2 “How long will you say such things? Your words are no more than wind. 3 God does not twist justice; the Almighty 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 and pray to the Almighty for mercy. 6 If you are good and honest, he will stand up for you and bring you back where you belong. 7 Where you began will seem unimportant, because your future will be so successful.
8 “Ask old people; find out what their ancestors learned, 9 because we were only born yesterday and know nothing. Our days on earth are only a shadow. 10 Those people will teach you and tell you and speak about what they know. 11 Papyrus plants cannot grow where there is no swamp, and reeds cannot grow tall without water. 12 While they are still growing and not yet cut, they will dry up quicker than grass. 13 That is what will happen to those who forget God; the hope of the wicked will be gone. 14 What they hope in is easily broken; what they trust is like a spider’s web. 15 They lean on the spider’s web, but it breaks. They grab it, but it does not hold up. 16 They are like well-watered plants in the sunshine that spread their roots all through the garden. 17 They wrap their roots around a pile of rocks and look for a place among the stones. 18 But if a plant is torn from its place, then that place rejects it and says, ‘I never saw you.’ 19 Now joy has gone away; other plants grow up from the same dirt.
20 “Surely God does not reject the innocent or give strength to those who do evil. 21 God will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. 22 Your enemies will be covered with shame, and the tents of the wicked will be gone.”
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