What Can I Expect from God?

31 1-4 “I made a solemn pact with myself
    never to undress a girl with my eyes.
So what can I expect from God?
    What do I deserve from God Almighty above?
Isn’t calamity reserved for the wicked?
    Isn’t disaster supposed to strike those who do wrong?
Isn’t God looking, observing how I live?
    Doesn’t he mark every step I take?

5-8 “Have I walked hand in hand with falsehood,
    or hung out in the company of deceit?
Weigh me on a set of honest scales
    so God has proof of my integrity.
If I’ve strayed off the straight and narrow,
    wanted things I had no right to,
    messed around with sin,
Go ahead, then—
    give my portion to someone who deserves it.

9-12 “If I’ve let myself be seduced by a woman
    and conspired to go to bed with her,
Fine, my wife has every right to go ahead
    and sleep with anyone she wants to.
For disgusting behavior like that,
    I’d deserve the worst punishment you could hand out.
Adultery is a fire that burns the house down;
    I wouldn’t expect anything I count dear to survive it.

13-15 “Have I ever been unfair to my employees
    when they brought a complaint to me?
What, then, will I do when God confronts me?
    When God examines my books, what can I say?
Didn’t the same God who made me, make them?
    Aren’t we all made of the same stuff, equals before God?

16-18 “Have I ignored the needs of the poor,
    turned my back on the indigent,
Taken care of my own needs and fed my own face
    while they languished?
Wasn’t my home always open to them?
    Weren’t they always welcome at my table?

19-20 “Have I ever left a poor family shivering in the cold
    when they had no warm clothes?
Didn’t the poor bless me when they saw me coming,
    knowing I’d brought coats from my closet?

21-23 “If I’ve ever used my strength and influence
    to take advantage of the unfortunate,
Go ahead, break both my arms,
    cut off all my fingers!
The fear of God has kept me from these things—
    how else could I ever face him?

If Only Someone Would Give Me a Hearing!

24-28 “Did I set my heart on making big money
    or worship at the bank?
Did I boast about my wealth,
    show off because I was well-off?
Was I ever so awed by the sun’s brilliance
    and moved by the moon’s beauty
That I let myself become seduced by them
    and worshiped them on the sly?
If so, I would deserve the worst of punishments,
    for I would be betraying God himself.

29-30 “Did I ever crow over my enemy’s ruin?
    Or gloat over my rival’s bad luck?
No, I never said a word of detraction,
    never cursed them, even under my breath.

31-34 “Didn’t those who worked for me say,
    ‘He fed us well. There were always second helpings’?
And no stranger ever had to spend a night in the street;
    my doors were always open to travelers.
Did I hide my sin the way Adam did,
    or conceal my guilt behind closed doors
Because I was afraid what people would say,
    fearing the gossip of the neighbors so much
That I turned myself into a recluse?
    You know good and well that I didn’t.

35-37 “Oh, if only someone would give me a hearing!
    I’ve signed my name to my defense—let the
        Almighty One answer!
    I want to see my indictment in writing.
Anyone’s welcome to read my defense;
    I’ll write it on a poster and carry it around town.
I’m prepared to account for every move I’ve ever made—
    to anyone and everyone, prince or pauper.

38-40 “If the very ground that I farm accuses me,
    if even the furrows fill with tears from my abuse,
If I’ve ever raped the earth for my own profit
    or dispossessed its rightful owners,
Then curse it with thistles instead of wheat,
    curse it with weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job to his three friends were finished.

