1Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
2“Can anyone be of real use to God?
Can even a wise person do him good?
3Does it help the Almighty for you to be good?
Does he gain anything if you are innocent?
4Does God punish you for respecting him?
Does he bring you into court for this?
5No! It is because your evil is without limits
and your sins have no end.
6You took your brothers’ things for a debt they didn’t owe;
you took clothes from people and left them naked.
7You did not give water to tired people,
and you kept food from the hungry.
8You were a powerful man who owned land;
you were honored and lived in the land.
9But you sent widows away empty-handed,
and you mistreated orphans.
10That is why traps are all around you
and sudden danger frightens you.
11That is why it is so dark you cannot see
and a flood of water covers you.
12“God is in the highest part of heaven.
See how high the highest stars are!
13But you ask, ‘What does God know?
Can he judge us through the dark clouds?
14Thick clouds cover him so he cannot see us
as he walks around high up in the sky.’
15Are you going to stay on the old path
where evil people walk?
16They were carried away before their time was up,
and their foundations were washed away by a flood.
17They said to God, ‘Leave us alone!
The Almighty can do nothing to us.’
18But it was God who filled their houses with good things.
Their way of thinking is different from mine.
19“Good people can watch and be glad;
the innocent can laugh at them and say,
20‘Surely our enemies are destroyed,
and fire burns up their wealth.’
21“Obey God and be at peace with him;
this is the way to happiness.
22Accept teaching from his mouth,
and keep his words in your heart.
23If you return to the Almighty, you will be blessed again.
So remove evil from your house.
24Throw your gold nuggets into the dust
and your fine gold among the rocks in the ravines.
25Then the Almighty will be your gold
and the best silver for you.
26You will find pleasure in the Almighty,
and you will look up to him.
27You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
and you will keep your promises to him.
28Anything you decide will be done,
and light will shine on your ways.
29When people are made humble and you say, ‘Have courage,’
then the humble will be saved.
30Even a guilty person will escape
and be saved because your hands are clean.”