27 – Suffering

These are the holy words of God Almighty.
We are not interested in the words of humans.
For anybody who loves God… this is what God says about: Suffering.

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Then Job's wife said to him, "Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!" "You speak as a foolish woman speaks," he told her. "Should we accept from God only good and not adversity?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

We are hard pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always consigned to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that is far beyond comparison. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

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but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die."

To the woman He said: "I will sharply increase your pain in childbirth; in pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." And to Adam He said: "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat, cursed is the ground because of you; through toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it will yield for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your bread, until you return to the ground- because out of it were you taken. For dust you are, and to dust you shall return."

The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the affliction of My people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I am aware of their sufferings. I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey- the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached Me, and I have seen how severely the Egyptians are oppressing them.

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

saying, "If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His eyes, and pay attention to His commands, and keep all His statutes, then I will not bring on you any of the diseases I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you."

If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to Me in distress, I will surely hear their cry.

So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take away sickness from among you.

Now if your countryman becomes destitute and cannot support himself among you, then you are to help him as you would a foreigner or stranger, so that he can continue to live among you.

And I will give peace to the land, and you will lie down with nothing to fear. I will rid the land of dangerous animals, and no sword will pass through your land.

and if you reject My statutes, despise My ordinances, and neglect to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant, then this is what I will do to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting disease, and fever that will destroy your sight and drain your life. You will sow your seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. And I will set My face against you, so that you will be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee when no one pursues you.

When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice. For the LORD your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers, which He swore to them by oath.

And the LORD will remove from you all sickness. He will not lay upon you any of the terrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but He will inflict them on all who hate you.

Your clothing did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. So know in your heart that just as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you. Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, walking in His ways and fearing Him.

He executes justice for the fatherless and widow, and He loves the foreigner, giving him food and clothing.

See, today I am setting before you a blessing and a curse- a blessing if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I am giving you today, but a curse if you disobey the commandments of the LORD your God and turn aside from the path I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.

When you go out to war against your enemies and see horses, chariots, and an army larger than yours, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you.

"Now if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God and are careful to follow all His commandments I am giving you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.

I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life, so that you and your descendants may live, and that you may love the LORD your God, obey Him, and hold fast to Him. For He is your life, and He will prolong your life in the land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."

The LORD Himself goes before you; He will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged."

See now that I am He; there is no God besides Me. I bring death and I give life; I wound and I heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.

Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

"Do not be afraid or discouraged," Joshua said. "Be strong and courageous, for the LORD will do this to all the enemies you fight."

The LORD brings death and gives life; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and He exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap. He seats them among princes and bestows on them a throne of honor. For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's, and upon them He has set the world.

And there he built an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Then the LORD answered the prayers on behalf of the land, and the plague upon Israel was halted.

In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: 'Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.'" Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, saying, "Please, O LORD, remember how I have walked before You faithfully and with wholehearted devotion; I have done what was good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "Go back and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people that this is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: 'I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. I will surely heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the house of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for My sake and for the sake of My servant David.'"

Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Seek out the LORD and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, His marvels, and the judgments He has pronounced,

and if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.

With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles." So the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

a messenger came and reported to Job: "While the oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, the Sabeans swooped down and took them away. They put the servants to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, another messenger came and reported: "The fire of God fell from heaven. It burned and consumed the sheep and the servants, and I alone have escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, another messenger came and reported: "The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels, and took them away. They put the servants to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, another messenger came and reported: "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on the young people and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you!" Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped,

saying: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD."

"Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give up all he owns in exchange for his life. But stretch out Your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse You to Your face." "Very well," said the LORD to Satan. "He is in your hands, but you must spare his life." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and infected Job with terrible boils from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. And Job took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself as he sat among the ashes.

Then Job's wife said to him, "Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!" "You speak as a foolish woman speaks," he told her. "Should we accept from God only good and not adversity?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

Now when Job's three friends- Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite- heard about all this adversity that had come upon him, each of them came from his home, and they met together to go and sympathize with Job and comfort him. When they lifted up their eyes from afar, they could barely recognize Job. They began to weep aloud, and each man tore his robe and threw dust in the air over his head. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights, but no one spoke a word to him because they saw how intense his suffering was.

Blessed indeed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For He wounds, but He also binds; He strikes, but His hands also heal.

It still brings me comfort, and joy through unrelenting pain, that I have not denied the words of the Holy One. What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What is my future, that I should be patient?

