2 “Can a person do anything to help God? Can even a wise person be helpful to him? 3 Is it any advantage to the Almighty if you are righteous? Would it be any gain to him if you were perfect? 4 Is it because you’re so pious that he accuses you and brings judgment against you? 5 No, it’s because of your wickedness! There’s no limit to your sins.
6 “For example, you must have lent money to your friend and demanded clothing as security. Yes, you stripped him to the bone. 7 You must have refused water for the thirsty and food for the hungry. 8 You probably think the land belongs to the powerful and only the privileged have a right to it! 9 You must have sent widows away empty-handed and crushed the hopes of orphans. 10 That is why you are surrounded by traps and tremble from sudden fears. 11 That is why you cannot see in the darkness, and waves of water cover you.
12 “God is so great—higher than the heavens, higher than the farthest stars. 13 But you reply, ‘That’s why God can’t see what I am doing! How can he judge through the thick darkness? 14 For thick clouds swirl about him, and he cannot see us. He is way up there, walking on the vault of heaven.’
15 “Will you continue on the old paths where evil people have walked? 16 They were snatched away in the prime of life, the foundations of their lives washed away. 17 For they said to God, ‘Leave us alone! What can the Almighty do to us?’ 18 Yet he was the one who filled their homes with good things, so I will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking.
19 “The righteous will be happy to see the wicked destroyed, and the innocent will laugh in contempt. 20 They will say, ‘See how our enemies have been destroyed. The last of them have been consumed in the fire.’
21 “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. 22 Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart. 23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored— so clean up your life. 24 If you give up your lust for money and throw your precious gold into the river, 25 the Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver!
26 “Then you will take delight in the Almighty and look up to God. 27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows to him. 28 You will succeed in whatever you choose to do, and light will shine on the road ahead of you. 29 If people are in trouble and you say, ‘Help them,’ God will save them. 30 Even sinners will be rescued; they will be rescued because your hands are pure.”
Job’s Eighth Speech: A Response to Eliphaz
23 Then Job spoke again:
2 “My complaint today is still a bitter one, and I try hard not to groan aloud. 3 If only I knew where to find God, I would go to his court. 4 I would lay out my case and present my arguments. 5 Then I would listen to his reply and understand what he says to me. 6 Would he use his great power to argue with me? No, he would give me a fair hearing. 7 Honest people can reason with him, so I would be forever acquitted by my judge. 8 I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. 9 I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed.
10 “But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. 11 For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. 12 I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food. 13 But once he has made his decision, who can change his mind? Whatever he wants to do, he does. 14 So he will do to me whatever he has planned. He controls my destiny. 15 No wonder I am so terrified in his presence. When I think of it, terror grips me. 16 God has made me sick at heart; the Almighty has terrified me. 17 Darkness is all around me; thick, impenetrable darkness is everywhere.
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