2 “Can a man be profitable to God, Though he who is wise may be profitable to himself? 3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that you are righteous? Or is it gain to Him that you make your ways blameless?
4 “Is it because of your fear of Him that He corrects you, And enters into judgment with you? 5 Is not your wickedness great, And your iniquity without end? 6 For you have taken pledges from your brother for no reason, And stripped the naked of their clothing. 7 You have not given the weary water to drink, And you have withheld bread from the hungry. 8 But the [a]mighty man possessed the land, And the honorable man dwelt in it. 9 You have sent widows away empty, And the [b]strength of the fatherless was crushed. 10 Therefore snares are all around you, And sudden fear troubles you, 11 Or darkness so that you cannot see; And an abundance of water covers you.
12 “Is not God in the height of heaven? And see the highest stars, how lofty they are! 13 And you say, ‘What does God know? Can He judge through the deep darkness? 14 Thick clouds cover Him, so that He cannot see, And He walks above the circle of heaven.’ 15 Will you keep to the old way Which wicked men have trod, 16 Who were cut down before their time, Whose foundations were swept away by a flood? 17 They said to God, ‘Depart from us! What can the Almighty do to [c]them?’ 18 Yet He filled their houses with good things; But the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
19 “The righteous see it and are glad, And the innocent laugh at them: 20 ‘Surely our [d]adversaries are cut down, And the fire consumes their remnant.’
21 “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace; Thereby good will come to you. 22 Receive, please, instruction from His mouth, And lay up His words in your heart. 23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be built up; You will remove iniquity far from your tents. 24 Then you will lay your gold in the dust, And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks. 25 Yes, the Almighty will be your [e]gold And your precious silver; 26 For then you will have your delight in the Almighty, And lift up your face to God. 27 You will make your prayer to Him, He will hear you, And you will pay your vows. 28 You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways. 29 When they cast you down, and you say, ‘Exaltation will come!’ Then He will save the humble person. 30 He will even deliver one who is not innocent; Yes, he will be delivered by the purity of your hands.”
Job Proclaims God’s Righteous Judgments
23 Then Job answered and said:
2 “Even today my complaint is bitter; [f]My hand is listless because of my groaning. 3 Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, That I might come to His seat! 4 I would present my case before Him, And fill my mouth with arguments. 5 I would know the words which He would answer me, And understand what He would say to me. 6 Would He contend with me in His great power? No! But He would take note of me. 7 There the upright could reason with Him, And I would be delivered forever from my Judge.
8 “Look, I go forward, but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him; 9 When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. 10 But He knows the way that I take; WhenHe has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. 11 My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside. 12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my [g]necessary food.
13 “But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whateverHis soul desires, that He does. 14 For He performs what isappointed for me, And many such things are with Him. 15 Therefore I am terrified at His presence; When I consider this, I am afraid of Him. 16 For God made my heart weak, And the Almighty terrifies me; 17 Because I was not cut off [h]from the presence of darkness, And He did not hide deep darkness from my face.
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