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Job 29 (The Message)

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1 Job now resumed his response: 2 "Oh, how I long for the good old days, when God took such very good care of me. 3 He always held a lamp before me and I walked through the dark by its light. 4 Oh, how I miss those golden years when God's friendship graced my home, 5 When the Mighty One was still by my side and my children were all around me, 6 When everything was going my way, and nothing seemed too difficult. 7 "When I walked downtown and sat with my friends in the public square, 8 Young and old greeted me with respect; I was honored by everyone in town. 9 When I spoke, everyone listened; 10 they hung on my every word. 11 People who knew me spoke well of me; my reputation went ahead of me. 12 I was known for helping people in trouble and standing up for those who were down on their luck. 13 The dying blessed me, and the bereaved were cheered by my visits. 14 All my dealings with people were good. I was known for being fair to everyone I met. 15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame, 16 Father to the needy, and champion of abused aliens. 17 I grabbed street thieves by the scruff of the neck and made them give back what they'd stolen. 18 I thought, 'I'll die peacefully in my own bed, grateful for a long and full life, 19 A life deep-rooted and well-watered, a life limber and dew-fresh, 20 My soul suffused with glory and my body robust until the day I die.' 21 "Men and women listened when I spoke, hung expectantly on my every word. 22 After I spoke, they'd be quiet, taking it all in. 23 They welcomed my counsel like spring rain, drinking it all in. 24 When I smiled at them, they could hardly believe it; their faces lit up, their troubles took wing! 25 I was their leader, establishing the mood and setting the pace by which they lived. Where I led, they followed.
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