"Look, I have seen many instances such as you describe. I understand what you are saying.
I know as much as you do. You are no better than I am.
Oh, how I long to speak directly to the Almighty. I want to argue my case with God himself.
For you are smearing me with lies. As doctors, you are worthless quacks.
Please be quiet! That's the smartest thing you could do.
Listen to my charge; pay attention to my arguments.
"Are you defending God by means of lies and dishonest arguments?
You should be impartial witnesses, but will you slant your testimony in his favor? Will you argue God's case for him?
Be careful that he doesn't find out what you are doing! Or do you think you can fool him as easily as you fool people?
No, you will be in serious trouble with him if even in your hearts you slant your testimony in his favor.
Doesn't his majesty strike terror into your heart? Does not your fear of him seize you?
Your statements have about as much value as ashes. Your defense is as fragile as a clay pot.
"Be silent now and leave me alone. Let me speak -- and I will face the consequences.
Yes, I will take my life in my hands and say what I really think.
God might kill me, but I cannot wait. I am going to argue my case with him.
But this is what will save me: that I am not godless. If I were, I would be thrown from his presence.
"Listen closely to what I am about to say. Hear me out.
I have prepared my case; I will be proved innocent.
Who can argue with me over this? If you could prove me wrong, I would remain silent until I die.
"O God, there are two things I beg of you, and I will be able to face you.
Remove your hand from me, and don't terrify me with your awesome presence.
Now summon me, and I will answer! Or let me speak to you, and you reply.
Tell me, what have I done wrong? Show me my rebellion and my sin.
Why do you turn away from me? Why do you consider me your enemy?
Would you terrify a leaf that is blown by the wind? Would you chase a dry stalk of grass?
"You write bitter accusations against me and bring up all the sins of my youth.
You put my feet in stocks. You watch all my paths. You trace all my footprints.
I waste away like rotting wood, like a moth-eaten coat.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)