Job 13 (The Message)

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1 "Yes, I've seen all this with my own eyes, heard and understood it with my very own ears. 2 Everything you know, I know, so I'm not taking a back seat to any of you. 3 I'm taking my case straight to God Almighty; I've had it with you - I'm going directly to God. 4 You graffiti my life with lies. You're a bunch of pompous quacks! 5 I wish you'd shut your mouths - silence is your only claim to wisdom. 6 "Listen now while I make my case, consider my side of things for a change. 7 Or are you going to keep on lying 'to do God a service'? to make up stories 'to get him off the hook'? 8 Why do you always take his side? Do you think he needs a lawyer to defend himself? 9 How would you fare if you were in the dock? Your lies might convince a jury - but would they convince God? 10 He'd reprimand you on the spot if he detected a bias in your witness. 11 Doesn't his splendor put you in awe? Aren't you afraid to speak cheap lies before him? 12 Your wise sayings are knickknack wisdom, good for nothing but gathering dust. 13 "So hold your tongue while I have my say, then I'll take whatever I have coming to me. 14 Why do I go out on a limb like this and take my life in my hands? 15 Because even if he killed me, I'd keep on hoping. I'd defend my innocence to the very end. 16 Just wait, this is going to work out for the best - my salvation! If I were guilt-stricken do you think I'd be doing this - laying myself on the line before God? 17 You'd better pay attention to what I'm telling you, listen carefully with both ears. 18 Now that I've laid out my defense, I'm sure that I'll be acquitted. 19 Can anyone prove charges against me? I've said my piece. I rest my case. Why Does God Stay Hidden and Silent? 20 "Please, God, I have two requests; grant them so I'll know I count with you: 21 First, lay off the afflictions; the terror is too much for me. 22 Second, address me directly so I can answer you, or let me speak and then you answer me. 23 How many sins have been charged against me? Show me the list - how bad is it? 24 Why do you stay hidden and silent? Why treat me like I'm your enemy? 25 Why kick me around like an old tin can? Why beat a dead horse? 26 You compile a long list of mean things about me, even hold me accountable for the sins of my youth. 27 You hobble me so I can't move about. You watch every move I make, and brand me as a dangerous character. 28 "Like something rotten, human life fast decomposes, like a moth-eaten shirt or a mildewed blouse.
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