But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.
"He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.
But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked; judgment and justice have taken hold of you.
Be careful that no one entices you by riches; do not let a large bribe turn you aside.
Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts sustain you so you would not be in distress?
Do not long for the night, to drag people away from their homes.
Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction.
"God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him?
Who has prescribed his ways for him, or said to him, 'You have done wrong'?
Remember to extol his work, which men have praised in song.
All mankind has seen it; men gaze on it from afar.
How great is God--beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out.
"He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams;
the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind.
Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion?
See how he scatters his lightning about him, bathing the depths of the sea.
This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance.
He fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark.
His thunder announces the coming storm; even the cattle make known its approach.
"At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place.
Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth.
After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back.
God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.'
So that all men he has made may know his work, he stops every man from his labor.
The animals take cover; they remain in their dens.
The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds.
The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen.
He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them.
At his direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them.
He brings the clouds to punish men, or to water his earth and show his love.
"Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God's wonders.
Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who is perfect in knowledge?
You who swelter in your clothes when the land lies hushed under the south wind,
can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?
"Tell us what we should say to him; we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness.
Should he be told that I want to speak? Would any man ask to be swallowed up?
Now no one can look at the sun, bright as it is in the skies after the wind has swept them clean.
Out of the north he comes in golden splendor; God comes in awesome majesty.
The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
Therefore, men revere him, for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart? "
Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
"Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.
"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone--
while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
"Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness,
when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place,
when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?
"Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place,
that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?
The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment.
The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken.
"Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death ?
Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this.
"What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside?
Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!
"Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail,
which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle?
What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?