2 “Listen to me a little longer, and I will show you that there is more to be said for God. 3 What I know comes from far away. I will show that my Maker is right. 4 You can be sure that my words are not false; one who really knows is with you.
5 “God is powerful, but he does not hate people; he is powerful and sure of what he wants to do. 6 He will not keep evil people alive, but he gives the poor their rights. 7 He always watches over those who do right; he sets them on thrones with kings and they are honored forever. 8 If people are bound in chains, or if trouble, like ropes, ties them up, 9 God tells them what they have done, that they have sinned in their pride. 10 God makes them listen to his warning and commands them to change from doing evil. 11 If they obey and serve him, the rest of their lives will be successful, and the rest of their years will be happy. 12 But if they do not listen, they will die by the sword, and they will die without knowing why.
13 “Those who have wicked hearts hold on to anger. Even when God punishes them, they do not cry for help. 14 They die while they are still young, and their lives end in disgrace. 15 But God saves those who suffer through their suffering; he gets them to listen through their pain.
16 “God is gently calling you from the jaws of trouble to an open place of freedom where he has set your table full of the best food. 17 But now you are being punished like the wicked; you are getting justice. 18 Be careful! Don’t be led away from God by riches; don’t let much money turn you away. 19 Neither your wealth nor all your great strength will keep you out of trouble. 20 Don’t wish for the night when people are taken from their homes. 21 Be careful not to turn to evil, which you seem to want more than suffering.
22 “God is great and powerful; no other teacher is like him. 23 No one has planned his ways for him; no one can say to God, ‘You have done wrong.’ 24 Remember to praise his work, about which people have sung. 25 Everybody has seen it; people look at it from far off. 26 God is so great, greater than we can understand! No one knows how old he is.
27 “He evaporates the drops of water from the earth and turns them into rain. 28 The rain then pours down from the clouds, and showers fall on people. 29 No one understands how God spreads out the clouds or how he sends thunder from where he lives. 30 Watch how God scatters his lightning around him, lighting up the deepest parts of the sea. 31 This is the way God governs the nations; this is how he gives us enough food. 32 God fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its target. 33 His thunder announces the coming storm, and even the cattle know it is near.
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