Job Chapter Eight
Read Job 8:1-7
v1. “THEN ANSWERED BILDAD THE SHUHITE, AND SAID,”
Job’s second friend to speak is Bildad. As we studied early on in this series not much is known of Bildad since his name is not found anywhere else in Scripture. He was a Shuhite, a descendant of Shuah, the youngest son of Abraham by Keturah, his second wife, and also the name of a tribe descended from him.
Genesis 25:1-2 “THEN AGAIN ABRAHAM TOOK A WIFE, AND HER NAME was KETURAH. AND SHE BARE HIM ZIMRAN, AND JOKSHAN, AND MEDAN, AND MIDIAN, AND ISHBAK, AND SHUAH.”
v2. “HOW LONG WILT THOU SPEAK THESE things? AND how long shall THE WORDS OF THY MOUTH be like A STRONG WIND?”
This first statement gives tells us where this friend is coming from. Eliphaz is a sweetheart compared to Bildad. Job has answered Eliphaz with words spoken very passionately, worded strongly, words generated by despair and anger. Bildad comes back at Job with words even stronger, like two people who have gotten into an argument; the second very often comes back with words and statements that try to outdo the first.
Job; how long are you going to going to try to fool us? How long are you going to try to blow hot air like a strong wind?
v3. “DOTH GOD PERVERT JUDGMENT? OR DOTH THE ALMIGHTY PERVERT JUSTICE?”
Does God pervert judgment? Is not God’s judgment right; righteous in every respect? Would God pervert justice? Is not God’s justice rightly applied; after all, God is incapable of doing wrong! Moses and David speaking of God:
Deuteronomy 32:3-4 “He is THE ROCK, HIS WORK is PERFECT: FOR ALL HIS WAYS are JUDGMENT: A GOD OF TRUTH AND WITHOUT INIQUITY, JUST AND RIGHT is HE.”
Psalms 18:2 “THE LORD is MY ROCK, AND MY FORTRESS, AND MY DELIVERER; MY GOD, MY STRENGTH, IN WHOM I WILL TRUST; MY BUCKLER, AND THE HORN OF MY SALVATION, and MY HIGH TOWER.”
God wouldn’t deliver this kind of affliction without reason, sin.
v4. “IF THY CHILDREN HAVE SINNED AGAINST HIM, AND HE HAVE CAST THEM AWAY FOR THEIR TRANSGRESSION;”
begins to justify what God has done. He
brings Job’s children into his argument.
God would never slay the righteous; he must have taken Job’s children
because of their transgressions. Bildad
would be right in a normal situation wouldn’t he? Didn’t Abraham convince God not to destroy
Genesis “THAT BE FAR FROM THEE TO DO AFTER THIS MANNER, TO SLAY THE RIGHTEOUS WITH THE WICKED: AND THAT THE RIGHTEOUS SHOULD BE AS THE WICKED, THAT BE FAR FROM THEE: SHALL NOT THE JUDGE OF ALL THE EARTH DO RIGHT?”
v5. “IF THOU WOULDEST SEEK UNTO GOD BETIMES, AND MAKE THY SUPPLICATION TO THE ALMIGHTY;”
If you would but seek God and his forgiveness; if you would confess you horrible sins and make your prayer and supplication to God for forgiveness of these sins:
v6. “IF THOU wert PURE AND UPRIGHT; SURELY NOW HE WOULD AWAKE FOR THEE, AND MAKE THE HABITATION OF THY RIGHTEOUSNESS PROSPEROUS.”
If you were pure and upright, surely God would awaken for you, surely God would return prosperity to you.
Proverbs 15:8 “THE SACRIFICE OF THE WICKED is AN ABOMINATION TO THE LORD: BUT THE PRAYER OF THE UPRIGHT is HIS DELIGHT.”
Surely if God saw one of his righteous being tormented as you have been; would he not be as David described and rise up in anger to punish the one who is abusing his child?
Psalms 7:6 “ARISE, O LORD, IN THINE ANGER, LIFT UP THYSELF BECAUSE OF THE RAGE OF MINE ENEMIES: AND AWAKE FOR ME to THE JUDGMENT that THOU HAST COMMANDED.”
v7. “THOUGH THY BEGINNING WAS SMALL, YET THY LATTER END SHOULD GREATLY INCREASE.”
Bildad says; don’t rail at God for the torment and destruction that your sin has brought upon you. Petition God that he might awaken and hear you, that he might hear your repentance and restore you to his favor. And though this beginning with God is small, he would provide you with a latter end that would be much greater, much more wonderful; much more prosperous that you knew before.
