Elihu’s Third Speech
When God Makes Creation a Classroom
35 1-3 Elihu lit into Job again:
“Does this kind of thing make any sense?
First you say, ‘I’m perfectly innocent before God.’
And then you say, ‘It doesn’t make a bit of difference
whether I’ve sinned or not.’
4-8 “Well, I’m going to show you
that you don’t know what you’re talking about,
neither you nor your friends.
Look up at the sky. Take a long hard look.
See those clouds towering above you?
If you sin, what difference could that make to God?
No matter how much you sin, will it matter to him?
Even if you’re good, what would God get out of that?
Do you think he’s dependent on your accomplishments?
The only ones who care whether you’re good or bad
are your family and friends and neighbors.
God’s not dependent on your behavior.
9-15 “When times get bad, people cry out for help.
They cry for relief from being kicked around,
But never give God a thought when things go well,
when God puts spontaneous songs in their hearts,
When God sets out the entire creation as a science classroom,
using birds and beasts to teach wisdom.
People are arrogantly indifferent to God—
until, of course, they’re in trouble,
and then God is indifferent to them.
There’s nothing behind such prayers except panic;
the Almighty pays them no mind.
So why would he notice you
just because you say you’re tired of waiting to be heard,
Or waiting for him to get good and angry
and do something about the world’s problems?
16 “Job, you talk sheer nonsense—
New International Version
35 Then Elihu said:
4 “I would like to reply to you
and to your friends with you.
5 Look up at the heavens(D) and see;
gaze at the clouds so high above you.(E)
6 If you sin, how does that affect him?
If your sins are many, what does that do to him?(F)
7 If you are righteous, what do you give to him,(G)
or what does he receive(H) from your hand?(I)
8 Your wickedness only affects humans like yourself,(J)
and your righteousness only other people.(K)
9 “People cry out(L) under a load of oppression;(M)
they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful.(N)
10 But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,(O)
who gives songs(P) in the night,(Q)
11 who teaches(R) us(S) more than he teaches[b] the beasts of the earth
and makes us wiser than[c] the birds in the sky?’
12 He does not answer(T) when people cry out
because of the arrogance(U) of the wicked.(V)
13 Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea;
the Almighty pays no attention to it.(W)
14 How much less, then, will he listen
when you say that you do not see him,(X)
that your case(Y) is before him
and you must wait for him,(Z)
15 and further, that his anger never punishes(AA)
and he does not take the least notice of wickedness.[d](AB)
16 So Job opens his mouth with empty talk;(AC)
without knowledge he multiplies words.”(AD)