Bildad’s First Response to Job
Bildad rebukes Job:
Then Bildad the Shuhite replied to Job:
This reply presents Bildad as a blunt and unfeeling man. He had failed to hear Job’s cry for compassion (Job 6:13, 14, 26). His message to Job is forthright: He and his family have gotten what they deserve. If only now he will repent of the shameless deeds that brought on this disaster, he can be restored to even greater prosperity and happiness than he had before. (The Reformation Bible)
Bildad sees it all in black and white. He prides himself on his no-nonsense manner. Save us from Bildads when we are suffering!
2 “How long will you go on like this?
You sound like a blustering wind.
3 Does God twist justice?
Does the Almighty twist what is right?
4 Your children must have sinned against him,
so their punishment was well deserved.
There is no indication that Job’s children were destroyed because of their transgressions, and even had there been, it was a cruel thing to say to a man in great sorrow and suffering.
5 But if you pray to God
and seek the favor of the Almighty,
6 and if you are pure and live with integrity,
he will surely rise up and restore your happy home.
So in Bildad’s view, God has mercy only when human beings deserve it by being pure and upright. But by definition mercy is never deserved! The Lord is not unwilling to be merciful!
Isaiah 30:18 (ESV)
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
7 And though you started with little,
you will end with much.
8 “Just ask the previous generation.
Pay attention to the experience of our ancestors.
Eliphaz had appealed to revelation as his authority, even though that revelation came in a hair-raising dream (Job 4:12-17). Bildad appeals to human tradition. (The Reformation Bible)
9 For we were born but yesterday and know nothing.
Our days on earth are as fleeting as a shadow.
10 But those who came before us will teach you.
They will teach you the wisdom of old.
Bildad applies his common-sense wisdom to Job’s situation:
12 While they are still flowering, not ready to be cut,
they begin to wither more quickly than grass.
13 The same happens to all who forget God.
The hopes of the godless evaporate.
15 They cling to their home for security, but it won’t last.
They try to hold it tight, but it will not endure.
18 But when it is uprooted,
it’s as though it never existed!
19 That’s the end of its life,
and others spring up from the earth to replace it.
20 “But look, God will not reject a person of integrity,
nor will he lend a hand to the wicked.
21 He will once again fill your mouth with laughter
and your lips with shouts of joy.
22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
and the home of the wicked will be destroyed.”
Papyrus plants, marsh grasses, spider webs, lush plants — nature pictures to show truth! HERE is Rebecca St. James and “God of Wonders.”
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.