1 “I have seen all this before.
I have already heard everything you say.
I understand all these things.
2 I know as much as you do.
I am as smart as you are.
3 But I don’t want to argue with you.
I want to speak to God All-Powerful.
I want to argue with God about my troubles.
4 But you men try to cover up your ignorance with lies.
You are like worthless doctors who cannot heal anyone.
5 I wish you would just be quiet.
That would be the wisest thing you could do.
6 “Now, listen to my argument.
Listen to what I have to say.
7 Will you speak lies for God?
Do you really believe your lies are what God wants you to say?
8 Are you trying to defend God against me?
You are not being fair.
You are choosing God’s side simply because he is God.
9 If God checked you very closely,
would he see that you are right?
Do you really think you can fool God
the same as you fool people?
10 You know that God would criticize you
if you chose someone’s side simply because they were important.
11 God’s majesty frightens you.
You are afraid of him.
12 The wise sayings you quote are worthless.
Your arguments are as weak as clay.
13 “Be quiet and let me talk!
I accept whatever happens to me.
14 I will put myself in danger
and take my life in my own hands.
15 I will continue to trust God even if he kills me.
But I will defend myself to his face.
16 And if he lets me live, it will be because I had the confidence to speak.
No guilty person would dare meet God face to face.
17 Listen carefully to what I say.
Let me explain.
18 I am ready now to defend myself.
I will carefully present my arguments.
I know I will be shown to be right.
19 If anyone can prove I am wrong,
I will shut up and wait to die.
20 “God, just give me two things,
and then I will not hide from you:
21 Stop punishing me,
and don’t frighten me with your terrors.
22 Then call to me, and I will answer you.
Or let me speak, and you answer me.
23 How many sins have I committed?
What wrongs have I done?
Show me where I went wrong or how I sinned.
24 God, why do you avoid me
and treat me like your enemy?
25 Are you trying to scare me?
I am only a leaf blowing in the wind.
You are attacking a piece of straw!
26 You have a list of terrible charges against me.
Are you making me suffer for the sins I did when I was young?
27 You have put chains on my feet.
You watch every step I take.
You see every move I make.
28 So I am becoming weaker and weaker,
like a piece of wood rotting away,
like a piece of cloth eaten by moths.