Job 8 Commentary

Job 8 Commentary

Bildad believes in the principle of causation. Suffering is always caused by sin. Job has sinned; that is the reason why he is suffering. His children sinned; that is the reason they died. The cause and effect principle means Job is losing it unless he quickly repents.

Again, in Bildad’s mind, the causation principle means Job’s repentance would bring about restoration. He would be as good as before. Actually, it is to Bildad’s credit that we have one of the most quoted verses: “Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.”

Verse 7 above is one of the few times when one is encouraged to enjoy the scripture without looking at the context. When set in its position and context, Bildad’s views are terrible. Cause and effect: that is Bildad’s world.

Man is the cause of suffering, by his sins. Man is the cause of his own salvation, by repentance. This sounds good and logical but where is grace? Man is lost and must be found. Man cannot find himself. The salvation that puts man in control of his own destiny may sound good but it is all false and contradicts the value of Calvary.

Eliphaz had suggested that Job’s sin was responsible for the loss of his entire family to a natural disaster. Now Bildad suggests that Job’s children caused their own death by their sins. The wisdom of this world doesn’t have one coherent truth front. It’s ever-changing.

Bildad finds comfort and stability of thought by relying heavily on ancient wisdom. But it is the wisdom of this world.

Bildad says, “Surely God does not reject one who is blameless or strengthen the hands of evildoers”. Again, this sounds good when read out of context. It is however Bildad’s cause-and-effect belief system that faults this great truth. Accordingly, Job has been rejected because he is not blameless. And as an evildoer, Job shouldn’t expect help from the LORD.

Not this Job but another would cry: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” And he was blameless.

Probably our discomfort with Bildad’s theology stems from our appreciation of Calvary. Ironically, and because of Calvary, this chapter still holds the truth. Indeed, God doesn’t abandon the blameless. The blameless Job hasn’t been abandoned. Regardless of the happenings around, albeit sad events, the LORD retains ultimate control. The saint can rest secure in this truth, partly exposed through Bildad’s faulty theology, that indeed the LORD doesn’t abandon the blameless.

The blameless at Calvary Hill wasn’t blameless at all. For at that moment, he carried the sin of the entire world on his shoulders. Bildad’s theology may not be so faulty, after all.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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