2 “Will you be patient and let me say a word? For who could keep from speaking out?
3 “In the past you have encouraged many people; you have strengthened those who were weak. 4 Your words have supported those who were falling; you encouraged those with shaky knees. 5 But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart. You are terrified when it touches you. 6 Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence? Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?
7 “Stop and think! Do the innocent die? When have the upright been destroyed? 8 My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same. 9 A breath from God destroys them. They vanish in a blast of his anger. 10 The lion roars and the wildcat snarls, but the teeth of strong lions will be broken. 11 The fierce lion will starve for lack of prey, and the cubs of the lioness will be scattered.
12 “This truth was given to me in secret, as though whispered in my ear. 13 It came to me in a disturbing vision at night, when people are in a deep sleep. 14 Fear gripped me, and my bones trembled. 15 A spirit[a] swept past my face, and my hair stood on end.[b] 16 The spirit stopped, but I couldn’t see its shape. There was a form before my eyes. In the silence I heard a voice say, 17 ‘Can a mortal be innocent before God? Can anyone be pure before the Creator?’
18 “If God does not trust his own angels and has charged his messengers with foolishness, 19 how much less will he trust people made of clay! They are made of dust, crushed as easily as a moth. 20 They are alive in the morning but dead by evening, gone forever without a trace. 21 Their tent-cords are pulled and the tent collapses, and they die in ignorance.
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