are far from deliverance:
 I bring near my deliverance, it is not far off,
and my salvation will not tarry;
I will put salvation in Zion,
for Israel my glory.”
 Come down and sit in the dust,
O virgin daughter of Babylon;
sit on the ground without a throne,
O daughter of the Chalde’ans!
For you shall no more be called
tender and delicate.
 Take the millstones and grind meal,
put off your veil,
strip off your robe, uncover your legs,
pass through the rivers.
 Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
and your shame shall be seen.
I will take vengeance,
and I will spare no man.
 Our Redeemer — the LORD of hosts is his name —
is the Holy One of Israel.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America