Job Answers Bildad
1 Then Job answered:
2 “Of course, I know that this is true.
But how can a human being win an argument with God?
3 Anyone who chose to argue with him
could not answer one question in a thousand!
4 God is so wise and powerful that
no one could oppose him and survive.
5 When God is angry, he moves mountains before they know what happened.
6 He can shake the earth,
and it will tremble down to its foundations.
7 With one command he can stop the sun from rising.
He can lock up the stars and keep them from shining.
8 He alone made the skies,
and he walks on the ocean waves.
“God made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades.*
He made the planets that cross the southern sky.†
10 He does things too marvelous for people to understand.
He does too many miracles to count!
11 When he passes by, I cannot see him.
He goes right past me, and I don’t notice.
12 If he takes something away, no one can stop him.
No one can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13 God will not hold back his anger.
Even Rahab’s helpers are afraid of him.
14 So I cannot argue with God.
I would not know what to say to him.
15 I am innocent, but I cannot give him an answer.
All I can do is beg my Judge for mercy.
16 Even if I called and he answered,
I cannot believe he would listen to me.
17 He would just send storms to crush me.
He would give me more wounds for no reason.
18 He would not let me catch my breath again.
He would just give me more trouble.
19 I cannot defeat God.
He is too powerful!
I cannot take him to court for justice.
Who could force him to come?
20 I am innocent, but anything I say makes me seem guilty.
I am innocent, but if I speak, my mouth proves me wrong.
21 I am innocent, but I don’t know what to think.
I hate my own life.
22 So I say, ‘Does it make any difference?
God destroys the innocent as well as the guilty.’
23 Is it God who laughs when a disaster kills innocent people?
24 Is it God who keeps the leaders from seeing when an evil person takes control?
If it is not God, then who is it?
25 “My days are passing faster than a runner.
They are flying by without any joy.
26 They go by as quickly as papyrus boats,
as fast as an eagle swooping down on its prey.
27 “I could say, ‘I will not complain.
I will forget my pain and put a smile on my face.’
28 But the suffering still frightens me.
I know that God will not see me as innocent.
29 I will be found guilty,
so why should I even think about it?
30 Even if I scrubbed my hands with soap
and washed myself whiter than snow,
God would still push me into the slime pit,‡
and even my clothes would hate to touch me.
32 God is not a human like me, so I cannot argue with him.
I cannot take him to court.
I wish there were someone who could listen to both sides,§
someone to judge both of us in a fair way.
34 I wish someone could take away the threat of God’s punishment.
Then he would not frighten me anymore.
35 Then I could say what I want without being afraid of him.
But I cannot do that now.