Job continued speaking:
"I long for the years gone by when God took care of me,
when he lighted the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness.
In my early years, the friendship of God was felt in my home.
The Almighty was still with me, and my children were around me.
In those days my cows produced milk in abundance, and my olive groves poured out streams of olive oil.
"Those were the days when I went to the city gate and took my place among the honored leaders.
The young stepped aside when they saw me, and even the aged rose in respect at my coming.
The princes stood in silence and put their hands over their mouths.
The highest officials of the city stood quietly, holding their tongues in respect.
"All who heard of me praised me. All who saw me spoke well of me.
For I helped the poor in their need and the orphans who had no one to help them.
I helped those who had lost hope, and they blessed me. And I caused the widows' hearts to sing for joy.
All I did was just and honest. Righteousness covered me like a robe, and I wore justice like a turban.
I served as eyes for the blind and feet for the lame.
I was a father to the poor and made sure that even strangers received a fair trial.
I broke the jaws of godless oppressors and made them release their victims.
"I thought, 'Surely I will die surrounded by my family after a long, good life.
For I am like a tree whose roots reach the water, whose branches are refreshed with the dew.
New honors are constantly bestowed on me, and my strength is continually renewed.'
"Everyone listened to me and valued my advice. They were silent as they waited for me to speak.
And after I spoke, they had nothing to add, for my counsel satisfied them.
They longed for me to speak as they longed for rain. They waited eagerly, for my words were as refreshing as the spring rain.
When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them.
I told them what they should do and presided over them as their chief. I lived as a king among his troops and as one who comforts those who mourn.
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)