13 For when they heard that through their own punishments
the righteous* had received benefit, they perceived it was the Lords doing.
14 For though they had mockingly rejected him who long before had been cast out and exposed,
at the end of the events they marvelled at him,
when they felt thirst in a different way from the righteous.
15 In return for their foolish and wicked thoughts,
which led them astray to worship irrational serpents and worthless animals,
you sent upon them a multitude of irrational creatures to punish them,
16 so that they might learn that one is punished by the very things by which one sins.
17 For your all-powerful hand,
which created the world out of formless matter,
did not lack the means to send upon them a multitude of bears, or bold lions,
18 or newly-created unknown beasts full of rage,
or such as breathe out fiery breath,
or belch forth a thick pall of smoke,
or flash terrible sparks from their eyes;
19 not only could the harm they did destroy people,*
but the mere sight of them could kill by fright.
20 Even apart from these, people* could fall at a single breath
when pursued by justice
and scattered by the breath of your power.
But you have arranged all things by measure and number and weight.
21 For it is always in your power to show great strength,
and who can withstand the might of your arm?
22 Because the whole world before you is like a speck that tips the scales,
and like a drop of morning dew that falls on the ground.
23 But you are merciful to all, for you can do all things,
and you overlook peoples sins, so that they may repent.
24 For you love all things that exist,
and detest none of the things that you have made,
for you would not have made anything if you had hated it.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011