Job 29

1Job continued telling his story. Job said: 2“I wish my life was like it was a few months ago. At that time God watched over me and cared for me. 3At that time, God’s light shined above me so I could walk through the darkness— ˻God showed me the right way to live˼. 4I wish for the days when I was successful, and God was my close friend. In those days God blessed my home. 5I wish for the time when God All-Powerful was still with me, and my children were all around me. 6Life was very good then. I washed my feet in cream, and I had plenty of the finest oils. 7“Those were the days when I went to the city gate and sat with the elders of the city in the public meeting place. 8All the people there respected me! The young men stepped out of my way when they saw me coming. And the old men got up. They stood to show they respected me. 9The leaders of the people stopped talking and put their hand to their mouth ˻to make other people be quiet˼. 10Even the most important leaders lowered their voices when they spoke. Yes, it seemed like their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths. 11People listened to what I said and then said good things about me. People watched what I did, and then they praised me. 12Why? Because when the poor person cried out for help, I helped. And I helped the child that had no parents and no one to care for him. 13The person that was dying blessed me. I helped widows that were in need. 14Right living was my clothing. Fairness was like my robe and turban. 15I was the eyes for blind people. ˻I led them where they wanted to go.˼ I was the feet for crippled people. ˻I carried them where they wanted to go.˼ 16I was like a father for poor people. I helped people I didn’t even know win their arguments in court. 17I stopped evil people abusing their power and saved innocent people from them. 18“I always thought I would live a long life, growing old with my family around me. 19I thought I would be healthy and virile like a healthy plant with roots that have plenty of water and branches that are wet with dew. 20I thought each new day would be bright and full of new and exciting possibilities. 21“In the past, people listened to me. They were quiet while they waited for my advice. 22After I had finished speaking, the people listening to me didn’t have anything else to say. My words fell gently into their ears. 23People waited for me to speak, like they waited for rain. People drank in my words, as if they were rain in the spring time. 24I laughed with those people, and they couldn’t believe it. My smile made them feel better. 25I chose to be with those people, even though I was their leader. I was like a king in camp with his troops, comforting the people who were sad.

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