LINK: Job 8
Bildad the Shuite (Shua means "wealth") bluntly gives Job his two cents worth. He tells Job that his words were a strong, abundant, mighty wind! (He was probably picking up on Job's reference from 6:26.) In other words, they were nonsense.
Bildad's thesis: God is just and Job is guilty; case closed. He believed that God would not punish someone for nothing. He would not distort justice! He told Job that his sons probably sinned, and they got what they deserved. OUCH!
Bildad's solution is simple: SEEK GOD! If Job is so pure then Bildad exhorts him to just implore God's grace. But Job has already done that in chapter 7! Bildad gives examples from history and nature to confirm his thesis. His thesis was theologically correct but horribly misapplied!
Bildad's theology is correct: God is just, but Bildad is misapplying his theology in Job's situation and forgetting about the whole of God's character. God is just and holy, but He is also loving. merciful, and good. Could Job's suffering be a result of God's goodness rather than His justice? Yes!
Yesterday, I was telling someone about the surf safari that I took recently and something that was overlooked in my experience by the people who ran the safari. I told her that I was going to talk to the owner about this. She jumped in and said, "Oh but is that really a battle that you want to get into?"
She does not know me very well (just in an exercise class I take). My heart in wanting to tell the owner was to make the experience better for future clients! I was not there to demand my rights or tell them that I got short-changed (justice). I wanted to help them know how they can make the experience for future clients with my particular characteristics a better one (love and goodness). I guess it is all in the heart attitude. There might be some suffering on their part as I give them critique, but it is not for judgment but for growth!
God was giving Job a growth experience that would help him become all that God had for him to be. Suffering is often the best path, and it is paved all along the way with God's goodness. I know that is sometimes a bitter pill to swallow for most of us, but it is good medicine.
Anytime we are suffering, it is always good advice to seek God. In that way, Bildad is right (although he delivers his advice in a very unloving and blunt manner). God is 100% good. Go to Him right now.
God, You are good and Your love endures forever (Psalm 100:5). Cement the truth of Your infinite goodness in our minds today as we struggle through everyday life. Amen.