Friday, March 25, 2022
Twenty-Sixth Day of Great Lent
 And at the end of forty days and forty nights the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, the tables of the covenant.
 Then the LORD said to me, `Arise, go down quickly from here; for your people whom you have brought from Egypt have acted corruptly; they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made themselves a molten image.’
 “Furthermore the LORD said to me, `I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stubborn people;
 let me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.’
 So I turned and came down from the mountain, and the mountain was burning with fire; and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands.
 And I looked, and behold, you had sinned against the LORD your God; you had made yourselves a molten calf; you had turned aside quickly from the way which the LORD had commanded you.
 So I took hold of the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and broke them before your eyes.
 Then I lay prostrate before the LORD as before, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin which you had committed, in doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure which the LORD bore against you, so that he was ready to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened to me that time also.
 And the LORD was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him; and I prayed for Aaron also at the same time.
 Then I took the sinful thing, the calf which you had made, and burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it very small, until it was as fine as dust; and I threw the dust of it into the brook that descended out of the mountain.
 “At Tab’erah also, and at Massah, and at Kib’roth-hatta’avah, you provoked the LORD to wrath.
 And when the LORD sent you from Ka’desh-bar’nea, saying, `Go up and take possession of the land which I have given you,’ then you rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and did not believe him or obey his voice.
 Then Job answered:
 “I have heard many such things;
miserable comforters are you all.
 Shall windy words have an end?
Or what provokes you that you answer?
 I also could speak as you do,
if you were in my place;
I could join words together against you,
and shake my head at you.
 I could strengthen you with my mouth,
and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.
 “If I speak, my pain is not assuaged,
and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me?
 Surely now God has worn me out;
he has made desolate all my company.
 And he has shriveled me up,
which is a witness against me;
and my leanness has risen up against me,
it testifies to my face.
 He has torn me in his wrath, and hated me;
he has gnashed his teeth at me;
my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
 Men have gaped at me with their mouth,
they have struck me insolently upon the cheek,
they mass themselves together against me.
 God gives me up to the ungodly,
and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
 I was at ease, and he broke me asunder;
he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces;
he set me up as his target,
 his archers surround me.
He slashes open my kidneys, and does not spare;
he pours out my gall on the ground.
 He breaks me with breach upon breach;
he runs upon me like a warrior.
 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin,
and have laid my strength in the dust.
 My face is red with weeping,
and on my eyelids is deep darkness;
 although there is no violence in my hands,
and my prayer is pure.
 “O earth, cover not my blood,
and let my cry find no resting place.
 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and he that vouches for me is on high.
 My friends scorn me;
my eye pours out tears to God,
 that he would maintain the right of a man with God,
like that of a man with his neighbor.
 For when a few years have come
I shall go the way whence I shall not return.
 My spirit is broken, my days are extinct,
the grave is ready for me.
 Surely there are mockers about me,
and my eye dwells on their provocation.
 “Lay down a pledge for me with thyself;
who is there that will give surety for me?
 Since thou hast closed their minds to understanding,
therefore thou wilt not let them triumph.
 He who informs against his friends to get a share of their property,
the eyes of his children will fail.
 “He has made me a byword of the peoples,
and I am one before whom men spit.
 My eye has grown dim from grief,
and all my members are like a shadow.
 Upright men are appalled at this,
and the innocent stirs himself up against the godless.
 Yet the righteous holds to his way,
and he that has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.
 But you, come on again, all of you,
and I shall not find a wise man among you.
 My days are past, my plans are broken off,
the desires of my heart.
 They make night into day;
`The light,’ they say, `is near to the darkness.’
 If I look for Sheol as my house,
if I spread my couch in darkness,
 if I say to the pit, `You are my father,’
and to the worm, `My mother,’ or `My sister,’
 where then is my hope?
Who will see my hope?
 Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
Shall we descend together into the dust?”
 “Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob;
but you have been weary of me, O Israel!
 You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings,
or honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with offerings,
or wearied you with frankincense.
 You have not bought me sweet cane with money,
or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins,
you have wearied me with your iniquities.
 “I, I am He
who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins.
 Put me in remembrance, let us argue together;
set forth your case, that you may be proved right.
 Your first father sinned,
and your mediators transgressed against me.
 Therefore I profaned the princes of the sanctuary,
I delivered Jacob to utter destruction
and Israel to reviling.
 “But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
 Thus says the LORD who made you,
who formed you from the womb and will help you:
Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
Jeshu’run whom I have chosen.
 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your descendants,
and my blessing on your offspring.
 They shall spring up like grass amid waters,
like willows by flowing streams.
 This one will say, `I am the LORD’s,’
another will call himself by the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, `The LORD’s,’
and surname himself by the name of Israel.”
 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel
and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
“I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
 Who is like me? Let him proclaim it,
let him declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?
Let them tell us what is yet to be.
 Fear not, nor be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?
And you are my witnesses!
Is there a God besides me?
There is no Rock; I know not any.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America