Bildad defends God
1Bildad from Shuah responded:
2How long will you mouth such things
such that your utterances become a strong wind?
3Does God pervert justice,
or does the Almighty distort what is right?
4If your children sinned against him,
then he delivered them into the power of their rebellion.
5If you will search eagerly for God,
plead with the Almighty.
6If you are pure and do the right thing,
then surely he will become active on your behalf
and reward your innocent dwelling.
7Although your former state was ordinary,
your future will be extraordinary.
8Ask a previous generation
and verify the findings of your ancestors,
9for we are only recently here and don’t know
because our days on earth are a shadow.
10Won’t they instruct you and tell you;
will words not#Heb lacks not. proceed from their hearts?
Examples from nature
11Does papyrus grow apart from a marsh?
Does a reed flourish without water?
12While still tender, uncut,
it will wither before every other grass.
13So are the paths of all who forget God.
Hope perishes for the godless,
14whose confidence is a fragile thing,#Heb uncertain
their trust, a spider’s web.
15He leans on its web, and it doesn’t stand;
grasps it, and it can’t remain in place.
16It’s like a well-watered plant in the sun;
its runners spread over its gardens.
17Its roots are entwined over a pile of rocks,
for it sees a home among stones.
18If it’s uprooted from its place,
it lies, saying, "I can’t see you."
19Surely its way is a joy,
for from the dust other plants#Heb lacks plants. sprout.
God’s faithfulness
20Surely God won’t reject integrity,
won’t strengthen the hand of the wicked.
21He will still fill your mouth with joy,
your lips with a victorious shout.
22Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
and the tent of the wicked will vanish.