Wednesday, March 17, 2010

GOD Continues Questioning Job

“Do you know the time when the wild goats in the mountains have their babies?
Have you seen the deer bringing forth their young?

Tell me how long they are pregnant.
Tell me the time they give birth,
How they conduct themselves,
And how they ease themselves of their sorrows.

Those young ones are healthy;
They grow up well fed;
They go out into the world.

Who was it made the wild ass free?
Who was it took off those shackles
And gave them the wilderness for a home
And desert as a place they thrive?

They scorn crowded cities
And hate the sound of traffic.
All the mountains are their pasture
And every green thing their food.

“Do you think the unicorn will be your pet?
Might the unicorn pull your plow?
Will you get any work out of him?
Can you trust him with your harvest?

“Did you give the peacocks their wings?
Did you make wings and feathers for the ostrich
That leaves her eggs in the earth
And warms them in the dust,
Forgetting that a foot may crush them
Or animals may find them?

The ostrich has a hard heart
Toward her young ones,
As if they weren’t even hers,
Because God made her that way.
Yet when she stands tall
She scorns both horse and rider.

“Did you give the horse its strength?
Did you give it a mane?
Did you make him jump like a grasshopper?

His snorting is frightening.
He paws the valley floor
And rushes headlong into the enemy.

He laughs at fear,
And is not frightened by the sword.
The quiver rattles against him.
He carries the glittering spear and the shield.
He swallows the ground in his fierceness
And stands firm at the sound of the trumpet.

He says among the trumpets, “Ha!”
And he smells the battle far off,
Hears the thunder of the captains and the shouting.

“Were you wise enough
To give flight to the hawk?

Do you tell the eagle to fly
Or where to make her nest?

She lives in the rocks,
In the highest crags.
From there she watches her prey
And her eyes see far, far off.

Her young ones drink blood
And where there is killing, there she is.”

Thursday, March 11, 2010

YAHWEH Speaks from a Whirlwind

Then YAHWEH spoke to Job out of a whirlwind:

“Who is this who talks without knowing?
Get some clothes on, like a man.
I have some questions
And I expect you to answer.
Just where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you have any answers.

“Just who planned the earth? Do you know
Who stretched out the plumb line?
What are the foundations of the world fastened to?
Who laid the corner stone of the earth
On that day when the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Who was it shut up the doors of the sea
When those broke open and the water
Rushed out, as if from a womb?
Who was it made the clouds like clothing for the earth
And the darkness like swaddling clothes,
And set the outer boundaries
And set bars and doors?
Who said to the waves,
“You can come this far and farther?
Have you commanded the morning in your lifetime
And made the daylight keep its place?

“Have you been to the springs of the sea?
Have you walked in the seas depths?
Have the gates of death been opened you?
Have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?
Have you seen breadth of the earth?
Tell me if you know.

“Where does light dwell?
And as for darkness. . .where does it live?
Do you know the way to those houses?
Were you born when these things happened?
Are you that old?
Have you ever visited the storehouse of the snow?
Have you seen the storehouse of the hail
That I keep in reserve for battles and wars?
Which is the road to the place the light is parted
And the east wind is scattered on the earth?
Who was it made the courses for the rain
Or a way for lightning and thunder
So that it falls upon the earth,
Even in the places no person lives
So that the tender buds of the herb can grow?
Does the rain have a father?
Whose child is the drops of dew?
Who is the mother of the ice
And the frosts of heaven
That make water turn to stone
And freezes the face of the deep?

Can you chain the Pleiades
Or free the shackles of Orion?
Can you bring out the constellations in their seasons?
Can you guide Arcturus with his sons?
Do you know the laws of heaven?
Might you make the earth obey them?
Can you lift your voice to the clouds and bring down rain?
Can you send lightning bolts wherever you please?
Who has taught the rules to all things?
Who gave wisdom to the human heart?
Who is wise enough to number the clouds?
Who can open the jars of heaven
When the dust grows hard
And the clods stick together?
Will you do the hunting for a lion
When her cubs are hungry
And they crouch in their dens
Lying quietly in wait?
Who feeds the raven
When his young ones
Cry to God, wandering in starvation?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Zophar Counsels Prudence in What We Say

Zophar the Naamathite said:

“Such a lot of words!
How can a man who
Talks so much be forgiven?

“Should we quietly listen to your lies?
Should no one call you on such mocking?
You have said your beliefs are pure
And that you are sinless.
But, oh, how I wish God would speak up!
God would have a few things to say!
Oh, how I wish God would show you
The mysteries of wisdom!

“Face it: God is punishing you
A whole lot less than you deserve.
Can you find God by searching?
Can you comprehend God through piety?
God is as high as heaven;
What can you do?
God is deeper than hell;
What can you know?
God’s measure is longer than the earth
And broader than the sea.

“If God abandons; if God impedes;
If God gathers, who can avoid that?
God knows vanity;
God sees wickedness.
So, won’t God take those into consideration?
Sure, the vain wish to be wise,
Even when they have been born
Like a wild donkey’s colt.

“If you prepare your heart;
If you stretch your hands toward God;
If iniquity be in your hand, put it far away.
Do not allow wickedness to live in your tent.
Then you will lift up a spotless face.
Yes, you will be steadfast and fearless.
Then you will forget your misery,
As if it were waters that pass away.
Then your life will be clearer than the noonday,
And you will shine like the morning.
And you will be secure, because there is hope
Yes, you will feel protected and rest in safety.
You will lie down, and none will make you afraid

“Certainly, many will ask for favors,
But the plans of the wicked will fail,
And they will not escape,
And their only hope will be death.”