A despairing man should have the kindness of his friend, even if he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

My flesh is clothed with worms and encrusted with dirt; my skin is cracked and festering.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with a shout of joy.

"I loathe my own life; I will express my complaint and speak in the bitterness of my soul.

For you will forget your misery, recalling it only as waters gone by. Your life will be brighter than noonday; its darkness will be like the morning. You will be secure, because there is hope, and you will look around and lie down in safety. You will lie down without fear, and many will court your favor.

You, however, smear with lies; you are all worthless physicians.

Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. I will still defend my ways to His face.

So man wastes away like something rotten, like a moth-eaten garment.

He feels only the pain of his own body and mourns only for himself."

My skin and flesh cling to my bones; I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.

But I know that my Redeemer lives, and in the end He will stand upon the earth. Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.

And now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction grip me. Night pierces my bones, and my gnawing pains never rest.

I am churning within and cannot rest; days of affliction confront me. I go about blackened, but not by the sun. I stand up in the assembly and cry for help. I have become a brother of jackals, a companion of ostriches. My skin grows black and peels, and my bones burn with fever.

A man is also chastened on his bed with pain and constant distress in his bones, so that he detests his bread, and his soul loathes his favorite food. His flesh wastes away from sight, and his hidden bones protrude. He draws near to the Pit, and his life to the messengers of death.

Suppose someone says to God, 'I have endured my punishment; I will offend no more. Teach me what I cannot see; if I have done wrong, I will not do it again.'

After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his prosperity and doubled his former possessions. All his brothers and sisters and prior acquaintances came and dined with him in his house. They consoled him and comforted him over all the adversity that the LORD had brought upon him. And each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together, against the LORD and against His Anointed One: "Let us break Their chains and cast away Their cords." The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord taunts them.

But You, O LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and He answers me from His holy mountain. Selah I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the LORD sustains me. I will not fear the myriads set against me on every side.

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am frail; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are in agony. My soul is deeply distressed. How long, O LORD, how long? Turn, O LORD, and deliver my soul; save me because of Your loving devotion.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Be merciful to me, O LORD; see how my enemies afflict me! Lift me up from the gates of death,

But You have regarded trouble and grief; You see to repay it by Your hand. The victim entrusts himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.

How long must I wrestle in my soul, with sorrow in my heart each day? How long will my enemy dominate me? Consider me and respond, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death,

I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor will You let Your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.

Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.

Of David the servant of the LORD, who sang this song to the LORD on the day the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer. My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of chaos overwhelmed me. The cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry for His help reached His ears.

For He has not despised or detested the torment of the afflicted. He has not hidden His face from him, but has attended to his cry for help.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of His name. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Turn to me and be gracious, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart increase; free me from my distress. Consider my affliction and trouble, and take away all my sins.

The LORD is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life- whom shall I dread? When the wicked came upon me to devour my flesh, my enemies and foes stumbled and fell. Though an army encamps around me, my heart will not fear; though a war breaks out against me, I will keep my trust. One thing I have asked of the LORD; this is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and seek Him in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high upon a rock.

Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I give thanks to Him with my song.

O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. O LORD, You pulled me up from Sheol; You spared me from descending into the Pit. Sing to the LORD, O you His saints, and praise His holy name. For His anger is fleeting, but His favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping may stay the night, but joy comes in the morning.

"What gain is there in my bloodshed, in my descent to the Pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it proclaim Your faithfulness? Hear me, O LORD, and have mercy; O LORD, be my helper." You turned my mourning into dancing; You peeled off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks forever.

Incline Your ear to me; come quickly to my rescue. Be my rock of refuge, the stronghold of my deliverance. For You are my rock and my fortress; lead me and guide me for the sake of Your name.

Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes fail from sorrow, my soul and body as well. For my life is consumed with grief and my years with groaning; my iniquity has drained my strength, and my bones are wasting away. Among all my enemies I am a disgrace, and among my neighbors even more. I am dreaded by my friends- they flee when they see me on the street. I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind. I am like a broken vessel.

My times are in Your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.

When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was drained as in the summer heat. Selah

Surely the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His loving devotion to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and he delivers them.

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are inclined to their cry. But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to wipe out all memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears; He delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted; He saves the contrite in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him from them all. He protects all his bones; not one of them will be broken.

Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting, but my prayers returned unanswered. I paced about as for my friend or brother; I was bowed down with grief, like one mourning for his mother.

How precious is Your loving devotion, O God, that the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings! They feast on the abundance of Your house, and You give them drink from Your river of delights. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.

but the Lord laughs, seeing that their day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword and bent the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright. But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

Consider the blameless and observe the upright, for posterity awaits the man of peace.

There is no soundness in my body because of Your anger; there is no rest in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have overwhelmed me; they are a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds are foul and festering because of my sinful folly. I am bent and brought low; all day long I go about mourning. For my loins are full of burning pain, and no soundness remains in my body. I am numb and badly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart. O Lord, my every desire is before You; my groaning is not hidden from You. My heart pounds, my strength fails, and even the light of my eyes has faded.

Remove Your scourge from me; I am perishing by the force of Your hand. You discipline and correct a man for his iniquity, consuming like a moth what he holds dear; surely each man is but a vapor. Selah Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. For I am a foreigner dwelling with You, a stranger like all my fathers.

He lifted me up from the pit of despair, out of the miry clay; He set my feet upon a rock, and made my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

O LORD, do not withhold Your mercy from me; Your loving devotion and faithfulness will always guard me.

The LORD will sustain him on his bed of illness and restore him from his bed of sickness. I said, "O LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against You."

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why the unease within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him for the salvation of His presence. O my God, my soul despairs within me. Therefore I remember You from the land of Jordan and the peaks of Hermon- even from Mount Mizar.

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my greatest joy. I will praise You with the harp, O God, my God. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why the unease within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth is transformed and the mountains are toppled into the depths of the seas,

"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted over the earth." The LORD of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even till death.

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor Me."

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones You have crushed rejoice.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

The righteous will see and fear; they will mock the evildoer, saying, "Look at the man who did not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his wealth and strengthened himself by destruction."

He redeems my soul in peace from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.

Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise- in God I trust. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? All day long they twist my words; all their thoughts are on my demise. They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps while they wait to take my life.

You have taken account of my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle- are they not in Your book?

in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Your vows are upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings to You. For You have delivered my soul from death, and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

A Miktam of David, when he fled from Saul into the cave. Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy, for in You my soul takes refuge. In the shadow of Your wings I will take shelter until the danger has passed.

But You, O LORD, laugh at them; You scoff at all the nations. I will keep watch for You, O my strength, because You, O God, are my fortress.

But I will sing of Your strength and proclaim Your loving devotion in the morning. For You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. To You, O my strength, I sing praises, for You, O God, are my fortress, my God of loving devotion.

Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call out to You whenever my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been my refuge, a tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah

In God alone my soul finds rest; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation. He is my fortress; I will never be shaken.

Rest in God alone, O my soul, for my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor rest on God, my strong rock; my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge. Selah

A Psalm of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God. Earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You. My body yearns for You in a dry and weary land without water. So I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and glory. Because Your loving devotion is better than life, my lips will glorify You. So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your name I will lift my hands. My soul is satisfied as with the richest of foods; with joyful lips my mouth will praise You. When I remember You on my bed, I think of You through the watches of the night. For You are my help; I will sing for joy in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.

A father of the fatherless, and a defender of the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God settles the lonely in families; He leads the prisoners out to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a sun-scorched land.

Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, until I proclaim Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come. Your righteousness reaches to the heavens, O God, You who have done great things. Who, O God, is like You? Though You have shown me many troubles and misfortunes, You will revive me once again. Even from the depths of the earth You will bring me back up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. So I will praise You with the harp for Your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to You with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. When I sing praise to You my lips will shout for joy, along with my soul, which You have redeemed.

Yet I am always with You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and later receive me in glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And on earth I desire no one besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; uphold the rights of the afflicted and oppressed.

My soul longs, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she places her young near Your altars, O LORD of Hosts, my King and my God. How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah

In the day of my distress I call on You, because You answer me.

For great is Your loving devotion to me; You have delivered me from the depths of Sheol.

Remember the briefness of my lifespan! For what futility You have created all men! What man can live and never see death? Can he deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah

Lord, You have been our dwelling place through all generations.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, "You are my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly plague. He will cover you with His feathers; under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the calamity that destroys at noon. Though a thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, no harm will come near you.

