Here Elihu took a deep breath, but kept going:
“Stay with me a little longer. I’ll convince you.
There’s still more to be said on God’s side.
I learned all this firsthand from the Source;
everything I know about justice I owe to my Maker himself.
Trust me, I’m giving you undiluted truth;
believe me, I know these things inside and out.
“It’s true that God is all-powerful,
but he doesn’t bully innocent people.
For the wicked, though, it’s a different story—
he doesn’t give them the time of day,
but champions the rights of their victims.
He never takes his eyes off the righteous;
he honors them lavishly, promotes them endlessly.
When things go badly,
when affliction and suffering descend,
God tells them where they’ve gone wrong,
shows them how their pride has caused their trouble.
He forces them to heed his warning,
tells them they must repent of their bad life.
If they obey and serve him,
they’ll have a good, long life on easy street.
But if they disobey, they’ll be cut down in their prime
and never know the first thing about life.
Angry people without God pile grievance upon grievance,
always blaming others for their troubles.
Living it up in sexual excesses,
virility wasted, they die young.
But those who learn from their suffering,
God delivers from their suffering.
“Oh, Job, don’t you see how God’s wooing you
from the jaws of danger?
How he’s drawing you into wide-open places—
inviting you to feast at a table laden with blessings?
And here you are laden with the guilt of the wicked,
obsessed with putting the blame on God!
Don’t let your great riches mislead you;
don’t think you can bribe your way out of this.
Did you plan to buy your way out of this?
Not on your life!
And don’t think that night,
when people sleep off their troubles,
will bring you any relief.
Above all, don’t make things worse with more evil—
that’s what’s behind your suffering as it is!
“Do you have any idea how powerful God is?
Have you ever heard of a teacher like him?
Has anyone ever had to tell him what to do,
or correct him, saying, ‘You did that all wrong!’?
Remember, then, to praise his workmanship,
which is so often celebrated in song.
Everybody sees it;
nobody is too far away to see it.
“Take a long, hard look. See how great he is—infinite,
greater than anything you could ever imagine or figure out!
“He pulls water up out of the sea,
distills it, and fills up his rain-cloud cisterns.
Then the skies open up
and pour out soaking showers on everyone.
Does anyone have the slightest idea how this happens?
How he arranges the clouds, how he speaks in thunder?
Just look at that lightning, his sky-filling light show
illumining the dark depths of the sea!
These are the symbols of his sovereignty,
his generosity, his loving care.
He hurls arrows of light,
taking sure and accurate aim.
The High God roars in the thunder,
angry against evil.”