Tuesday, February 27, 2024

No 44 Bildad Blows Hot Air
Bildad does the very thing he accuses Job of doing: How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind? (Job 8:2). How long will you go on saying such things? Your words are like a blustering wind. Bildad accuses Job of blustering. But not only does Bildad bluster, he blisters. The heat is rising. The barbs are sharper. The intended impact more blunt. The aim more deadly. Bildad is even cruder and harsher than Eliphaz. I’m sure Job felt cut to the bone by the mean comments Eliphaz had made. Maybe Eliphaz had meant well, but his words did not make sense―his words did not fit Job's situation nor apply to his predicament. “Who is this person of whom Eliphaz is speaking? Job may have wondered. "Surely, he is not talking about me!”
Job may have wondered as Bildad the Shuhite stood to speak, “Will my friend Bildad make better sense than Eliphaz?" But no. His opening statement just picked up where Eliphaz had left off. From the git-go, Job could see that Bildad was going to be no more sympathetic than the first speaker. “Job, you’re just blowing hot air--like a summer wind on a hot day. No benefit!" said Bildad.
Bildad’s speeches break no new ground. They resurvey former ground. There is a difference, but it is a worse difference. Bildad's knife cuts deeper. His words are meant to hurt. Bildad piles on harsher accusation and blame. For example, Eliphaz had beat-around-the-bush and hinted at Job being responsible for the deaths of his sons and daughters, Bildad just blasts out saying that something was wrong with Job and his entire family. Bildad intends to mean that God had cast them away because of their transgressions and because of Job’s own sins.
If thy children have sinned against Him, and He have cast them away for their transgression; If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty; If thou wert pure and upright; surely now He would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous (Job 8:4-6).
“If,” says Bildad, "You were pure and upright, surely God would wake up, take a look at your pitiful state and do something about it. Once you were righteous (again, if ever you were in the first place), then God would make your righteousness prosper. But, in order for God to do this, you must, you must, you must repent, Job. That is your first stepthe step for which God awaits you to make." Bildad pleads with Job to beg God for mercy.
Almost everything that Bildad says is a variation on these themes. Same as Eliphaz had done. Here, however, is difference of authority. 
Eliphas puts credence in his own personal observations and experiences. Visions and dreams became the yardstick by which he judged the religion of others.

Bildad refers authority back to the fatherstradition was his authority. The way we have always thought is the right way. For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers: (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:) Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart? (Job 8:8-10).  

Zophar's own wisdom and assumptions were his authority. He didn’t need justification from any other source.

Chapter 8 Bildad's First Speech Summarized:
8:1-7        Look up
8:8-10      Look back  
8:11-22    Look around
Chapter 18 Bildad's Second Speech Summarized:
18:1-4      Do you think we are stupid?
18:5, 6     You are nothing more than a light that has gone out.
18:7-10    You are nothing more than a man caught in his own trap.
18:11-15  You are nothing more than a criminal being pursued by a posse.
18:16-21  You are nothing more than an uprooted tree.
Chapter 25 Bildad's Third (and Final) Speech Summarized: 
25:2  Dominion and awe belong to God; He establishes order in the heights of heaven.
25:3  Can His troops be numbered? Does His light not shine on everyone?
25:4  How can a person be justified before God? How can one born of woman be pure?
25:5  If even the moon does not shine and the stars are not pure in His sight,
25:6  how much less man, who is a maggotwho is only a worm! 
A Bright Future 
Chapter 8 closes with a bright forecast, that is, after Job has repented.
Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man (Job 8:20).
Till He fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing (Job 8:22).
Surely God does not reject one who is blameless.
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
As there were brilliant statements made by both sides of the debate, even Bildad had insight. 

Is the Book of Job Unrealistic and a Figment of Poetic Fancy?
It seems incredible that friends would act like Job’s opinionated comforters. Some critics have even branded the entire book as unrealistic and a figment of poetic fancy. Moses, the author, took a well-known incident from his times, and under the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Spirit turned it into a rare gem of literature. And more than that. The Book of Job can fill our hearts with laughing and our lips with rejoicing in God, if we will have it.
Job’s courage and patience make him the wonder of the ages. Against the misdirected attacks of his “friends,” Job shines.
I want it that way. Don't you?

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359 or use the comments via Google section below. (You must be signed in to Google to do so).

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