But the house of Israel says: The Lord's way isn't fair. Is it My ways that are unfair, house of Israel? Instead, isn't it your ways that are unfair?
"But your people say: The Lord's way isn't fair, even though it is their own way that isn't fair.
Yet you say: The Lord's way isn't fair. I will judge each of you according to his ways, house of Israel."
Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite from the family of Ram became angry. He was angry at Job because he had justified himself rather than God.
For Job has declared, "I am righteous, yet God has deprived me of justice.
Would I lie about my case? My wound is incurable, though I am without transgression."
What man is like Job? He drinks derision like water.
He keeps company with evildoers and walks with wicked men.
For he has said, "A man gains nothing when he becomes God's friend."
Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding. It is impossible for God [to do] wrong, and [for] the Almighty [to act] unjustly.
Do you think it is just when you say, "I am righteous before God"?
Would you really challenge My justice? Would you declare Me guilty to justify yourself?
[You said,] "Listen now, and I will speak. When I question you, you will inform Me."
I had heard rumors about You, but now my eyes have seen You.
Therefore I take back [my words] and repent in dust and ashes.
You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you ask, "How have we wearied [Him]?" When you say, "Everyone who does evil is good in the LORD's sight, and He is pleased with them," or "Where is the God of justice?"
"Your words against Me are harsh," says the LORD. Yet you ask: "What have we spoken against You?"
You have said: "It is useless to serve God. What have we gained by keeping His requirements and walking mournfully before the LORD of Hosts?
So now we consider the arrogant to be fortunate. Not only do those who commit wickedness prosper, they even test God and escape."
When they received it, they began to complain to the landowner:
'These last men put in one hour, and you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day and the burning heat!'
"He replied to one of them, 'Friend, I'm doing you no wrong. Didn't you agree with me on a denarius?
Take what's yours and go. I want to give this last man the same as I gave you.
Don't I have the right to do what I want with my business? Are you jealous because I'm generous?'
But if our unrighteousness highlights God's righteousness, what are we to say? I use a human argument: Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath?
For no flesh will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, for through the law [comes] the knowledge of sin.
But who are you-- anyone who talks back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?"
Because they disregarded the righteousness from God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted to God's righteousness.
You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won't the Judge of all the earth do what is just?"
The Rock-- His work is perfect; all His ways are entirely just. A faithful God, without prejudice, He is righteous and true.
The heavens proclaim His righteousness, for God is the judge. Selah
The LORD is righteous in all His ways and gracious in all His acts.
You will be righteous, LORD, even if I bring a case against You. Yet, I wish to contend with You: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? [Why] do the treacherous live at ease?
The righteous LORD is in her; He does no wrong. He applies His justice morning by morning; He does not fail at dawn, yet the one who does wrong knows no shame.
But because of your hardness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God's righteous judgment is revealed.
He will repay each one according to his works:
You have done these things, and I kept silent; you thought I was just like you. But I will rebuke you and lay out the case before you.
Have you not brought this on yourself by abandoning the LORD your God while He was leading you along the way?
Now what will you gain by traveling along the way to Egypt to drink the waters of the Nile? What will you gain by traveling along the way to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates?
Your own evil will discipline you; your own apostasies will reprimand you. Think it over and see how evil and bitter it is for you to abandon the LORD your God and to have no fear of Me. [This is] the declaration of the Lord God of Hosts.
For long ago I broke your yoke; I tore off your fetters. You insisted: I will not serve! On every high hill and under every leafy tree you lie down [like] a prostitute.
I planted you, a choice vine from the very best seed. How then could you turn into a degenerate, foreign vine?
Even if you wash with lye and use a great amount of soap, the stain of your guilt is still in front of Me. [This is] the Lord GOD's declaration.
How can you protest: I am not defiled; I have not followed the Baals? Look at your behavior in the valley; acknowledge what you have done. [You are] a swift young camel twisting and turning on her way,
Why do you bring a case against Me? All of you have rebelled against Me. [This is] the LORD's declaration.
I have struck down your children in vain; they would not accept discipline. Your own sword has devoured your prophets like a ravaging lion.
[Evil] generation, pay attention to the word of the LORD! Have I been a wilderness to Israel or a land of dense darkness? Why do My people claim: We will go where we want; we will no longer come to You?
Can a young woman forget her jewelry or a bride her wedding sash? Yet My people have forgotten Me for countless days.
How skillfully you pursue love; you also teach evil women your ways.
Moreover, your skirts are stained with the blood of the innocent poor. You did not catch them breaking and entering. But in spite of all these things
you claim: I am innocent. His anger is sure to turn away from me. But I will certainly judge you because you have said: I have not sinned.
How unstable you are, constantly changing your way! You will be put to shame by Egypt just as you were put to shame by Assyria.
Moreover, you will be led out from here with your hands on your head since the LORD has rejected those you trust; you will not succeed even with their help.
"When you tell these people all these things, they will say to you: Why has the LORD declared all this great disaster against us? What is our guilt? What is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?
Then you will answer them: Because your fathers abandoned Me"-- the LORD's declaration-- "and followed other gods, served them, and worshiped them. Indeed, they abandoned Me and did not keep My law.
You did more evil than your fathers. Look, each one of you was following the stubbornness of his evil heart, not obeying Me.
So I will hurl you from this land into a land that you and your fathers are not familiar with. There you will worship other gods both day and night, for I will not grant you grace.