I’m Taking My Case to God

13 1-5 “Yes, I’ve seen all this with my own eyes,
    heard and understood it with my very own ears.
Everything you know, I know,
    so I’m not taking a backseat to any of you.
I’m taking my case straight to God Almighty;
    I’ve had it with you—I’m going directly to God.
You graffiti my life with lies.
    You’re a bunch of pompous quacks!
I wish you’d shut your mouths—
    silence is your only claim to wisdom.

6-12 “Listen now while I make my case,
    consider my side of things for a change.
Or are you going to keep on lying ‘to do God a service’?
    to make up stories ‘to get him off the hook’?
Why do you always take his side?
    Do you think he needs a lawyer to defend himself?
How would you fare if you were in the dock?
    Your lies might convince a jury—but would they
        convince God?
He’d reprimand you on the spot
    if he detected a bias in your witness.
Doesn’t his splendor put you in awe?
    Aren’t you afraid to speak cheap lies before him?
Your wise sayings are knickknack wisdom,
    good for nothing but gathering dust.

13-19 “So hold your tongue while I have my say,
    then I’ll take whatever I have coming to me.
Why do I go out on a limb like this
    and take my life in my hands?
Because even if he killed me, I’d keep on hoping.
    I’d defend my innocence to the very end.
Just wait, this is going to work out for the best—my salvation!
    If I were guilt-stricken do you think I’d be doing this—
    laying myself on the line before God?
You’d better pay attention to what I’m telling you,
    listen carefully with both ears.
Now that I’ve laid out my defense,
    I’m sure that I’ll be acquitted.
Can anyone prove charges against me?
    I’ve said my piece. I rest my case.

Why Does God Stay Hidden and Silent?

20-27 “Please, God, I have two requests;
    grant them so I’ll know I count with you:
First, lay off the afflictions;
    the terror is too much for me.
Second, address me directly so I can answer you,
    or let me speak and then you answer me.
How many sins have been charged against me?
    Show me the list—how bad is it?
Why do you stay hidden and silent?
    Why treat me like I’m your enemy?
Why kick me around like an old tin can?
    Why beat a dead horse?
You compile a long list of mean things about me,
    even hold me accountable for the sins of my youth.
You hobble me so I can’t move about.
    You watch every move I make,
    and brand me as a dangerous character.

28 “Like something rotten, human life fast decomposes,
    like a moth-eaten shirt or a mildewed blouse.”

If We Die, Will We Live Again?

14 1-17 “We’re all adrift in the same boat:
    too few days, too many troubles.
We spring up like wildflowers in the desert and then wilt,
    transient as the shadow of a cloud.
Do you occupy your time with such fragile wisps?
    Why even bother hauling me into court?
There’s nothing much to us to start with;
    how do you expect us to amount to anything?
Mortals have a limited life span.
    You’ve already decided how long we’ll live—
    you set the boundary and no one can cross it.
So why not give us a break? Ease up!
    Even ditchdiggers get occasional days off.
For a tree there is always hope.
    Chop it down and it still has a chance—
    its roots can put out fresh sprouts.
Even if its roots are old and gnarled,
    its stump long dormant,
At the first whiff of water it comes to life,
    buds and grows like a sapling.
But men and women? They die and stay dead.
    They breathe their last, and that’s it.
Like lakes and rivers that have dried up,
    parched reminders of what once was,
So mortals lie down and never get up,
    never wake up again—never.
Why don’t you just bury me alive,
    get me out of the way until your anger cools?
But don’t leave me there!
    Set a date when you’ll see me again.
If we humans die, will we live again? That’s my question.
    All through these difficult days I keep hoping,
    waiting for the final change—for resurrection!
Homesick with longing for the creature you made,
    you’ll call—and I’ll answer!
You’ll watch over every step I take,
    but you won’t keep track of my missteps.
My sins will be stuffed in a sack
    and thrown into the sea—sunk in deep ocean.

18-22 “Meanwhile, mountains wear down
    and boulders break up,
Stones wear smooth
    and soil erodes,
    as you relentlessly grind down our hope.
You’re too much for us.
    As always, you get the last word.
We don’t like it and our faces show it,
    but you send us off anyway.
If our children do well for themselves, we never know it;
    if they do badly, we’re spared the hurt.
Body and soul, that’s it for us—
    a lifetime of pain, a lifetime of sorrow.”

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