Call out, Job. See if anyone answers. Is there any angel to whom you can turn?
To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do.
I have seen fools who looked secure, but I called down a sudden curse on their homes.
Their children can never find safety; no one stands up to defend them in court.
Hungry people will eat the fool's crops--- even the grain growing among thorns --- and thirsty people will envy his wealth.
Evil does not grow in the soil, nor does trouble grow out of the ground.
No indeed! We bring trouble on ourselves, as surely as sparks fly up from a fire.
If I were you, I would turn to God and present my case to him.
We cannot understand the great things he does, and to his miracles there is no end.
He sends rain on the land and he waters the fields.
Yes, it is God who raises the humble and gives joy to all who mourn.
He upsets the plans of cunning people, and traps the wise in their own schemes, so that nothing they do succeeds;
even at noon they grope in darkness.
But God saves the poor from death; he saves the needy from oppression.
He gives hope to the poor and silences the wicked.
Happy is the person whom God corrects! Do not resent it when he rebukes you.
God bandages the wounds he makes; his hand hurts you, and his hand heals.
Time after time he will save you from harm;
when famine comes, he will keep you alive, and in war protect you from death.
God will rescue you from slander; he will save you when destruction comes.
You will laugh at violence and hunger and not be afraid of wild animals.
The fields you plow will be free of rocks; wild animals will never attack you.
Then you will live at peace in your tent; when you look at your sheep, you will find them safe.
You will have as many children as there are blades of grass in a pasture.
Like wheat that ripens till harvest time, you will live to a ripe old age.
Job, we have learned this by long study. It is true, so now accept it.
I have complete confidence, O God! I will sing and praise you! Wake up, my soul!
Wake up, my harp and lyre! I will wake up the sun.
I will thank you, O LORD, among the nations. I will praise you among the peoples.
Your constant love reaches above the heavens; your faithfulness touches the skies.
Show your greatness in the sky, O God, and your glory over all the earth.
Save us by your might; answer my prayer, so that the people you love may be rescued.
From his sanctuary God has said, "In triumph I will divide Shechem and distribute Sukkoth Valley to my people.
Gilead is mine, and Manasseh too; Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my royal scepter.
But I will use Moab as my washbowl, and I will throw my sandals on Edom, as a sign that I own it. I will shout in triumph over the Philistines."
Who, O God, will take me into the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom?
Have you really rejected us? Aren't you going to march out with our armies?
Help us against the enemy; human help is worthless.
With God on our side we will win; he will defeat our enemies.
There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, who was a captain in the Roman army regiment called "The Italian Regiment."
He was a religious man; he and his whole family worshiped God. He also did much to help the Jewish poor people and was constantly praying to God.
It was about three o'clock one afternoon when he had a vision, in which he clearly saw an angel of God come in and say to him, "Cornelius!"
He stared at the angel in fear and said, "What is it, sir?" The angel answered, "God is pleased with your prayers and works of charity, and is ready to answer you.
And now send some men to Joppa for a certain man whose full name is Simon Peter.
He is a guest in the home of a tanner of leather named Simon, who lives by the sea."
Then the angel went away, and Cornelius called two of his house servants and a soldier, a religious man who was one of his personal attendants.
He told them what had happened and sent them off to Joppa.
The next day, as they were on their way and coming near Joppa, Peter went up on the roof of the house about noon in order to pray.
He became hungry and wanted something to eat; while the food was being prepared, he had a vision.
He saw heaven opened and something coming down that looked like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners to the earth.
In it were all kinds of animals, reptiles, and wild birds.
A voice said to him, "Get up, Peter; kill and eat!"
But Peter said, "Certainly not, Lord! I have never eaten anything ritually unclean or defiled."
The voice spoke to him again, "Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean."
This happened three times, and then the thing was taken back up into heaven.
While Peter was wondering about the meaning of this vision, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon's house was, and they were now standing in front of the gate.
They called out and asked, "Is there a guest here by the name of Simon Peter?"
Peter was still trying to understand what the vision meant, when the Spirit said, "Listen! Three men are here looking for you.
So get ready and go down, and do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."
So Peter went down and said to the men, "I am the man you are looking for. Why have you come?"
"Captain Cornelius sent us," they answered. "He is a good man who worships God and is highly respected by all the Jewish people. An angel of God told him to invite you to his house, so that he could hear what you have to say."
Peter invited the men in and had them spend the night there. The next day he got ready and went with them; and some of the believers from Joppa went along with him.
