36 Elihu continued:
2 “Let me go on and I will show you the truth of what I am saying. For I have not finished defending God! 3 I will give you many illustrations of the righteousness of my Maker. 4 I am telling you the honest truth, for I am a man of well-rounded knowledge.
5 “God is almighty and yet does not despise anyone! And he is perfect in his understanding. 6 He does not reward the wicked with his blessings, but gives them their full share of punishment. 7 He does not ignore the good men but honors them by placing them upon eternal, kingly thrones. 8 If troubles come upon them and they are enslaved and afflicted, 9 then he takes the trouble to point out to them the reason, what they have done that is wrong, or how they have behaved proudly. 10 He helps them hear his instruction to turn away from their sin.
11 “If they listen and obey him, then they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives. 12 If they won’t listen to him, they shall perish in battle and die because of their lack of good sense. 13 But the godless reap his anger. They do not even return to him when he punishes them. 14 They die young after lives of dissipation and depravity. 15 He delivers by distress! This makes them listen to him!
16 “How he wanted to lure you away from danger into a wide and pleasant valley and to prosper you there. 17 But you are too preoccupied with your imagined grievances against others. 18 Watch out! Don’t let your anger at others lead you into scoffing at God! Don’t let your suffering embitter you at the only one who can deliver you. 19 Do you really think that if you shout loudly enough against God, he will be ashamed and repent? Will this put an end to your chastisement?
20 “Do not desire the nighttime, with its opportunities for crime. 21 Turn back from evil, for it was to prevent you from getting into a life of evil that God sent this suffering.
22 “Look, God is all-powerful. Who is a teacher like him? 23 Who can say that what he does is absurd or evil? 24 Instead, glorify him for his mighty works for which he is so famous. 25 Everyone has seen these things from a distance.
26 “God is so great that we cannot begin to know him. No one can begin to understand eternity. 27 He draws up the water vapor and then distills it into rain, 28 which the skies pour down. 29 Can anyone really understand the spreading of the clouds and the thunders within? 30 See how he spreads the lightning around him, and blankets the tops of the mountains. 31 By his fantastic powers in nature he punishes or blesses the people, giving them food in abundance. 32 He fills his hands with lightning bolts. He hurls each at its target. 33 We feel his presence in the thunder. Even the cattle know when a storm is coming.