Job 8 If Only Job Was Blameless!
Bildad the Shuhite (Job 8:1) was the second of Job’s three friends to give his “counsel” or “opinion” on what was the reason for all of Job’s suffering. He couldn’t wait for Job to shut up so that he could tell Job that he was nothing but a wind bag! What we see with Bildad is someone with a very black and white view of things. I.e., since God would never subvert judgement or pervert justice (See v.3), there is no way that the things that happened to Job would have happened unless there was sin in Job’s life that God was judging. This man Bildad is so blunt that he even told Job, “When your children sinned against Him, He gave them over to the penalty of their sin” (Job 8:4 NIV). This goes totally against what we read in Job 1-2, and besides that, Job had regularly prayed for his children (See Job 1:4-5). Next Bildad told Job that if he was really pure and upright that God would bless him (Job 8:5-7).
We have previously seen that the first of Job’s friends and counsellors (and likely the eldest), Eliphaz, claimed to have had a supernatural experience that brought him a word from the LORD (See Job 4:12-21), whereas Bildad seems to appeal to ‘Tradition’ or what the ancients have said. Some traditions are good, and some not so good. Some religious traditions are good too (See 1 Cor.11:1-2; Mk.7:3-4). But we are warned against ‘old wives’ tales’ (1 Tim.4:7). What we really need is wisdom from the right source, such as mentioned in Jas.3:15-18. Then of course there are “street-wise” people! They may not have done well at school, but they can be smart and think fast on their feet!
Bildad compares those that flourish in life with things that grow and that depend on water. Remember he has a very black and white view of things. His thoughts are somewhat like those found in Ps.1, where two kinds of people, and two paths through life are described: that of the righteous and that of the wicked. We are told in Ps.1:3 that the righteous prosper! But is it only the righteous who prosper? Not if we look also at Ps.73:3, 13. This would then make you wonder what is the point in living the righteous or blameless life. But if you read on in Ps.73:17 Asaph said, “But then I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end.” And their end is the same as that described in Ps.1:4-6 for the wicked.
Bildad is right in saying that there are really only two types of people in the world. I would say that these are those condemned and those who are no longer under condemnation (See John 3:18-21). You see we were ALL in the same boat, and were ‘children of wrath, just as the others’ (Eph.2:3), because we were ‘dead in trespasses and sins’ (Eph.2:1), until God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses MADE US ALIVE‘ (Eph.2:4-5). Now there is NO CONDEMNATION for those of us who are in Christ Jesus (See Rom.8:1, 33).
In one sense, Job is a foreshadowing of Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ knew that He was blameless (See Isa.53). And yet whilst hanging on the cross He was surrounded by accusers (Matt.27:41-44), who were basically saying that He had to have done something wrong, for why else was He under the curse and condemnation of God. But Christ was perfectly righteous, and blameless. The point being made throughout the Book of Job is that Job’s integrity is at stake (But see Job 1:1, 8, 22; 2:3, 9-10). And sometimes our standing before Gd will also come under attack. In this sense Job is a Christ-like figure, and so should we be.
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