Zophar from Naamath again took his turn:
"I can't believe what I'm hearing! You've put my teeth on edge, my stomach in a knot.
How dare you insult my intelligence like this! Well, here's a piece of my mind!
"Don't you even know the basics, how things have been since the earliest days, when Adam and Eve were first placed on earth?
The good times of the wicked are short-lived; godless joy is only momentary.
The evil might become world famous, strutting at the head of the celebrity parade,
But still end up in a pile of dung. Acquaintances look at them with disgust and say, 'What's that?'
They fly off like a dream that can't be remembered, like a shadowy illusion that vanishes in the light.
Though once notorious public figures, now they're nobodies, unnoticed, whether they come or go.
Their children will go begging on skid row, and they'll have to give back their ill-gotten gain.
Right in the prime of life, and youthful and vigorous, they'll die.
"They savor evil as a delicacy, roll it around on their tongues,
Prolong the flavor, a dalliance in decadence - real gourmets of evil!
But then they get stomach cramps, a bad case of food poisoning.
They gag on all that rich food; God makes them vomit it up.
They gorge on evil, make a diet of that poison - a deadly diet - and it kills them.
No quiet picnics for them beside gentle streams with fresh-baked bread and cheese, and tall, cool drinks.
They spit out their food half-chewed, unable to relax and enjoy anything they've worked for.
And why? Because they exploited the poor, took what never belonged to them.
"Such God-denying people are never content with what they have or who they are; their greed drives them relentlessly.
They plunder everything but they can't hold on to any of it.
Just when they think they have it all, disaster strikes; they're served up a plate full of misery.
When they've filled their bellies with that, God gives them a taste of his anger, and they get to chew on that for a while.
As they run for their lives from one disaster, they run smack into another.
They're knocked around from pillar to post, beaten to within an inch of their lives. They're trapped in a house of horrors,
and see their loot disappear down a black hole. Their lives are a total loss - not a penny to their name, not so much as a bean.
God will strip them of their sin-soaked clothes and hang their dirty laundry out for all to see.
Life is a complete wipeout for them, nothing surviving God's wrath.
There! That's God's blueprint for the wicked - what they have to look forward to."
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)