The following day he arrived in Caesarea, where Cornelius was waiting for him, together with relatives and close friends that he had invited.
As Peter was about to go in, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and bowed down before him.
But Peter made him rise. "Stand up," he said, "I myself am only a man."
Peter kept on talking to Cornelius as he went into the house, where he found many people gathered.
He said to them, "You yourselves know very well that a Jew is not allowed by his religion to visit or associate with Gentiles. But God has shown me that I must not consider any person ritually unclean or defiled.
And so when you sent for me, I came without any objection. I ask you, then, why did you send for me?"
Cornelius said, "It was about this time three days ago that I was praying in my house at three o'clock in the afternoon. Suddenly a man dressed in shining clothes stood in front of me
and said: 'Cornelius! God has heard your prayer and has taken notice of your works of charity.
Send someone to Joppa for a man whose full name is Simon Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner of leather, who lives by the sea.'
And so I sent for you at once, and you have been good enough to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God, waiting to hear anything that the Lord has instructed you to say."
Peter began to speak: "I now realize that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis.
Those who fear him and do what is right are acceptable to him, no matter what race they belong to.
You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
You know of the great event that took place throughout the land of Israel, beginning in Galilee after John preached his message of baptism.
You know about Jesus of Nazareth and how God poured out on him the Holy Spirit and power. He went everywhere, doing good and healing all who were under the power of the Devil, for God was with him.
We are witnesses of everything that he did in the land of Israel and in Jerusalem. Then they put him to death by nailing him to a cross.
But God raised him from death three days later and caused him to appear,
not to everyone, but only to the witnesses that God had already chosen, that is, to us who ate and drank with him after he rose from death.
And he commanded us to preach the gospel to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God has appointed judge of the living and the dead.
All the prophets spoke about him, saying that all who believe in him will have their sins forgiven through the power of his name."
While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who were listening to his message.
The Jewish believers who had come from Joppa with Peter were amazed that God had poured out his gift of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles also.
For they heard them speaking in strange tongues and praising God's greatness. Peter spoke up:
"These people have received the Holy Spirit, just as we also did. Can anyone, then, stop them from being baptized with water?"
So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay with them for a few days.
The apostles and the other believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.
When Peter went to Jerusalem, those who were in favor of circumcising Gentiles criticized him, saying,
"You were a guest in the home of uncircumcised Gentiles, and you even ate with them!"
So Peter gave them a complete account of what had happened from the very beginning:
"While I was praying in the city of Joppa, I had a vision. I saw something coming down that looked like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners from heaven, and it stopped next to me.
I looked closely inside and saw domesticated and wild animals, reptiles, and wild birds.
Then I heard a voice saying to me, 'Get up, Peter; kill and eat!'
But I said, 'Certainly not, Lord! No ritually unclean or defiled food has ever entered my mouth.'
The voice spoke again from heaven, 'Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.'
This happened three times, and finally the whole thing was drawn back up into heaven.
At that very moment three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where I was staying.
The Spirit told me to go with them without hesitation. These six fellow believers from Joppa accompanied me to Caesarea, and we all went into the house of Cornelius.
He told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, 'Send someone to Joppa for a man whose full name is Simon Peter.
He will speak words to you by which you and all your family will be saved.'
And when I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came down on them just as on us at the beginning.
Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
It is clear that God gave those Gentiles the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; who was I, then, to try to stop God!"
When they heard this, they stopped their criticism and praised God, saying, "Then God has given to the Gentiles also the opportunity to repent and live!"
Some of the believers who were scattered by the persecution which took place when Stephen was killed went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, telling the message to Jews only.
But other believers, who were from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and proclaimed the message to Gentiles also, telling them the Good News about the Lord Jesus.
The Lord's power was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
The news about this reached the church in Jerusalem, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw how God had blessed the people, he was glad and urged them all to be faithful and true to the Lord with all their hearts.
Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and many people were brought to the Lord.
Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul.
When he found him, he took him to Antioch, and for a whole year the two met with the people of the church and taught a large group. It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.
About that time some prophets went from Jerusalem to Antioch.
One of them, named Agabus, stood up and by the power of the Spirit predicted that a severe famine was about to come over all the earth. (It came when Claudius was emperor.)
The disciples decided that they each would send as much as they could to help their fellow believers who lived in Judea.
They did this, then, and sent the money to the church elders by Barnabas and Saul.