"Listen, Job, to what I have to say.
Now that I have begun to speak, let me continue.
I speak with all sincerity; I speak the truth.
For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Answer me, if you can; make your case and take your stand.
"Look, you and I are the same before God. I, too, was formed from clay.
So you don't need to be afraid of me. I am not some great person to make you nervous and afraid.
"You have said it in my hearing. I have heard your very words.
You said, 'I am pure; I am innocent; I have not sinned.
God is picking a quarrel with me, and he considers me to be his enemy.
He puts my feet in the stocks and watches every move I make.'
"In this you are not right, and I will show you why. As you yourself have said, 'God is greater than any person.'
So why are you bringing a charge against him? You say, 'He does not respond to people's complaints.'
But God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.
He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in bed.
He whispers in their ear and terrifies them with his warning.
He causes them to change their minds; he keeps them from pride.
He keeps them from the grave, from crossing over the river of death.
Or God disciplines people with sickness and pain, with ceaseless aching in their bones.
They lose their appetite and do not care for even the most delicious food.
They waste away to skin and bones.
They are at death's door; the angels of death wait for them.
"But if a special messenger from heaven is there to intercede for a person, to declare that he is upright,
God will be gracious and say, 'Set him free. Do not make him die, for I have found a ransom for his life.'
Then his body will become as healthy as a child's, firm and youthful again.
When he prays to God, he will be accepted. And God will receive him with joy and restore him to good standing.
He will declare to his friends, 'I sinned, but it was not worth it.
God rescued me from the grave, and now my life is filled with light.'
"Yes, God often does these things for people.
He rescues them from the grave so they may live in the light of the living.
Mark this well, Job. Listen to me, and let me say more.
But if you have anything to say, go ahead. I want to hear it, for I am anxious to see you justified.
But if not, then listen to me. Keep silent and I will teach you wisdom!"
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)