2 “I’m sure that what you have said is true. But how can human beings prove to God they are not guilty? 3 They might wish to argue with him. But they couldn’t answer him even once in a thousand times. 4 His wisdom is deep. His power is great. No one opposes him and comes away unharmed. 5 He moves mountains, and they don’t even know it. When he is angry, he turns them upside down. 6 He shakes the earth loose from its place. He makes its pillars tremble. 7 When he tells the sun not to shine, it doesn’t. He turns off the light of the stars. 8 He’s the only one who can spread out the heavens. He alone can walk on the waves of the ocean. 9 He made the Big Dipper and Orion. He created the Pleiades and the southern stars. 10 He does wonderful things that can’t be understood. He does miracles that can’t even be counted. 11 When he passes by me, I can’t see him. When he goes past me, I can’t recognize him. 12 If he takes something, who can stop him? Who would dare to ask him, ‘What are you doing?’ 13 God doesn’t hold back his anger. Even the helpers of the sea monster Rahab bowed in fear at his feet.
14 “So how can I disagree with God? How can I possibly argue with him? 15 Even if I hadn’t done anything wrong, I couldn’t answer him. I could only beg my Judge to have mercy on me. 16 Suppose I called out to him and he answered. I don’t believe he’d listen to me. 17 He would send a storm to crush me. He’d increase my wounds without any reason. 18 He wouldn’t let me catch my breath. He’d make my life very bitter. 19 If it’s a matter of strength, he is mighty! And if it’s a matter of being fair, who would dare to bring charges against him? 20 Even if I hadn’t sinned, what I said would prove me guilty. Even if I were honest, my words would show that I’m wrong.
21 “Even though I’m honest, I’m not concerned about myself. I hate my own life. 22 It all amounts to the same thing. That’s why I say, ‘God destroys honest people and sinful people alike.’ 23 Suppose a plague brings sudden death. Then he laughs when those who haven’t sinned lose hope. 24 Suppose a nation falls into the power of sinful people. Then God makes its judges blind to the truth. If he isn’t the one doing it, who is?
25 “God, my days race by like a runner. They fly away without seeing any joy. 26 They speed along like papyrus boats. They are like eagles swooping down on their food. 27 Suppose I say, ‘I’ll forget about all my problems. I’ll change my frown into a smile.’ 28 Then I’d still be afraid I’d go on suffering. That’s because I know you would say I had done something wrong. 29 In fact, you have already said I’m guilty. So why should I struggle without any reason? 30 Suppose I clean myself with soap. Suppose I wash my hands with cleanser. 31 Even then you would throw me into a muddy pit. And even my clothes would hate me.
32 “God isn’t a mere human being like me. I can’t answer him. We can’t take each other to court. 33 I wish someone would settle matters between us. I wish someone would bring us together. 34 I wish someone would keep God from punishing me. Then his terror wouldn’t frighten me anymore. 35 I would speak up without being afraid of him. But as things stand now, I can’t do that.
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