Bildad from Shuhah was next to speak:
"How can you keep on talking like this?
You're talking nonsense, and noisy nonsense at that.
Does God mess up?
Does God Almighty ever get things backward?
It's plain that your children sinned against him -
otherwise, why would God have punished them?
Here's what you must do - and don't put it off any longer:
Get down on your knees before God Almighty.
If you're as innocent and upright as you say,
it's not too late - he'll come running;
he'll set everything right again, reestablish your fortunes.
Even though you're not much right now,
you'll end up better than ever.
"Put the question to our ancestors,
study what they learned from their ancestors.
For we're newcomers at this, with a lot to learn,
and not too long to learn it.
So why not let the ancients teach you, tell you what's what,
instruct you in what they knew from experience?
Can mighty pine trees grow tall without soil?
Can luscious tomatoes flourish without water?
Blossoming flowers look great before they're cut or picked,
but without soil or water they wither more quickly than grass.
That's what happens to all who forget God -
all their hopes come to nothing.
They hang their life from one thin thread,
they hitch their fate to a spider web.
One jiggle and the thread breaks,
one jab and the web collapses.
Or they're like weeds springing up in the sunshine,
invading the garden,
Spreading everywhere, overtaking the flowers,
getting a foothold even in the rocks.
But when the gardener rips them out by the roots,
the garden doesn't miss them one bit.
The sooner the godless are gone, the better;
then good plants can grow in their place.
"There's no way that God will reject a good person,
and there is no way he'll help a bad one.
God will let you laugh again;
you'll raise the roof with shouts of joy,
With your enemies thoroughly discredited,
their house of cards collapsed."