Day 5

Bildad’s First Speech and Job’s Reply

from the Job reading plan


Job 8:1-22, Job 9:1-35, Job 10:1-22, Nahum 1:3, Romans 3:23-26

BY Rebecca Faires

One of my kids got into trouble last week, and it was that kind of interesting trouble all the other kids love to talk about. Juicy trouble is everyone’s favorite kind of trouble. So his siblings talked, and he was furious at the humiliating injustice of being talked about. I overheard my husband trying to explain to him that if he had acted justly in the first place, the others would have nothing to say.

My little fella isn’t alone. We are all inclined to think that we are right and everyone else is wrong. We like our own version of justice. We are quick to condemn the faults of others and justify ourselves. But we cannot be our own standard of justice, because we are finite and fallen.

This is why it’s hard to understand the book of Job. Bildad’s perspective is more familiar than Job’s, because like Bildad, we redefine righteousness to suit our own ends and try to treat justice like karma. Want to know who has sinned? Look and see how they “got what was coming to them.” But justice isn’t karma. It’s a mistake to assume that when something good happens to us, it is because we’ve been good. When we hum along with The Sound of Music’s Fraulein Maria, saying, “Nothing comes from nothing… I must have done something good,” we are singing the same tune as Bildad.

Instead of basing our outcomes on our actions, Job points out two things. First, justice is God’s, not ours: “Even if I were in the right, I could not answer. I could only beg my Judge for mercy” (Job 9:15). God is the righteous one. When He acts, no one can condemn Him. No one can contend with Him. This is uncomfortable, because we like justice to be defined our way.

Second, God is sovereign. Whether things go right or seemingly wrong for us, God is still in control. Nothing happens outside of His will. “If it isn’t he, then who is it?” Job asks rhetorically (v.24). We’ve already glimpsed into the heavens at the beginning of Job, where God gives Satan permission to torment a righteous man. God’s sovereignty is uncomfortable, especially when the wicked seem to succeed and the righteous suffer.

So we struggle with questions like these: “Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?” (8:3). The clear answer is a resounding “No!” God’s thoughts are higher than ours, and His ways higher than ours, and we cannot answer or contend with Him (Isaiah 55:8–9).

Like Job, we want to know why God allows bad things to happen (Job 10:18). But there are a lot of things we don’t get to know in this life. It shouldn’t surprise us that we cannot fully comprehend the Almighty, that He doesn’t bow to our will. But there is good news: God is good, and we are safe in His care (v.12). We need not fear. When we, like children, don’t see the whole picture, we can still trust that God’s justice is good because He is good, and He cares for us.

 

Post Comments (55)

55 thoughts on "Bildad’s First Speech and Job’s Reply"

  1. Shell A says:

    I love the past where it says ‘whether things go right or seemingly wrong for us, God is still in control. Nothing happens outside of his will.’ I keep having these ‘why?’ moments where I can’t see God’s control, sovereignty or goodness in the midst of my heartache and devastation. But when my emotions calm , I have those beautiful moments of clarity that God is good, faithful and loving even when it doesn’t feel like it. Please pray for God’s will to be done in my life and in the life of my ex. His heart is hard and he’s running from God and as a result, from me. I know God can change him. ❤️

  2. Angie says:

    As I read the Old Testament verses I try to evaluate how I respond to people who are hurting.
    It is not easy.
    I will not judge Bildad because,
    I am sure similar words have poured over my lips.
    So many concepts he presents I’ve thought or believed.

    Job 8 & Nahum There are consequences for sin, although God is slow to anger
    If you earnestly seek God, He will be found and move on your behalf.
    Those who forget God will perish for the guilty will never go unpunished
    God does not reject a person of integrity and,
    God does not support evildoers.

    In chapter 9 Job answers…
    That is correct and I believe the same principles you are presenting…but,
    where do I go from here?
    I get Who God is; (that makes this harder)
    He is WISE and ALL-POWERFUL.
    EVERY part of earth obeys His call…
    mountains, the sun, the heavens, the sea, the stars, wonders without number.
    Even if I say something and it is pure truth and right, if He determines it differently, it is so.
    Though I am destroyed, HE IS, I don’t really matter.

    Yet, in chapter 10, Job tries…
    I don’t get this God,
    Why?
    You made me, now you destroy me?
    Life, faithful love, and your care have guarded my life.
    Wicked or righteous, woe to me, I am filled with shame.
    Why was I even born?
    It seems as if your hand is against me and that only if you leave me alone, can I smile a little.

    A righteous man suffered tremendous loss and excruciating pain physically,
    People determine it an act of God’s judgement,
    Job had lived righteously and enjoyed blessings from God’s hand,
    suddenly he was living the results of the opposite of that
    and he doesn’t understand why, only knows that even if he doesn’t deserve it,
    God is still God and may do whatever He choses.

    Then New Testament, Romans
    All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (us)
    Like Job, I don’t really matter.
    God is God and may do whatever He choses.
    NOT because of me but, because of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice,
    through redemptive faith we are made righteous
    May I rest there…in Jesus righteous alone.

    Thank you God for your restraint,
    thank you for your great love,
    thank You.

  3. Amber Herrick says:

    God is good such a simple reminder but well needed

  4. Heather says:

    And I love the pairing of Romans 3:26 here. We can only receive right standing before God through faith in Jesus.

  5. Shea Pugh says:

    Love love

  6. Brenna Page says:

    This read is coming during the perfect time (thank you Father) as I endure an uncomfortable season. I may not like it, but I know God is holding my hand through it. He may not take it away, but he will walk through it with me and I will walk away from it stronger. Never forget- we will have struggles, but we’re never alone.

  7. Kristy says:

    Yes! So good.

  8. Hannah GraceLee says:

    Trust God, no matter the circumstances!

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