-Bildad the Shuhite now speaks into the situation concerning how God rewards those who are truly good and don’t forget about Him. Some, but not all, of what Bildad says here in this chapter is good advice and counsel. He begins by questioning Job as to how long he could say these things in complaint towards God. He rhetorically asks how long these words of his mouth be a mighty wind (ruwach- breath, wind, spirit). I interpret this to mean spirit here more than the translation of wind. Bildad was questioning Job’s spirit in his speech. His mighty spirit was not being led of the Holy Spirit, and this was troubling to Job’s friend. Bildad goes on to ask, “Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert what is right?” Then he gives a series of “if” remarks intended to instruct Job. He starts this with saying, “If your sons sinned against Him, then He delivered them into the power of their transgression.” This was falsely assumed we can take from the text, but the “if” is there for a reason. In fact, Job’s children had done nothing wrong to deserve the fate they experienced. It was a venomous attack of Satan in this case. The next “if” statement attempts to get Job to “seek God” and “implore the compassion of the Almighty.” The last “if” statement says to Job, “If you are pure and upright, surely now He would rouse Himself for you and restore your righteous estate. Though your beginning was insignificant, yet your end will increase greatly (Job 8:1-7).” This is exactly what would eventually happen with Job (Job 42:10-17). However, it took some time and spiritual growth to realize this truth. God had to take His servant through the school of hard knocks first.
-Bildad also advised his friend in this dialog to inquire of past generations and consider the things gleaned by their fathers through time. Experience is a great teacher was his message. They had only been around for what seemed like a yesterday, and Bildad concluded that they knew virtually nothing “because our days on earth are as a shadow.” The ancestors can teach and tell bringing forth wise words from their minds of the past to the present if they would only pay attention (Job 8:8-10).
-The poetry continues with an analogy to the papyrus. Papyrus cannot grow without a marsh, and the rushes cannot grow without substantial water. If it is green, it will not be cut down, but it is a weak plant in its construction. In dry seasons, it withers before any other plant. Bildad compares this to the paths of all who forget God. He plainly says, “The hope of the godless will perish, whose confidence is fragile, and whose trust (like) a spider’s web.” Putting trust in and holding fast to a temporary house will not stand and will not endure. This is a product of this passing earth. There is a seasonal thriving before the sun as roots spread out over the garden, but they wrap around the rock pile and it becomes a house of stones in the end. There is denial in the end with this type of striving. Bildad is wrongly convinced that Job has been sucked in by materialism here. He develops this futile philosophy of creating joy simply by doing the best one can and then passing it on to his descendants. He wraps up his speech with some positive comments on the Heavenly Father. Truth is found in the statement, “Lo, God will not reject a man of integrity, nor will He support the evildoers.” Hope and retribution enter back into the equation as he completes his thought, “He (God) will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouting. Those who hate you will be clothed in shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no longer (Job 8:11-22).”
-*Application* We must take a long-term approach in our relationship with the Sovereign God. Short-term lessons prepare us for the “hope and future” that we have in Christ Jesus (Jeremiah 29:11). Our spirit should always be in tune with His Spirit, we should listen to wisdom from our ancestors if they had proper faith and doctrine, and we should be like trees planted by streams of Living Water (Psalms 1:3, John 7:38, Galatians 5:25, 2 Timothy 1:5). So, remain steady, hold fast, and keep the faith. Better times are coming for those called to the Kingdom of God.
Verse to Memorize: Job 8:6