Having waited for Zophar, Job now resumed his defense:
"God-Alive! He's denied me justice! God Almighty! He's ruined my life!
But for as long as I draw breath, and for as long as God breathes life into me,
I refuse to say one word that isn't true. I refuse to confess to any charge that's false.
There is no way I'll ever agree to your accusations. I'll not deny my integrity even if it costs me my life.
I'm holding fast to my integrity and not loosening my grip - and, believe me, I'll never regret it.
"Let my enemy be exposed as wicked! Let my adversary be proven guilty!
What hope do people without God have when life is cut short? when God puts an end to life?
Do you think God will listen to their cry for help when disaster hits?
What interest have they ever shown in the Almighty? Have they ever been known to pray before?
"I've given you a clear account of God in action, suppressed nothing regarding God Almighty.
The evidence is right before you. You can all see it for yourselves, so why do you keep talking nonsense?
"I'll quote your own words back to you: "'This is how God treats the wicked, this is what evil people can expect from God Almighty:
Their children - all of them - will die violent deaths; they'll never have enough bread to put on the table.
They'll be wiped out by the plague, and none of the widows will shed a tear when they're gone.
Even if they make a lot of money and are resplendent in the latest fashions,
It's the good who will end up wearing the clothes and the decent who will divide up the money.
They build elaborate houses that won't survive a single winter.
They go to bed wealthy and wake up poor.
Terrors pour in on them like flash floods - a tornado snatches them away in the middle of the night,
A cyclone sweeps them up - gone! Not a trace of them left, not even a footprint.
Catastrophes relentlessly pursue them; they run this way and that, but there's no place to hide -
Pummeled by the weather, blown to kingdom come by the storm.'
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)