2 “How long will you keep talking like this? How long will you keep talking like a wind storm? 3 Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what’s right?
4 “If your children sin against him, he’ll make them a prisoner[a] of their sins. 5 If you seek God, if you ask the Almighty for mercy, 6 if you are clean and upright, surely then, he’ll act on your behalf and restore your rightful[b] place. 7 Your beginning may be small, but later years[c] will be very great.
8 “Inquire of the previous generation, won’t you please? Consider what their forefathers searched out. 9 Because we are of yesterday and we know nothing, for our time on earth is only a shadow. 10 Won’t they instruct you, and tell you, and bring out words from the heart?
11 “Can papyrus grow where there’s no marsh? Can reeds flourish without water? 12 While they are still green and not yet ready to be harvested, they wither before any plant. 13 Such are the paths of everyone who forgets God— the hope of the godless will be destroyed: 14 his confidence is shattered; his trust is in a spider’s web. 15 He leans against his house, but it won’t stand; he grabs hold of it firmly, but it doesn’t last. 16 He is a fresh sapling planted in the sunlight, spreading out its branches over its garden. 17 Its roots weave around a pile of stones, seeking to entrench itself among the rocks. 18 If he is uprooted[d] from his place, then it will deny him: ‘I never saw you.’
19 “Indeed, this is the benefit of God’s[e] way: from the soil other plants[f] will sprout. 20 Surely God won’t reject those who are blameless or hold hands with those who practice evil. 21 He will soon fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips will shout with joy. 22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will no longer exist.
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