Daily Thought for: 1st August

BILDAD

Job 8. 1-22

Bildad was the second of Job’s three friends. He is called ‘the Shuhite’, which probably means he belonged to Shuah, an area in the east country in which Shuah, a son of Abraham, had settled, Gen. 25. 2, 6. Therefore, he came from a land of wise men, 1 Kgs. 4. 30. He took part in each of the three controversies which the friends entered into with Job, chs. 8, 18 and 25. His three speeches are very severe in tone; less so than those of Zophar but more than the words of Eliphaz. Bildad’s speeches are largely an echo of what Eliphaz had maintained, but charged with increased vehemence, 8. 2; 18. 3-4; because he rejects Job’s arguments. He attributes Job’s calamity to wickedness and accuses his deceased children, 1. 19, of sin which accounted for their punishment, 8. 4. He is a legalist and appeals to tradition, 8. 8-10. Like Eliphaz, he relates Job’s awful situation to cause and effect, 8. 11. From the literary stores of eastern wisdom, he contrasts the desperate state of the wicked and the delightful state of the righteous—with obvious implications for Job to reflect upon, 8. 11-22. Bildad considers suffering is always the direct result of one’s sin. As Eliphaz, he refers to the hypocrite, 8. 13. In his second speech, he intensifies the description of the woes of the wicked, which is evidently intended to correspond to Job’s description of his own miserable condition; cf. 18. 5-21 with 16. 6-22. Thus, he is identifying Job with the wicked. His third speech, ch. 25, although more subdued, is his ‘parting shot’, and shows he is a die-hard like Eliphaz, attributing Job’s suffering to his sin. Not only was Bildad’s assumption wrong, but his advice was also faulty. His counsel to Job was that he needed to repent, 8. 5-6. Subsequently, Bildad was rebuked by the Lord for his untrue and unkind opinion of Job, 42. 7. In considering Bildad, we offer the following acrostic based on his name— 

Belittling in his attitude to Job, 8. 5-6. 

Insisting that Job must be an awful sinner, 8. 20. 

Lacking sympathy towards a suffering saint. 

Deciding that Job’s sin was the problem, not his suffering. 

Associating suffering with sin always, contrast John 5. 14; 3 John 2. 

Demonstrating he was a ‘die-hard’. His view is the only view! 

 

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