And you have said: What have we spoken against thee? You have said: He laboureth in vain that serveth God, and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinances, and that we have walked sorrowful before the Lord of hosts?
You said, “It is useless to worship God. We did what the Lord All-Powerful told us, but we didn’t gain anything. We cried like people at a funeral to show we were sorry for our sins, but it didn’t help.
“You have said, ‘It is ·useless [futile] to serve God. ·It did no good to obey [L What profit is there to keep] his laws and to ·show that we were sorry [L walk about in mourning] for what we did before the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].
“Listen; you have said, ‘It is foolish to worship God and obey him. What good does it do to obey his laws, and to sorrow and mourn for our sins? From now on, as far as we’re concerned, “Blessed are the arrogant.” For those who do evil shall prosper, and those who dare God to punish them shall get off scot-free.’”
“When you said, ‘It doesn’t pay to serve God. What do we ever get out of it? When we did what he said and went around with long faces, serious about God-of-the-Angel-Armies, what difference did it make? Those who take life into their own hands are the lucky ones. They break all the rules and get ahead anyway. They push God to the limit and get by with it.’”
And ye said, He is vain, that serveth God; and what winning for we kept his behests, and for we went sorrowful before the Lord of hosts? (Ye have said, It is empty and futile to serve God; and what profit, or what benefit, is there for us, though we have kept his commands, and we have gone sorrowfully before the Lord of hosts, because of our shortcomings?)
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