Then Job spoke again:
"Listen closely to what I am saying. You can console me by listening to me.
Bear with me, and let me speak. After I have spoken, you may mock me.
"My complaint is with God, not with people. No wonder I'm so impatient.
Look at me and be stunned. Put your hand over your mouth in shock.
When I think about what I am saying, I shudder. My body trembles.
"The truth is that the wicked live to a good old age. They grow old and wealthy.
They live to see their children grow to maturity, and they enjoy their grandchildren.
Their homes are safe from every fear, and God does not punish them.
Their bulls never fail to breed. Their cows bear calves without miscarriage.
Their children skip about like lambs in a flock of sheep.
They sing with tambourine and harp. They make merry to the sound of the flute.
They spend their days in prosperity; then they go down to the grave in peace.
All this, even though they say to God, 'Go away. We want no part of you and your ways.
Who is the Almighty, and why should we obey him? What good will it do us if we pray?'
But their prosperity is not of their own doing, so I will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking.
"Yet the wicked get away with it time and time again. They rarely have trouble, and God skips them when he distributes sorrows in his anger.
Are they driven before the wind like straw? Are they carried away by the storm? Not at all!
"'Well,' you say, 'at least God will punish their children!' But I say that God should punish the ones who sin, not their children! Let them feel their own penalty.
Let their own eyes see their destruction. Let them drink deeply of the anger of the Almighty.
For when they are dead, they will not care what happens to their family.
"But who can teach a lesson to God, the supreme Judge?
One person dies in prosperity and security,
the very picture of good health.
Another person dies in bitter poverty, never having tasted the good life.
Both alike are buried in the same dust, both eaten by the same worms.
"Look, I know your thoughts. I know the schemes you plot against me.
You will tell me of rich and wicked people who came to disaster because of their sins.
But I tell you to ask those who have been around, and they can tell you the truth.
Evil people are spared in times of calamity and are allowed to escape.
No one rebukes them openly. No one repays them for what they have done.
When they are carried to the grave, an honor guard keeps watch at their tomb.
A great funeral procession goes to the cemetery. Many pay their respects as the body is laid to rest and the earth gives sweet repose.
"How can you comfort me? All your explanations are wrong!"
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)