Eliphaz speaks to Job a third time
22:1In this chapter, Eliphaz suggests three things to Job. First, we cannot give to God anything that he needs. But second, he suggests that Job must have done many wrong things. That is why God has punished him. Third, he suggests that Job should not argue with God. Instead Job should obey God. Then his life will be better and God will be kind to him again.
1 Then Eliphaz replied. And this is what he said:
2 ‘Nothing that a man can do is worth anything to God.
Even a wise man cannot give pleasure to God.
3 It would not make God happy if you lived a good life.
It would not give him pleasure if you always lived the right way.
4 Think about why God punishes you.
It is not because you are a good person.
5 No! It is because you are a bad person.
And you have done so many wrong things that nobody could count them.
That is why he is punishing you.
6 You lent some money to your brother.
22:6Sometimes in the Bible, ‘your brother’ means someone in your nation.
But you wanted to be sure that you would get your money back. So you took his clothes.’
7 ‘When you met tired people, you did not give them any water to drink.
And when you met hungry people you did not feed them.
8 You, Job, were a powerful man and you owned land.
But you kept for yourself everything that grew on that land.
9 You were not kind to women whose husbands had died.
And you were cruel to children who had no parents.
10 That is why you have so many troubles.
And that is why you are so afraid.
11 That is why you seem to be walking in the dark.
And that is why you seem to be drowning in deep water.
12 God lives in heaven, which is beyond the stars.
From there, he can see everything that happens on earth.
13 But you say, “God does not know.
He cannot see us from so far away.”
14 You think that thick clouds hide him.
So he does not see us as he walks on the circle of the sky.’
22:14Eliphaz says that God ‘walks on the circle of the sky.’ This is poetry (a special way to use words).
15 ‘You must stop living the wrong way.
That is what bad people have done for a long time.
16 They died while they were still young.
They thought that they were safe.
But they were not safe.
They were like people who had drowned in a flood.
17 They did not believe God.
And they thought that God would not do anything to them.
18 But God gave them all the good things that they enjoyed.
So I do not understand the thoughts of bad people.
19 But, in the end, God punishes bad people.
Good people see that when it happens. And they are happy because they have seen it.
20 “God has killed our enemies”, the good people say.
“Fire has destroyed all the things that they owned.”
21 So, Job, do not argue with God but obey him instead.
Then your troubles will end and you will be rich again.
22 Listen to what he tells you to do.
And remember all that he says.
23 You should live the way that God wants you to live.
And you should stop doing wrong things. Then your life will be comfortable again.
24 You may have lots of gold but it will not make you happy.
So you should throw it into the dry valley where, years ago, there was a river.
25 Then you will see that God is more valuable than gold.
And he is more valuable than silver.’
22:25This verse is about the things that are most important in Job's life. He may have valuable things like silver and gold. These may be important to him. But if he obeys God, then God will be more important to him than his silver and gold. To know God is the most important thing in anyone's life.
26 ‘Then you will find that it is a pleasure to know God.
You will enjoy your life more if you worship him.
27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you.
And you will do the things that you have promised to him.
28 You will be able to do all the things that you want to do.
And God will say that you are living the right way.
29 You will pray for people who have difficulties.
And when you pray, God will make their lives better.
30 God will even forgive people who have done wrong things.
He will do that because you have lived a good life.’