"I'm sure you speak for all the experts, and when you die there'll be no one left to tell us how to live.
But don't forget that I also have a brain - I don't intend to play second fiddle to you. It doesn't take an expert to know these things.
"I'm ridiculed by my friends: 'So that's the man who had conversations with God!' Ridiculed without mercy: 'Look at the man who never did wrong!'
It's easy for the well-to-do to point their fingers in blame, for the well-fixed to pour scorn on the strugglers.
Crooks reside safely in high-security houses, insolent blasphemers live in luxury; they've bought and paid for a god who'll protect them.
"But ask the animals what they think - let them teach you; let the birds tell you what's going on.
Put your ear to the earth - learn the basics. Listen - the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories.
Isn't it clear that they all know and agree that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand -
Every living soul, yes, every breathing creature?
Isn't this all just common sense, as common as the sense of taste?
Do you think the elderly have a corner on wisdom, that you have to grow old before you understand life?
"True wisdom and real power belong to God; from him we learn how to live, and also what to live for.
If he tears something down, it's down for good; if he locks people up, they're locked up for good.
If he holds back the rain, there's a drought; if he lets it loose, there's a flood.
Strength and success belong to God; both deceived and deceiver must answer to him.
He strips experts of their vaunted credentials, exposes judges as witless fools.
He divests kings of their royal garments, then ties a rag around their waists.
He strips priests of their robes, and fires high officials from their jobs.
He forces trusted sages to keep silence, deprives elders of their good sense and wisdom.
He dumps contempt on famous people, disarms the strong and mighty.
He shines a spotlight into caves of darkness, hauls deepest darkness into the noonday sun.
He makes nations rise and then fall, builds up some and abandons others.
He robs world leaders of their reason, and sends them off into no man's land.
They grope in the dark without a clue, lurching and staggering like drunks.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)