1 Are you finally through with your windy speech? 2 3 God never twists justice; he never fails to do what is right. 4 Your children must have sinned against God, and so he punished them as they deserved. 5 But turn now and plead with Almighty God; 6 if you are so honest and pure, then God will come and help you and restore your household as your reward. 7 All the wealth you lost will be nothing compared with what God will give you then. 8 Look for a moment at ancient wisdom; consider the truths our ancestors learned. 9 Our life is short, we know nothing at all; we pass like shadows across the earth. 10 But let the ancient wise people teach you; listen to what they had to say: 11 "Reeds can't grow where there is no water; they are never found outside a swamp. 12 If the water dries up, they are the first to wither, while still too small to be cut and used. 13 Godless people are like those reeds; their hope is gone, once God is forgotten. 14 They trust a thread - a spider's web. 15 If they lean on a web, will it hold them up? If they grab for a thread, will it help them stand?" 16 Evil people sprout like weeds in the sun, like weeds that spread all through the garden. 17 Their roots wrap around the stones and hold fast to every rock. 18 But then pull them up - no one will ever know they were there. 19 Yes, that's all the joy evil people have; others now come and take their places. 20 But God will never abandon the faithful or ever give help to evil people. 21 He will let you laugh and shout again, 22 but he will bring disgrace on those who hate you, and the homes of the wicked will vanish.
1 Yes, I've heard all that before. 2 But how can a human being win a case against God? 3 How can anyone argue with him? He can ask a thousand questions that no one could ever answer. 4 God is so wise and powerful; no one can stand up against him. 5 Without warning he moves mountains and in anger he destroys them. 6 God sends earthquakes and shakes the ground; he rocks the pillars that support the earth. 7 He can keep the sun from rising, and the stars from shining at night. 8 No one helped God spread out the heavens or trample the sea monster's back. 9 God hung the stars in the sky - the Dipper, Orion, the Pleiades, and the stars of the south. 10 We cannot understand the great things he does, and to his miracles there is no end. 11 God passes by, but I cannot see him. 12 He takes what he wants, and no one can stop him; no one dares ask him, "What are you doing?" 13 God's anger is constant. He crushed his enemies who helped Rahab, the sea monster, oppose him. 14 So how can I find words to answer God? 15 Though I am innocent, all I can do is beg for mercy from God my judge. 16 Yet even then, if he lets me speak, I can't believe he would listen to me. 17 He sends storms to batter and bruise me without any reason at all. 18 He won't let me catch my breath; he has filled my life with bitterness. 19 Should I try force? Try force on God? Should I take him to court? Could anyone make him go? 20 I am innocent and faithful, but my words sound guilty, and everything I say seems to condemn me. 21 I am innocent, but I no longer care. I am sick of living. 22 Nothing matters; innocent or guilty, God will destroy us. 23 When an innocent person suddenly dies, God laughs. 24 God gave the world to the wicked. He made all the judges blind. And if God didn't do it, who did? 25 My days race by, not one of them good. 26 My life passes like the swiftest boat, as fast as an eagle swooping down on a rabbit. 27 If I smile and try to forget my pain, all my suffering comes back to haunt me; 28 I know that God does hold me guilty. 29 Since I am held guilty, why should I bother? 30 No soap can wash away my sins. 31 God throws me into a pit with filth, and even my clothes are ashamed of me. 32 If God were human, I could answer him; we could go to court to decide our quarrel. 33 But there is no one to step between us - no one to judge both God and me. 34 Stop punishing me, God! Keep your terrors away! 35 I am not afraid. I am going to talk because I know my own heart.
1 I am tired of living. Listen to my bitter complaint. 2 Don't condemn me, God. Tell me! What is the charge against me? 3 Is it right for you to be so cruel? To despise what you yourself have made? And then to smile on the schemes of wicked people? 4 Do you see things as we do? 5 Is your life as short as ours? 6 Then why do you track down all my sins and hunt down every fault I have? 7 You know that I am not guilty, that no one can save me from you. 8 Your hands formed and shaped me, and now those same hands destroy me. 9 Remember that you made me from clay; are you going to crush me back to dust? 10 You gave my father strength to beget me; you made me grow in my mother's womb. 11 You formed my body with bones and sinews and covered the bones with muscles and skin. 12 You have given me life and constant love, and your care has kept me alive. 13 But now I know that all that time you were secretly planning to harm me. 14 You were watching to see if I would sin, so that you could refuse to forgive me. 15 As soon as I sin, I'm in trouble with you, but when I do right, I get no credit. I am miserable and covered with shame. 16 If I have any success at all, you hunt me down like a lion; to hurt me you even work miracles. 17 You always have some witness against me; your anger toward me grows and grows; you always plan some new attack. 18 Why, God, did you let me be born? I should have died before anyone saw me. 19 To go from the womb straight to the grave would have been as good as never existing. 20 Isn't my life almost over? Leave me alone! Let me enjoy the time I have left. 21 I am going soon and will never come back - going to a land that is dark and gloomy, 22 a land of darkness, shadows, and confusion, where the light itself is darkness.