2 “A man cannot be of any real use to God. Even a wise man does him no good. 3 It does not help God All-Powerful for you to be good. He gains nothing if you are innocent. 4 God does not punish you for respecting him. He does not bring you into court for this. 5 No! It is because your evil is without limits. And your sins have no end. 6 You took your brothers’ things to pay a debt they didn’t owe. You took clothes from people and left them naked. 7 You did not give water to tired people. And you kept food away from the hungry. 8 You were a powerful man who owned land. You were honored and lived in the land. 9 But you sent widows away without giving them anything. You even mistreated orphans. 10 That is why traps are all around you. That is why sudden danger frightens you. 11 That is why it is so dark you cannot see. And that is why a flood of water covers you.
12 “God is in the highest part of heaven. See how high the highest stars are! 13 But you say, ‘God knows nothing. He cannot judge us through the dark clouds. 14 Thick clouds cover him so he cannot see us. He walks around high up in the sky.’ 15 Are you going to stay on the old path where evil people walk? 16 They were carried away before their time was up. Their foundations were washed away by a flood. 17 They said to God, ‘Leave us alone! God All-Powerful can do nothing to us.’ 18 But it was God who filled their houses with good things. He did this even though their way of thinking was not godly.
19 “Good people can watch and be glad. Innocent people can laugh at them and say, 20 ‘Surely our enemies are destroyed. And fire burns up their wealth.’
21 “Obey God, and then you will be at peace with him. This way you can be happy. 22 Accept teaching from his mouth. Keep his words in your heart. 23 If you return to God All-Powerful, you will be blessed again. Remove evil from your house. 24 Throw your gold nuggets into the dust. Throw your fine gold to the rocks in the ravines. 25 Then God All-Powerful will be your gold. He will be the best silver for you. 26 You will find pleasure in God All-Powerful. And you will look up to him. 27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you. And you will keep your promises to him. 28 Anything you decide will be done. And light will shine on your ways. 29 When terrible things happen to people, you will say, ‘Have courage.’ Then those who are humble will be saved. 30 Even the guilty will escape. They will be saved because your hands are clean.”
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