14-20 “So how could I ever argue with him,
    construct a defense that would influence God?
Even though I’m innocent I could never prove it;
    I can only throw myself on the Judge’s mercy.
If I called on God and he himself answered me,
    then, and only then, would I believe that he’d heard me.
As it is, he knocks me about from pillar to post,
    beating me up, black-and-blue, for no good reason.
He won’t even let me catch my breath,
    piles bitterness upon bitterness.
If it’s a question of who’s stronger, he wins, hands down!
    If it’s a question of justice, who’ll serve him the subpoena?
Even though innocent, anything I say incriminates me;
    blameless as I am, my defense just makes me sound worse.

If God’s Not Responsible, Who Is?

21-24 “Believe me, I’m blameless.
    I don’t understand what’s going on.
    I hate my life!
Since either way it ends up the same, I can only conclude
    that God destroys the good right along with the bad.
When calamity hits and brings sudden death,
    he folds his arms, aloof from the despair of the innocent.
He lets the wicked take over running the world,
    he installs judges who can’t tell right from wrong.
    If he’s not responsible, who is?

Read full chapter
The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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