And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm. He said:
"Why do you confuse the issue? Why do you talk without knowing what you're talking about?
Pull yourself together, Job! Up on your feet! Stand tall! I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers.
Where were you when I created the earth? Tell me, since you know so much!
Who decided on its size? Certainly you'll know that! Who came up with the blueprints and measurements?
How was its foundation poured, and who set the cornerstone,
While the morning stars sang in chorus and all the angels shouted praise?
And who took charge of the ocean when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb?
That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds, and tucked it in safely at night.
Then I made a playpen for it, a strong playpen so it couldn't run loose,
And said, 'Stay here, this is your place. Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.'
"And have you ever ordered Morning, 'Get up!' told Dawn, 'Get to work!'
So you could seize Earth like a blanket and shake out the wicked like cockroaches?
As the sun brings everything to light, brings out all the colors and shapes,
The cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked - they're caught in the very act!
"Have you ever gotten to the true bottom of things, explored the labyrinthine caves of deep ocean?
Do you know the first thing about death? Do you have one clue regarding death's dark mysteries?
And do you have any idea how large this earth is? Speak up if you have even the beginning of an answer.
"Do you know where Light comes from and where Darkness lives
So you can take them by the hand and lead them home when they get lost?
Why, of course you know that. You've known them all your life, grown up in the same neighborhood with them!
"Have you ever traveled to where snow is made, seen the vault where hail is stockpiled,
The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readiness for times of trouble and battle and war?
Can you find your way to where lightning is launched, or to the place from which the wind blows?
Who do you suppose carves canyons for the downpours of rain, and charts the route of thunderstorms
That bring water to unvisited fields, deserts no one ever lays eyes on,
Drenching the useless wastelands so they're carpeted with wildflowers and grass?
And who do you think is the father of rain and dew,
the mother of ice and frost?
You don't for a minute imagine these marvels of weather just happen, do you?
"Can you catch the eye of the beautiful Pleiades sisters, or distract Orion from his hunt?
Can you get Venus to look your way, or get the Great Bear and her cubs to come out and play?
Do you know the first thing about the sky's constellations and how they affect things on Earth?
"Can you get the attention of the clouds, and commission a shower of rain?
Can you take charge of the lightning bolts and have them report to you for orders? What Do You Have to Say for Yourself?
"Who do you think gave weather-wisdom to the ibis, and storm-savvy to the rooster?
Does anyone know enough to number all the clouds or tip over the rain barrels of heaven
When the earth is cracked and dry, the ground baked hard as a brick?
"Can you teach the lioness to stalk her prey and satisfy the appetite of her cubs
As they crouch in their den, waiting hungrily in their cave?
And who sets out food for the ravens when their young cry to God, fluttering about because they have no food?
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)