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Job 22 Before and After
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This is the 20th in a series of 40 poems I wrote based on the book of Job. This is from Job 22, Eliphaz's third response to Job. Open your Bible, read along and let me know your thoughts!
submit to God . . . in this way prosperity will come to you
Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
Can we add anything to God’s measure?
Or a wise man do him any good?
Does your virtue give God any pleasure —
a life perfectly lived, if you could?
Is your reverence why he's reproving
and is rendering judgement on you?
For your wickedness is not a new thing —
there's no end to the evil you do!
Your demand for a pledge was the worst thing,
when your brothers were stripped to their feet.
You refused to give drink to those thirsting;
withheld bread for the hungry to eat.
Earth is owned by the mighty and landed,
where the honored are granted a deed.
You've sent widows away empty-handed;
crushed the hopes of the orphans in need.
Therefore, dangers and troubles surround you —
sudden peril that curdles your blood.
You can't see in the darkness around you,
overwhelmed in the depths of the flood.
For, is God not in heaven now ruling?
Try to locate the most distant star!
You say, God knows not what I am doing!
Can he judge through the darkness so far?
For God’s veiled by the thick clouds and hidden
while traversing the heights to and fro.
Will you follow in ancient paths ridden
by the wicked in ways they would go?
They were taken so young — it was grievous,
when the floods washed their world away.
For these same people told God, Just leave us!
What can Almighty do anyway?
They did not know 'twas he who was filling
their own homes with the good things they got.
As for counsel from them — I'm unwilling
to partake in the schemes that they plot.
At their fall, are the pure overjoyed, then,
and the innocent, laughing, will claim:
Oh, their sin has now finally destroyed them,
and those left are consumed in the flame.
Peace with God will come out of submission;
you'll receive his good things from the start.
From his mouth comes instruction — so listen,
and then treasure his words in your heart.
If you’d turn back to God, he’d restore you;
free yourself from the vices you own.
Have your nuggets of gold laid before you,
then removed to the gorge to be thrown.
Let Almighty become your one treasure,
and your silver — so precious and awed.
Surely then, he will find in you pleasure,
as you lift up your face unto God.
You will pray to him and he will hear you;
in fulfilling your vows that you pay.
Your decrees will be made and adhered to;
and a bright light will shine on your way.
When you pray for the frightened and shivered,
God will honor and heed your command.
Even wicked men will be delivered,
on account of your virtuous hand.
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