Job 34Living Bible (TLB)
34 Elihu continued:
2 “Listen to me, you wise men. 3 We can choose the sounds we want to listen to; we can choose the taste we want in food, 4 and we should choose to follow what is right. But first of all we must define among ourselves what is good. 5 For Job has said, ‘I am innocent, but God says I’m not. 6 I am called a liar, even though I am innocent. I am horribly punished, even though I have not sinned.’
7-8 “Who else is as arrogant as Job? He must have spent much time with evil men, 9 for he said, ‘Why waste time trying to please God?’
10 “Listen to me, you with understanding. Surely everyone knows that God doesn’t sin! 11 Rather, he punishes the sinners. 12 There is no truer statement than this: God is never wicked or unjust. 13 He alone has authority over the earth and dispenses justice for the world. 14 If God were to withdraw his Spirit, 15 all life would disappear and mankind would turn again to dust.
16 “Listen now and try to understand. 17 Could God govern if he hated justice? Are you going to condemn the Almighty Judge? 18 Are you going to condemn this God who says to kings and nobles, ‘You are wicked and unjust’? 19 For he doesn’t care how great a man may be, and doesn’t pay any more attention to the rich than to the poor. He made them all. 20 In a moment they die, and at midnight great and small shall suddenly pass away, removed by no human hand.
21 “For God carefully watches the goings on of all mankind; he sees them all. 22 No darkness is thick enough to hide evil men from his eyes, 23 so there is no need to wait for some great crime before a man is called before God in judgment. 24 Without making a big issue over it, God simply shatters the greatest of men and puts others in their places. 25 He watches what they do and in a single night he overturns them, destroying them, 26 or openly strikes them down as wicked men. 27 For they turned aside from following him, 28 causing the cry of the poor to come to the attention of God. Yes, he hears the cries of those being oppressed. 29-30 Yet when he chooses not to speak, who can criticize? Again, he may prevent a vile man from ruling, thus saving a nation from ruin, and he can depose an entire nation just as easily.
31 “Why don’t people exclaim to their God, ‘We have sinned, but we will stop,’ 32 or ‘We know not what evil we have done; only tell us, and we will cease at once’?
33 “Must God tailor his justice to your demands? Must he change the order of the universe to suit your whims? The answer must be obvious even to you! 34-35 Anyone even half bright will agree with me that you, Job, are speaking like a fool. 36 You should be given the maximum penalty for the wicked way you have talked about God. 37 For now you have added rebellion, arrogance, and blasphemy to your other sins.”