Elihu lit into Job again:
"Does this kind of thing make any sense? First you say, 'I'm perfectly innocent before God.'
And then you say, 'It doesn't make a bit of difference whether I've sinned or not.'
"Well, I'm going to show you that you don't know what you're talking about, neither you nor your friends.
Look up at the sky. Take a long hard look. See those clouds towering above you?
If you sin, what difference could that make to God? No matter how much you sin, will it matter to him?
Even if you're good, what would God get out of that? Do you think he's dependent on your accomplishments?
The only ones who care whether you're good or bad are your family and friends and neighbors. God's not dependent on your behavior.
"When times get bad, people cry out for help. They cry for relief from being kicked around,
But never give God a thought when things go well, when God puts spontaneous songs in their hearts,
When God sets out the entire creation as a science classroom, using birds and beasts to teach wisdom.
People are arrogantly indifferent to God - until, of course, they're in trouble, and then God is indifferent to them.
There's nothing behind such prayers except panic; the Almighty pays them no mind.
So why would he notice you just because you say you're tired of waiting to be heard,
Or waiting for him to get good and angry and do something about the world's problems?
"Job, you talk sheer nonsense - nonstop nonsense!"
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)