Pondering Job in a Pandemic – Chapter 8

There are those who think Nehemiah (Knee High Miah) is the shortest man in the Bible, but then they’ve never met Bildad the Shuhite (Shoe Hight). 🙂

Bildad is Job’s second “friend” or “counsellor” to speak. In one sense it’s almost like he didn’t listen to a word Job said in response to Eliphaz, he continues with Eliphaz’s main point. Yet, though he does sound a bit like a broken record he is replying to Job’s previous statements.

And his reply is harsh… Again, he is clear in his assertion… If you are pure God will restore you. He even goes so far as to say that what happened to Job’s children may have been judgement for their own sin!

We know the rest of the story. We know that Job is eventually restored. Knowing this and reading Bildad’s words here, we may think that Bildad is pretty near the mark. Except we also know the beginning of all of this and we know that what is happening to Job is not the result of specific, personal sin or an unrepentant heart.

In all of this Bildad makes an important statement, verse 20. It is true, “God will not reject a righteous man, nor take the hand of evildoers.” The problem is, of course, no one is truly righteous in and of themselves. We are all sinners – including Bildad. Therefore, left to our own we all are unworthy of God’s forgiveness and unable to approach Him.

Job is going to respond to this specifically in the next chapter.

For now, for us, from this chapter let us consider:

  • Let us choose our words carefully when we speak to others. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 – And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
  • Let us keep our own sinfulness and unworthiness before us. We must grow in humility. We will be best fit for helping others in their suffering when we rightfully understand how underserving we are.
  • When counselling our own heart and/or the hearts of others, it is not enough to remind them of their sin and the holiness/righteousness/justice of God but to also point them to a mediator – to Christ, our only hope!

Soli Deo Gloria

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