31 “I made a covenant with my eyes(A)
    not to look lustfully at a young woman.(B)
For what is our lot(C) from God above,
    our heritage from the Almighty on high?(D)
Is it not ruin(E) for the wicked,
    disaster(F) for those who do wrong?(G)
Does he not see my ways(H)
    and count my every step?(I)

“If I have walked with falsehood
    or my foot has hurried after deceit(J)
let God weigh me(K) in honest scales(L)
    and he will know that I am blameless(M)
if my steps have turned from the path,(N)
    if my heart has been led by my eyes,
    or if my hands(O) have been defiled,(P)
then may others eat what I have sown,(Q)
    and may my crops be uprooted.(R)

“If my heart has been enticed(S) by a woman,(T)
    or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,
10 then may my wife grind(U) another man’s grain,
    and may other men sleep with her.(V)
11 For that would have been wicked,(W)
    a sin to be judged.(X)
12 It is a fire(Y) that burns to Destruction[a];(Z)
    it would have uprooted my harvest.(AA)

13 “If I have denied justice to any of my servants,(AB)
    whether male or female,
    when they had a grievance against me,(AC)
14 what will I do when God confronts me?(AD)
    What will I answer when called to account?(AE)
15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them?(AF)
    Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?(AG)

16 “If I have denied the desires of the poor(AH)
    or let the eyes of the widow(AI) grow weary,(AJ)
17 if I have kept my bread to myself,
    not sharing it with the fatherless(AK)
18 but from my youth I reared them as a father would,
    and from my birth I guided the widow(AL)
19 if I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing,(AM)
    or the needy(AN) without garments,
20 and their hearts did not bless me(AO)
    for warming them with the fleece(AP) from my sheep,
21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,(AQ)
    knowing that I had influence in court,(AR)
22 then let my arm fall from the shoulder,
    let it be broken off at the joint.(AS)
23 For I dreaded destruction from God,(AT)
    and for fear of his splendor(AU) I could not do such things.(AV)

24 “If I have put my trust in gold(AW)
    or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’(AX)
25 if I have rejoiced over my great wealth,(AY)
    the fortune my hands had gained,(AZ)
26 if I have regarded the sun(BA) in its radiance
    or the moon(BB) moving in splendor,
27 so that my heart was secretly enticed(BC)
    and my hand offered them a kiss of homage,(BD)
28 then these also would be sins to be judged,(BE)
    for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.(BF)

29 “If I have rejoiced at my enemy’s misfortune(BG)
    or gloated over the trouble that came to him(BH)
30 I have not allowed my mouth to sin
    by invoking a curse against their life(BI)
31 if those of my household have never said,
    ‘Who has not been filled with Job’s meat?’(BJ)
32 but no stranger had to spend the night in the street,
    for my door was always open to the traveler(BK)
33 if I have concealed(BL) my sin as people do,[b]
    by hiding(BM) my guilt in my heart
34 because I so feared the crowd(BN)
    and so dreaded the contempt of the clans
    that I kept silent(BO) and would not go outside—

35 (“Oh, that I had someone to hear me!(BP)
    I sign now my defense—let the Almighty answer me;
    let my accuser(BQ) put his indictment in writing.
36 Surely I would wear it on my shoulder,(BR)
    I would put it on like a crown.(BS)
37 I would give him an account of my every step;(BT)
    I would present it to him as to a ruler.(BU))—

38 “if my land cries out against me(BV)
    and all its furrows are wet(BW) with tears,
39 if I have devoured its yield without payment(BX)
    or broken the spirit of its tenants,(BY)
40 then let briers(BZ) come up instead of wheat
    and stinkweed(CA) instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.(CB)

Footnotes

  1. Job 31:12 Hebrew Abaddon
  2. Job 31:33 Or as Adam did

31 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?

Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?

Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?

If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;

Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.

If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;

Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.

If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour's door;

10 Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her.

11 For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.

12 For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.

13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;

14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?

15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?

16 If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;

17 Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof;

18 (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother's womb;)

19 If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;

20 If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;

21 If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate:

22 Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.

23 For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.

24 If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;

25 If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;

26 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;

27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:

28 This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.

29 If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him:

30 Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.

31 If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied.

32 The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.

33 If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:

34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?

35 Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.

36 Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me.

37 I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.

38 If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain;

39 If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life:

40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.

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