"Call if you will, but who will answer you?1 To which of the holy ones2 will you turn?
Resentment3 kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.4
I myself have seen5 a fool taking root,6 but suddenly7 his house was cursed.8
His children9 are far from safety,10 crushed in court11 without a defender.12
The hungry consume his harvest,13 taking it even from among thorns, and the thirsty pant after his wealth.
For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground.14
Yet man is born to trouble15 as surely as sparks fly upward.
"But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.16
He performs wonders17 that cannot be fathomed,18 miracles that cannot be counted.19
He bestows rain on the earth;20 he sends water upon the countryside.21
The lowly he sets on high,22 and those who mourn23 are lifted24 to safety.
He thwarts the plans25 of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.26
He catches the wise27 in their craftiness,28 and the schemes of the wily are swept away.29
Darkness30 comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night.31
He saves the needy32 from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful.33
So the poor34 have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.35
"Blessed is the man whom God corrects;36 so do not despise the discipline37 of the Almighty.38
For he wounds, but he also binds up;39 he injures, but his hands also heal.40
From six calamities he will rescue41 you; in seven no harm will befall you.42
In famine43 he will ransom you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword.44
You will be protected from the lash of the tongue,45 and need not fear46 when destruction comes.47
You will laugh48 at destruction and famine,49 and need not fear the beasts of the earth.50
For you will have a covenant51 with the stones52 of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you.53
You will know that your tent is secure;54 you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing.55
You will know that your children will be many,56 and your descendants like the grass of the earth.57
You will come to the grave in full vigor,58 like sheaves gathered in season.59
"We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it60 and apply it to yourself."61
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
(New International Version Bible Online)