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Job Continues: Why Doesn’t God Punish Those Who Do Evil?

24 “Why doesn’t the Almighty set aside times ⌞for punishment⌟?
Why don’t those who are close to him see his days ⌞of judgment⌟?

⌞People⌟ move boundary markers.
They steal flocks and tend them as shepherds.
They drive away the orphan’s donkey.
They take the widow’s ox as security for a loan.
They force needy people off the road.
All the poor people of the country go into hiding.
Like wild donkeys in the desert,
poor people go out to do their work, looking for food.
The plains provide food for their children.
They harvest animal food in the field ⌞to feed themselves⌟.
They pick the leftover grapes in the wicked person’s vineyard.
All night they lie naked
without a covering from the cold.
They are drenched by the rainstorms in the mountains.
They hug the rocks because they can’t find shelter.

⌞People⌟ snatch the ⌞nursing⌟ orphan from a breast
and take a poor woman’s baby as security for a loan.
10 ⌞That is why⌟ the poor go around naked.
They are hungry, yet they carry bundles of grain.
11 They press out olive oil between rows ⌞of olive trees⌟.
They stomp on grapes in wine vats, yet they are thirsty.
12 Those dying in the city groan.
Wounded people cry for help, but God pays no attention to their prayers.

13 “Such people are among those who rebel against the light.
They are not acquainted with its ways.
They do not stay on its paths.
14 At dawn murderers rise; they kill the poor and needy.
At night they become thieves.
15 Adulterers watch for twilight.
They say, ‘No one is watching us,’ as they cover their faces.
16 In the dark, they break into houses,
⌞but⌟ by day they lock themselves in.
They do not ⌞even⌟ know the light,
17 because morning and deep darkness are the same to them,
because they are familiar with the terrors of deep darkness.
18 Such people are like scum on the surface of the water.
Their property is cursed in the land.
People do not travel the road that goes to their vineyards.
19 ⌞Just as⌟ drought and heat steal water from snow,
so the grave steals people who sin.
20 The womb forgets them.
Worms feast on them.
No one remembers them anymore,
and wickedness is snapped like a twig.
21 These men take advantage of childless women.
These men show no kindness to widows.
22 ⌞God⌟ will drag away ⌞these⌟ mighty men by his power.
These people may prosper,
but they will never feel secure about life.
23 ⌞God⌟ may let them feel confident and self-reliant,
but his eyes are on their ways.
24 ⌞Such people⌟ may be prosperous for a little while,
but then they’re gone.
They are brought down low and disappear like everything else.
They wither like heads of grain.

25 “If it isn’t so, who can prove I’m a liar
and show that my words are worthless?”

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