231-2I still rebel and complain against God;
I can't hold back my groaning.
3How I wish I knew where to find him,
and knew how to go where he is.
4I would state my case before him
and present all the arguments in my favour.
5I want to know what he would say
and how he would answer me.
6Would God use all his strength against me?
No, he would listen as I spoke.
7I am honest; I could reason with God;
he would declare me innocent23.7 he would declare me innocent; or then my rights would be safe. once and for all.
8I have searched in the east, but God is not there;
I have not found him when I searched in the west.
9God has been at work in the north and the south,
but still I have not seen him.
10Yet God knows every step I take;
if he tests me, he will find me pure.
11I follow faithfully the road he chooses,
and never wander to either side.
12I always do what God commands;
I follow his will, not my own desires.
13He never changes. No one can oppose him
or stop him from doing what he wants to do.
14He will fulfil what he has planned for me;
that plan is just one of the many he has;
15I tremble with fear before him.
16-17Almighty God has destroyed my courage.
It is God, not the dark, that makes me afraid —
even though the darkness has made me blind.
241Why doesn't God set a time for judging,
a day of justice for those who serve him?
2People move boundary stones to get more land;
they steal sheep and put them with their own flocks.
3They take donkeys that belong to orphans,
and keep a widow's ox till she pays her debts.
4They prevent the poor from getting their rights
and force the needy to run and hide.
5So the poor, like wild donkeys,
search for food in the dry wilderness;
nowhere else can they find food for their children.
6They have to harvest fields they don't own,24.6 fields they don't own: Having been cheated out of their own land, the poor are forced to work for others for very small pay.
and gather grapes in the vineyards of the wicked.
7At night they sleep with nothing to cover them,
nothing to keep them from the cold.
8They are drenched by the rain that falls on the mountains,
and they huddle beside the rocks for shelter.
9Evil people make slaves of fatherless infants
and take the children of the poor in payment for debts.
10But the poor must go out with no clothes to protect them;
they must go hungry while harvesting wheat.
11They press olives for oil, and grapes for wine,
but they themselves are thirsty.
12In the cities the wounded and dying cry out,
but God ignores their prayers.
13There are those who reject the light;
they don't understand it or go where it leads.
14At dawn the murderer gets up
and goes out to kill the poor,
and at night he steals.
15The adulterer waits for twilight to come;
he covers his face so that no one can see him.
16At night thieves break into houses,
but by day they hide and avoid the light.
17They fear the light of day,
but darkness holds no terror for them.
18The wicked are swept away by floods,
and the land they own is under God's curse;
they no longer go to work in their vineyards.
19As snow vanishes in heat and drought,
so sinners vanish from the land of the living.
20Not even their mothers remember them now;
they are eaten by worms and destroyed like fallen trees.
21That happens because they ill-treated widows
and showed no kindness to childless women.
22God, in his strength, destroys the mighty;
God acts — and the wicked die.
23God may let them live secure,
but keeps an eye on them all the time.
24For a while the wicked prosper,
but then they wither like weeds,
like ears of corn that have been cut off.
25Can anyone deny that this is so?
Can anyone prove that my words are not true?
251-2God is powerful; all must stand in awe of him;
he keeps his heavenly kingdom in peace.
3Can anyone count the angels who serve him?
Is there any place where God's light does not shine?
4Can anyone be righteous or pure in God's sight?
5In his eyes even the moon is not bright,
nor the stars pure.
6Then what about a human being, that worm, that insect?
What is a human life worth in God's eyes?