Elihu continues to speak
35:1Job has asked why he should live the right way. Elihu answers him now. Job may do good things or bad things. It does not matter to God, Elihu says (verses 1 to 8). Job has also asked why God does not answer his prayers. Elihu answers this, too. Job may have done wrong things, so God does not answer his prayers (verse 12). Or Job may not believe that God answers people's prayers (verse 13). None of these answers helps Job.
1 Elihu continued to speak to Job. This is what he said:
2 ‘The things that you say cannot be true.
You say, “I am more right than God is.”
3 But you also say, “If I do nothing wrong,
God does not bless me.
No good thing comes to me.”
4 Now I will give you an answer.
I will also speak to the friends who are with you.
5 Look up at the sky to see what is there.
Look at the clouds that are so high above you.
6 If you do something that is wrong,
it does not hurt God.
Even if you do many wrong things,
it does nothing to him.
7 If you are righteous,
that does nothing to help God.
He does not receive anything that he needs from you.
8 If you do wicked things,
it is other people who suffer, not God.
And if you do good things,
you are only helping other people.
9 When people suffer,
they call aloud for help.
They cry for help
when powerful people attack them.
10 But none of them says, “I want God to help me.
He made me. He gives me songs to sing in dark nights.
11 God teaches us more things than he teaches to the animals.
He makes us wiser than the birds.”
12 Finally, they call for help.
But God does not answer them,
because they are proud and wicked people.
13 Their prayers mean nothing.
Almighty God does not even listen to them.
14 So God will certainly not listen to you, Job,
when you say that you cannot see him.
You say that you have explained your problem to him.
You are waiting for him to give you an answer.
15 You also say that God does not become angry
with people who do wrong things.
You say that he does not punish bad people.
16 So, Job, you do not understand what you are saying.
You speak a lot of words
but they do not mean anything.’