Because you have made the LORD your dwelling- my refuge, the Most High- no evil will befall you, no plague will approach your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and cobra; you will trample the young lion and serpent. "Because he loves Me, I will deliver him; because he knows My name, I will protect him. When he calls out to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation."

When anxiety overwhelms me, Your consolation delights my soul.

But the LORD has been my stronghold, and my God is my rock of refuge.

A Psalm of thanksgiving. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; come into His presence with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and bless His name. For the LORD is good, and His loving devotion endures forever; His faithfulness continues to all generations.

A prayer of one who is afflicted, when he grows faint and pours out his lament before the LORD. Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry for help come before You. Do not hide Your face from me in my day of distress. Incline Your ear to me; answer me quickly when I call. For my days vanish like smoke, and my bones burn like glowing embers. My heart is afflicted, and withered like grass; I even forget to eat my bread. Through my loud groaning my flesh clings to my bones.

My days are like lengthening shadows, and I wither away like grass. But You, O LORD, sit enthroned forever; Your renown endures to all generations.

Bless the LORD, O my soul; all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all His kind deeds- He who forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit and crowns you with loving devotion and compassion,

For He knows our frame; He is mindful that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass- he blooms like a flower of the field; when the wind passes over, it vanishes, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the loving devotion of the LORD extends to those who fear Him, and His righteousness to their children's children-

Many times He rescued them, but they were bent on rebellion and sank down in their iniquity. Nevertheless He heard their cry; He took note of their distress. And He remembered His covenant with them, and relented by the abundance of His loving devotion. He made them objects of compassion to all who held them captive.

They were hungry and thirsty; their soul fainted within them. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress.

For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and chains, because they rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. He humbled their hearts with hard labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke away their chains.

Fools, in their rebellious ways, and through their iniquities, suffered affliction. They loathed all food and drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He sent forth His word and healed them; He rescued them from the Pit.

Return to your rest, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.

In my distress I called to the LORD, and He answered and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.

I will not die, but I will live and proclaim what the LORD has done.

The LORD disciplined me severely, but He has not given me over to death.

My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Your word.

My soul melts with sorrow; strengthen me according to Your word.

This is my comfort in affliction, that Your promise has given me life.

Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now I keep Your word.

It was good for me to be afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes.

I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. May Your loving devotion comfort me, I pray, according to Your promise to Your servant. May Your compassion come to me, that I may live, for Your law is my delight.

If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me.

I am severely afflicted, O LORD; revive me through Your word.

Trouble and distress have found me, but Your commandments are my delight.

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

The LORD will guard you from all evil; He will preserve your soul. The LORD will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.

Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy. He who goes out weeping, bearing a trail of seed, will surely return with shouts of joy, carrying sheaves of grain.

I wait for the LORD; my soul does wait, and in His word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning- more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men. Protect me from men of violence, who devise evil in their hearts and stir up war all day long. They sharpen their tongues like snakes; the venom of vipers is on their lips. Selah

I know that the LORD upholds justice for the poor and defends the cause of the needy.

A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A prayer. I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out my complaint before Him; I reveal my trouble to Him. Although my spirit grows faint within me, You know my way. Along the path I travel they have hidden a snare for me. Look to my right and see; no one attends to me. There is no refuge for me; no one cares for my soul. I cry to You, O LORD: "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living." Listen to my cry, for I am brought quite low. Rescue me from my pursuers, for they are too strong for me. Free my soul from prison, that I may praise Your name. The righteous will gather around me because of Your goodness to me.

I stretch out my hands to You; my soul thirsts for You like a parched land. Selah Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide Your face from me, or I will be like those who descend to the Pit.

The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call out to Him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them. The LORD preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth will declare the praise of the LORD; let every creature bless His holy name forever and ever.

He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free, the LORD opens the eyes of the blind, the LORD lifts those who are weighed down, the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD protects foreigners; He sustains the fatherless and the widow, but the ways of the wicked He frustrates.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. This will bring healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.

Anxiety weighs down the heart of a man, but a good word cheers it up.

A joyful heart makes a cheerful countenance, but sorrow of the heart crushes the spirit.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, but who can survive a broken spirit?

Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

If you faint in the day of distress, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death, and restrain those stumbling toward the slaughter.

Give strong drink to one who is perishing, and wine to the bitter in soul. Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. Open your mouth for those with no voice, for the cause of all the dispossessed.

