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Job 36 The Message (MSG)

Those Who Learn from Their Suffering

36 1-4 Here Elihu took a deep breath, but kept going:

“Stay with me a little longer. I’ll convince you.
    There’s still more to be said on God’s side.
I learned all this firsthand from the Source;
    everything I know about justice I owe to my Maker himself.
Trust me, I’m giving you undiluted truth;
    believe me, I know these things inside and out.

5-15 “It’s true that God is all-powerful,
    but he doesn’t bully innocent people.
For the wicked, though, it’s a different story—
    he doesn’t give them the time of day,
    but champions the rights of their victims.
He never takes his eyes off the righteous;
    he honors them lavishly, promotes them endlessly.
When things go badly,
    when affliction and suffering descend,
God tells them where they’ve gone wrong,
    shows them how their pride has caused their trouble.
He forces them to heed his warning,
    tells them they must repent of their bad life.
If they obey and serve him,
    they’ll have a good, long life on easy street.
But if they disobey, they’ll be cut down in their prime
    and never know the first thing about life.
Angry people without God pile grievance upon grievance,
    always blaming others for their troubles.
Living it up in sexual excesses,
    virility wasted, they die young.
But those who learn from their suffering,
    God delivers from their suffering.

Obsessed with Putting the Blame on God

16-21 “Oh, Job, don’t you see how God’s wooing you
    from the jaws of danger?
How he’s drawing you into wide-open places—
    inviting you to feast at a table laden with blessings?
And here you are laden with the guilt of the wicked,
    obsessed with putting the blame on God!
Don’t let your great riches mislead you;
    don’t think you can bribe your way out of this.
Did you plan to buy your way out of this?
    Not on your life!
And don’t think that night,
    when people sleep off their troubles,
    will bring you any relief.
Above all, don’t make things worse with more evil—
    that’s what’s behind your suffering as it is!

22-25 “Do you have any idea how powerful God is?
    Have you ever heard of a teacher like him?
Has anyone ever had to tell him what to do,
    or correct him, saying, ‘You did that all wrong!’?
Remember, then, to praise his workmanship,
    which is so often celebrated in song.
Everybody sees it;
    nobody is too far away to see it.

No One Can Escape from God

26 “Take a long, hard look. See how great he is—infinite,
    greater than anything you could ever imagine or figure out!

27-33 “He pulls water up out of the sea,
    distills it, and fills up his rain-cloud cisterns.
Then the skies open up
    and pour out soaking showers on everyone.
Does anyone have the slightest idea how this happens?
    How he arranges the clouds, how he speaks in thunder?
Just look at that lightning, his sky-filling light show
    illumining the dark depths of the sea!
These are the symbols of his sovereignty,
    his generosity, his loving care.
He hurls arrows of light,
    taking sure and accurate aim.
The High God roars in the thunder,
    angry against evil.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

Job 36 New International Version (NIV)

36 Elihu continued:

“Bear with me a little longer and I will show you
    that there is more to be said in God’s behalf.
I get my knowledge from afar;
    I will ascribe justice to my Maker.
Be assured that my words are not false;
    one who has perfect knowledge is with you.

“God is mighty, but despises no one;
    he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.
He does not keep the wicked alive
    but gives the afflicted their rights.
He does not take his eyes off the righteous;
    he enthrones them with kings
    and exalts them forever.
But if people are bound in chains,
    held fast by cords of affliction,
he tells them what they have done—
    that they have sinned arrogantly.
10 He makes them listen to correction
    and commands them to repent of their evil.
11 If they obey and serve him,
    they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity
    and their years in contentment.
12 But if they do not listen,
    they will perish by the sword[a]
    and die without knowledge.

13 “The godless in heart harbor resentment;
    even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.
14 They die in their youth,
    among male prostitutes of the shrines.
15 But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;
    he speaks to them in their affliction.

16 “He is wooing you from the jaws of distress
    to a spacious place free from restriction,
    to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.
17 But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked;
    judgment and justice have taken hold of you.
18 Be careful that no one entices you by riches;
    do not let a large bribe turn you aside.
19 Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts
    sustain you so you would not be in distress?
20 Do not long for the night,
    to drag people away from their homes.[b]
21 Beware of turning to evil,
    which you seem to prefer to affliction.

22 “God is exalted in his power.
    Who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has prescribed his ways for him,
    or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’?
24 Remember to extol his work,
    which people have praised in song.
25 All humanity has seen it;
    mortals gaze on it from afar.
26 How great is God—beyond our understanding!
    The number of his years is past finding out.

27 “He draws up the drops of water,
    which distill as rain to the streams[c];
28 the clouds pour down their moisture
    and abundant showers fall on mankind.
29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
    how he thunders from his pavilion?
30 See how he scatters his lightning about him,
    bathing the depths of the sea.
31 This is the way he governs[d] the nations
    and provides food in abundance.
32 He fills his hands with lightning
    and commands it to strike its mark.
33 His thunder announces the coming storm;
    even the cattle make known its approach.[e]

Footnotes:

  1. Job 36:12 Or will cross the river
  2. Job 36:20 The meaning of the Hebrew for verses 18-20 is uncertain.
  3. Job 36:27 Or distill from the mist as rain
  4. Job 36:31 Or nourishes
  5. Job 36:33 Or announces his coming— / the One zealous against evil
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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