Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

Friendship – Day 11

Lessons from Job (Part 2): Bildad

Bible text(s)

28Look me in the face. I won't lie.

29You have gone far enough. Stop being unjust.

Don't condemn me. I'm in the right.

30But you think I am lying —

you think I can't tell right from wrong.

Job 6:28-30GNBOpen in Bible reader

3God never twists justice;

he never fails to do what is right.

After Eliphaz tries to talk Job into repenting, Job gets angry. His friends still believe that he must have sinned and he asks them to reconsider for the sake of his integrity. Bildad now enters the conversation, and he shows none of the modesty and caution that Eliphaz did.

Bildad is offended at Job’s speech. He calls Job’s words “a blustering wind” (8:2). What is meant by this is not that Job has “blown smoke”, as we might say, but Job’s words are like a destructive storm. Bildad was stung by Job’s words against God: “How can you,” he asks, “accuse God of perverting justice?” (8:3). It is almost as if Bildad has confidently taken on the role of divine spokesperson or press secretary; an attack on God must be fended off vigorously. Therefore, this is Bildad’s dilemma. He must cut off Job’s words, but he still wants to give a word of hope.

Bildad also makes many assumptions about both his friend and about what God is doing in Job’s life. He cannot and will not believe that Job is innocent, and he appeals to the past generations for their knowledge (Job 8:8-10), and proceeds to quote their proverbs to Job. Eliphaz made assumptions based on his experience and Bildad makes them based on history, and who he thinks God is. Both of them are wrong.

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