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

A good name is better than fine perfume, and one's day of death is better than his day of birth. It is better to enter a house of mourning than a house of feasting, since death is the end of every man, and the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for a sad countenance is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

In the day of prosperity, be joyful, but in the day of adversity, consider this: God has made one of these along with the other, so that a man cannot discover anything that will come after him.

Why do you want more beatings? Why do you keep rebelling? Your head has a massive wound, and your whole heart is afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head, there is no soundness- only wounds and welts and festering sores neither cleansed nor bandaged nor soothed with oil.

All the earth is at peace and at rest; they break out in song.

And the LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; He will strike them but heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and He will hear their prayers and heal them.

Therefore my body is filled with anguish. Pain grips me, like the pains of a woman in labor. I am bewildered to hear, I am dismayed to see.

The earth mourns and withers; the world languishes and fades; the exalted of the earth waste away. The earth is defiled by its people; they have transgressed the laws; they have overstepped the decrees and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse has consumed the earth, and its inhabitants must bear the guilt; the earth's dwellers have been burned, and only a few survive.

For You have been a refuge for the poor, a stronghold for the needy in distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like rain against a wall,

He will swallow up death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from every face and remove the disgrace of His people from the whole earth. For the LORD has spoken.

You will keep in perfect peace the steadfast of mind, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, because GOD the LORD is the Rock eternal.

O LORD, You will establish peace for us. For all that we have accomplished, You have done for us.

Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore He rises to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God. Blessed are all who wait for Him. O people in Zion who dwell in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will surely be gracious when you cry for help; when He hears, He will answer you. The Lord will give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, but your Teacher will no longer hide Himself- with your own eyes you will see Him. And whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: "This is the way. Walk in it."

Strengthen the limp hands and steady the feeble knees! Say to those with anxious hearts: "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance. With divine retribution He will come to save you." Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer and the mute tongue will shout for joy. For waters will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.

And there will be a highway called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not travel it- only those who walk in the Way- and fools will not stray onto it. No lion will be there, and no vicious beast will go up on it. Such will not be found there, but the redeemed will walk upon it. So the redeemed of the LORD will return and enter Zion with singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee.

"Comfort, comfort My people," says your God. "Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her forced labor has been completed; her iniquity has been pardoned. For she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins."

He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart. He gently leads the nursing ewes.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary; His understanding is beyond searching out. He gives power to the faint and increases the strength of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall. But those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you; I will uphold you with My right hand of righteousness.

The poor and needy seek water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. I, the LORD, will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.

Now this is what the LORD says- He who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you go through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched; the flames will not set you ablaze.

I form the light and create the darkness; I bring prosperity and create calamity. I, the LORD, do all these things.

Even to your old age, I will be the same, and I will bear you up when you turn gray. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will sustain you and deliver you.

See, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

They will not hunger or thirst, nor will scorching heat or sun beat down on them. For He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.

Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; break forth in song, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, and He will have compassion on His afflicted ones.

Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me.

For the LORD will comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; He will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and melodious song.

So the redeemed of the LORD will return and enter Zion with singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee. "I, even I, am He who comforts you. Why should you be afraid of mortal man, of a son of man who withers like grass?

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no stately form or majesty to attract us, no beauty that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. Like one from whom men hide their faces, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He took on our infirmities and carried our sorrows; yet we considered Him stricken by God, struck down and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away, and who can recount His descendants? For He was cut off from the land of the living; He was stricken for the transgression of My people. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in His death, although He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it was the LORD's will to crush Him and to cause Him to suffer; and when His soul is made a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. After the anguish of His soul, He will see the light of life and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong, because He has poured out His life unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors. Yet He bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors.

Do not be afraid, for you will not be put to shame; do not be intimidated, for you will not be humiliated. For you will forget the shame of your youth and will remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.

In righteousness you will be established, far from oppression, for you will have no fear. Terror will be far removed, for it will not come near you.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication is from Me," declares the LORD.

You will indeed go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest, lying down in death.

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and humble in spirit, to restore the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the contrite.

I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him and his mourners, bringing praise to their lips. Peace, peace to those far and near," says the LORD, "and I will heal them."

Is this the fast I have chosen: a day for a man to deny himself, to bow his head like a reed, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the LORD? Isn't this the fast that I have chosen: to break the chains of wickedness, to untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and tear off every yoke? Isn't it to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your home, to clothe the naked when you see him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?