Job Answers God
I’m Ready to Shut Up and Listen
“I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me.
I should never have opened my mouth!
I’ve talked too much, way too much.
I’m ready to shut up and listen.”
God’s Second Set of Questions
I Want Straight Answers
God addressed Job next from the eye of the storm, and this is what he said:
“I have some more questions for you,
and I want straight answers.
“Do you presume to tell me what I’m doing wrong?
Are you calling me a sinner so you can be a saint?
Do you have an arm like my arm?
Can you shout in thunder the way I can?
Go ahead, show your stuff.
Let’s see what you’re made of, what you can do.
Unleash your outrage.
Target the arrogant and lay them flat.
Target the arrogant and bring them to their knees.
Stop the wicked in their tracks—make mincemeat of them!
Dig a mass grave and dump them in it—
faceless corpses in an unmarked grave.
I’ll gladly step aside and hand things over to you—
you can surely save yourself with no help from me!
“Look at the land beast, Behemoth. I created him as well as you.
Grazing on grass, docile as a cow—
Just look at the strength of his back,
the powerful muscles of his belly.
His tail sways like a cedar in the wind;
his huge legs are like beech trees.
His skeleton is made of steel,
every bone in his body hard as steel.
Most magnificent of all my creatures,
but I still lead him around like a lamb!
The grass-covered hills serve him meals,
while field mice frolic in his shadow.
He takes afternoon naps under shade trees,
cools himself in the reedy swamps,
Lazily cool in the leafy shadows
as the breeze moves through the willows.
And when the river rages he doesn’t budge,
stolid and unperturbed even when the Jordan goes wild.
But you’d never want him for a pet—
you’d never be able to housebreak him!”
I Run This Universe
1-11 “Or can you pull in the sea beast, Leviathan, with a fly rod
and stuff him in your creel?
Can you lasso him with a rope,
or snag him with an anchor?
Will he beg you over and over for mercy,
or flatter you with flowery speech?
Will he apply for a job with you
to run errands and serve you the rest of your life?
Will you play with him as if he were a pet goldfish?
Will you make him the mascot of the neighborhood children?
Will you put him on display in the market
and have shoppers haggle over the price?
Could you shoot him full of arrows like a pin cushion,
or drive harpoons into his huge head?
If you so much as lay a hand on him,
you won’t live to tell the story.
What hope would you have with such a creature?
Why, one look at him would do you in!
If you can’t hold your own against his glowering visage,
how, then, do you expect to stand up to me?
Who could confront me and get by with it?
I’m in charge of all this—I run this universe!
“But I’ve more to say about Leviathan, the sea beast,
his enormous bulk, his beautiful shape.
Who would even dream of piercing that tough skin
or putting those jaws into bit and bridle?
And who would dare knock at the door of his mouth
filled with row upon row of fierce teeth?
His pride is invincible;
nothing can make a dent in that pride.
Nothing can get through that proud skin—
impervious to weapons and weather,
The thickest and toughest of hides,
“He snorts and the world lights up with fire,
he blinks and the dawn breaks.
Comets pour out of his mouth,
fireworks arc and branch.
Smoke erupts from his nostrils
like steam from a boiling pot.
He blows and fires blaze;
flames of fire stream from his mouth.
All muscle he is—sheer and seamless muscle.
To meet him is to dance with death.
Sinewy and lithe,
there’s not a soft spot in his entire body—
As tough inside as out,
Even angels run for cover when he surfaces,
cowering before his tail-thrashing turbulence.
Javelins bounce harmlessly off his hide,
harpoons ricochet wildly.
Iron bars are so much straw to him,
bronze weapons beneath notice.
Arrows don’t even make him blink;
bullets make no more impression than raindrops.
A battle ax is nothing but a splinter of kindling;
he treats a brandished harpoon as a joke.
His belly is armor-plated, inexorable—
unstoppable as a barge.
He roils deep ocean the way you’d boil water,
he whips the sea like you’d whip an egg into batter.
With a luminous trail stretching out behind him,
you might think Ocean had grown a gray beard!
There’s nothing on this earth quite like him,
not an ounce of fear in that creature!
He surveys all the high and mighty—
king of the ocean, king of the deep!”
Job Worships God
I Babbled On About Things Far Beyond Me
Job answered God:
“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
made small talk about wonders way over my head.
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!
I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”
God Restores Job
I Will Accept His Prayer
After God had finished addressing Job, he turned to Eliphaz the Temanite and said, “I’ve had it with you and your two friends. I’m fed up! You haven’t been honest either with me or about me—not the way my friend Job has. So here’s what you must do. Take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my friend Job. Sacrifice a burnt offering on your own behalf. My friend Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer. He will ask me not to treat you as you deserve for talking nonsense about me, and for not being honest with me, as he has.”
They did it. Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did what God commanded. And God accepted Job’s prayer.
After Job had interceded for his friends, God restored his fortune—and then doubled it! All his brothers and sisters and friends came to his house and celebrated. They told him how sorry they were, and consoled him for all the trouble God had brought him. Each of them brought generous housewarming gifts.
God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life. He ended up with fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand teams of oxen, and one thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first daughter Dove, the second, Cinnamon, and the third, Darkeyes. There was not a woman in that country as beautiful as Job’s daughters. Their father treated them as equals with their brothers, providing the same inheritance.
Job lived on another 140 years, living to see his children and grandchildren—four generations of them! Then he died—an old man, a full life.