New International Reader's Version

Job 35

1Elihu continued,

“Job, do you think it’s fair for you to say,
    ‘I am the one who is right, not God’?
You ask him, ‘What good is it for me not to sin?
    What do I get by not sinning?’

“I’d like to reply to you
    and to your friends who are with you.
Look up at the heavens.
    Observe the clouds that are high above you.
If you sin, what does that mean to God?
    If you sin many times, what does that do to him?
If you do what is right, how does that help him?
    What does he get from you?
The evil things you do only hurt people like yourself.
    The right things you do only help other human beings.

“People cry out when they are treated badly.
    They beg to be set free from the power of those who are over them.
10 But no one says, ‘Where is the God who made me?
    He gives us songs even during the night.
11 He teaches us more than he teaches the wild animals.
    He makes us wiser than the birds in the sky.’
12 He doesn’t answer sinful people when they cry out to him.
    That’s because they are so proud.
13 In fact, God doesn’t listen to their empty cries.
    The Mighty One doesn’t pay any attention to them.
14 So he certainly won’t listen to you.
    When you say you don’t see him, he won’t hear you.
He won’t listen when you state your case to him.
    He won’t pay attention even if you wait for him.
15 When you say his anger never punishes sin, he won’t hear you.
    He won’t listen when you say he doesn’t pay any attention to evil.
16 So you say things that don’t mean anything.
    You use a lot of words,
    but you don’t know what you are talking about.”