March 24 (Daily Scripture)

Deuteronomy 9:11-23
11 At the end of forty days and forty nights the Lord gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant.
12 Then the Lord said to me, ‘Get up, go down quickly from here, for your people whom you have brought from Egypt have acted corruptly. They have been quick to turn from the way that I commanded them; they have cast an image for themselves.’
13 Furthermore, the Lord said to me, ‘I have seen that this people is indeed a stubborn people.
14 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 more numerous than they.’
15 So I turned and went down from the mountain, while the mountain was ablaze; the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands.
16 Then I saw that you had indeed sinned against the Lord your God, by casting for yourselves an image of a calf; you had been quick to turn from the way that the Lord had commanded you.
17 So I took hold of the two tablets and flung them from my two hands, smashing them before your eyes.
18 Then I lay prostrate before the Lord as before, for forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin you had committed, provoking the Lord by doing what was evil in his sight.
19 For I was afraid that the anger that the Lord bore against you was so fierce that he would destroy you. But the Lord listened to me that time also.
20 The Lord was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him, but I interceded also on behalf of Aaron at that same time.
21 Then I took the sinful thing you had made, the calf, and burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it thoroughly, until it was reduced to dust; and I threw the dust of it into the stream that runs down the mountain.
22 At Taberah also, and at Massah, and at Kibroth-hattaavah, you provoked the Lord to wrath.
23 And when the Lord sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, ‘Go up and occupy the land that I have given you’, you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God, neither trusting him nor obeying him.

Job 16:1-17:16
Job Reaffirms His Innocence
1 Then Job answered:
2 ‘I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all.
3 Have windy words no limit? Or what provokes you that you keep on talking?
4 I also could talk as you do, if you were in my place; I could join words together against you, and shake my head at you.
5 I could encourage you with my mouth, and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.
6 ‘If I speak, my pain is not assuaged, and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me?
7 Surely now God has worn me out; he has made desolate all my company.
8 And he has shrivelled me up, which is a witness against me; my leanness has risen up against me,
and it testifies to my face.
9 He has torn me in his wrath, and hated me; he has gnashed his teeth at me; my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.
10 They have gaped at me with their mouths; they have struck me insolently on the cheek; they mass themselves together against me.
11 God gives me up to the ungodly, and casts me into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, and he broke me in two; he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces;
he set me up as his target;
13 his archers surround me. He slashes open my kidneys, and shows no mercy; he pours out my gall on the ground.
14 He bursts upon me again and again; he rushes at me like a warrior.
15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and have laid my strength in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping, and deep darkness is on my eyelids,
17 though there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure.
18 ‘O earth, do not cover my blood; let my outcry find no resting-place.
19 Even now, in fact, my witness is in heaven, and he that vouches for me is on high.
20 My friends scorn me; my eye pours out tears to God,
21 that he would maintain the right of a mortal with God, as one does for a neighbour.
22 For when a few years have come, I shall go the way from which I shall not return.
Job Prays for Relief
1 My spirit is broken, my days are extinct, the grave is ready for me.
2 Surely there are mockers around me, and my eye dwells on their provocation.
3 ‘Lay down a pledge for me with yourself; who is there that will give surety for me?
4 Since you have closed their minds to understanding, therefore you will not let them triumph.
5 Those who denounce friends for reward—the eyes of their children will fail.
6 ‘He has made me a byword of the peoples, and I am one before whom people spit.
7 My eye has grown dim from grief, and all my members are like a shadow.
8 The upright are appalled at this, and the innocent stir themselves up against the godless.
9 Yet the righteous hold to their way, and they that have clean hands grow stronger and stronger.
10 But you, come back now, all of you, and I shall not find a sensible person among you.
11 My days are past, my plans are broken off, the desires of my heart.
12 They make night into day; “The light”, they say, “is near to the darkness.”
13 If I look for Sheol as my house, if I spread my couch in darkness,
14 if I say to the Pit, “You are my father”, and to the worm, “My mother”, or “My sister”,
15 where then is my hope? Who will see my hope?
16 Will it go down to the bars of Sheol? Shall we descend together into the dust?’

Isaiah 43:22-44:8
22 Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel!
23 You have not brought me your sheep for burnt-offerings, or honoured me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with offerings, or wearied you with frankincense.
24 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.
25 I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
26 Accuse me, let us go to trial; set forth your case, so that you may be proved right.
27 Your first ancestor sinned, and your interpreters transgressed against me.
28 Therefore I profaned the princes of the sanctuary, I delivered Jacob to utter destruction, and Israel to reviling.
God’s Blessing on Israel
1 But now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen!
2 Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you in the womb and will help you: Do not fear, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
3 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.
4 They shall spring up like a green tamarisk, like willows by flowing streams.
5 This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’, another will be called by the name of Jacob, yet another will write on the hand, ‘The Lord’s’, and adopt the name of Israel.
6 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.
7 Who is like me? Let them proclaim it, let them 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.
8 Do not fear, or be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me? There is no other rock; I know not one.

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