2 “How long will you say such things? Your words are no more than a strong wind. 3 God does not twist fairness. God All-Powerful does not make wrong what is right. 4 Your children sinned against God. And he punished them for their sins. 5 But you should ask God for help. Pray to God All-Powerful for mercy. 6 You must be good and honest. Then he will start doing something for you. And he will bring you back where you belong. 7 The place you began will seem unimportant because your future will be so successful.
8 “Ask old people and find out what their ancestors learned. 9 We were only born yesterday and know nothing. Our days on earth are like only a shadow. 10 Those people will teach you and tell you. They will tell you what they know. 11 Papyrus plants cannot grow tall where there is no wet land. Reeds cannot grow tall without water. 12 While they are still growing and not yet cut, they will dry up more quickly than grass. 13 That is what will happen to everyone who forgets God. The hope of the person without God will be gone. 14 What he trusts in is easily broken. It is as easily broken as a spider’s web. 15 He leans on the spider’s web, but it breaks. He holds on to it, but it does not hold him up. 16 He is like a well-watered plant in the sunshine. The plant spreads its roots all through the garden. 17 It wraps its roots around a pile of rocks. And it looks for a place among the stones. 18 But the plant may be torn from its place. Then that place rejects it and says, ‘I never saw you.’ 19 Then its life dries up. And other plants grow up from the dirt in its place.
20 “Surely God does not reject innocent men. He does not give strength to those who do evil. 21 God will yet fill your mouth with laughter. And he will fill your lips with shouts of joy. 22 Your enemies will be covered in shame. And the tents of the wicked will be gone.”
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