Read Job 8:8-19
v8. “FOR INQUIRE, I PRAY THEE, OF THE FORMER AGE, AND PREPARE THYSELF TO THE SEARCH OF THEIR FATHERS:”
Inquire of the former age. Look back into the history of mankind Job. This is the same advice that the Holy Spirit has caused to be recorded for us. Moses in a sermon had given the Israelite people the same advice to learn of God’s dealing with his people:
Deuteronomy 4:32 “FOR ASK NOW OF THE DAYS THAT ARE PAST, WHICH WERE BEFORE THEE, SINCE THE DAY THAT GOD CREATED MAN UPON THE EARTH, AND ask FROM THE ONE SIDE OF HEAVEN UNTO THE OTHER, WHETHER THERE HATH BEEN any such thing AS THIS GREAT THING is, OR HATH BEEN HEARD LIKE IT?”
All hypocrites and evil-doers in the past lost all of their hopes and joys. God through his providence brings wicked men who seemed pious and prosperous to shame and ruin in this world, and by making their prosperity short, he proved that their piety to him was counterfeit.
v9. “(FOR WE are but of YESTERDAY, AND KNOW NOTHING, BECAUSE OUR DAYS UPON EARTH are A SHADOW)”
We will own that we know nothing, we are as ready to confess our ignorance as you are to condemn it; for all we know about is yesterday, our lives here on this earth are but a shadow so we must turn to the words of the ancients, those who lived in the former ages to find the wisdom that we need today.
v10. “SHALL NOT THEY TEACH THEE, and TELL THEE, AND UTTER WORDS OUT OF THEIR HEART?”
And the words of the ancients will teach us, and teach you, with words uttered out of their hearts. He refers to the testimony of the ancients and to the knowledge which Job himself had of their sentiments. They will tell you from their hearts and from the judgments of their fathers that the judgments of God followed wicked men and God’s punishment was brought upon wicked men.
v11. “CAN THE RUSH GROW UP WITHOUT MIRE? CAN THE FLAG GROW WITHOUT WATER?”
Bildad has assumed that Job is a hypocrite and here compares the hopes and joys of the hypocrite to a rush or a flag (a type of plant). It grows up out of the mire and water. The hypocrite cannot gain his hope without some false rotten ground or other out of which to raise it, and with which to support it and keep it alive, any more than the rush can grow without mire. The hypocrite’s worldly prosperity, his profession he makes of religion, the good opinion of his neighbors, and his own good conceit of himself, are built on a foundation that is not solid ground.
v12. “WHILST IT is YET IN HIS GREENNESS, and NOT CUT DOWN, IT WITHERETH BEFORE ANY other HERB.”
It may look green for a while but it is light and hollow, and empty and good for nothing. It is green only for show but of no use. It is dried up and gone away before any other plant.
v13. “SO are THE PATHS OF ALL THAT FORGET GOD; AND THE HYPOCRITE'S HOPE SHALL PERISH:”
Just like the rush or the flag dies just like the grass that has been cut in the field, even before it is cut down, the hope of the hypocrite goes away. Forgetfulness of God is at the bottom of men’s hypocrisy, and of the vain hopes with which they flatter and deceive themselves in their hypocrisy. Men would not be hypocrites if they did not forget that the God under whom they live searches the heart and requires truth to be there.
Psalms 9:16-17 “THE LORD IS KNOWN by THE JUDGMENT which HE EXECUTETH: THE WICKED IS SNARED IN THE WORK OF HIS OWN HANDS. Higgaion Selah THE WICKED SHALL BE TURNED INTO HELL, and ALL THE NATIONS THAT FORGET GOD.”
v14. “WHOSE HOPE SHALL BE CUT OFF, AND WHOSE TRUST shall be A SPIDER'S WEB.”
The hope of the hypocrite is a creature of his own fancy, and arises merely from a conceit of his own merit and sufficiency. This hypocrisy will be like a spider’s web. The hypocrite is very fond of his self appraisal as is the spider of her web; she weaves it out of false premises, wraps herself in it, calls it her house leans upon it and holds fast to it. But it will fail.
v15. “HE SHALL LEAN UPON HIS HOUSE, BUT IT SHALL NOT STAND: HE SHALL HOLD IT FAST, BUT IT SHALL NOT ENDURE.”
The hope of the hypocrite, even though he lives in it, will not stand. It will be swept away like a cobweb by a broom when God comes to clean his house. The prosperity of worldly people will fail them when they expect to find safety and happiness in it. They seek to hold on to their estates, but God will pick them out of their hands at death. Then whose shall all these things be which they have provided for themselves. They are like those described:
Psalms 49:11 “THEIR INWARD THOUGHT is, that THEIR HOUSES shall continue FOR EVER, and THEIR DWELLING PLACES TO ALL GENERATIONS; THEY CALL their LANDS AFTER THEIR OWN NAMES.”
v16. “HE is GREEN BEFORE THE SUN, AND HIS
The hypocrite is like the new growth that is green before the sun and whose branch grows forth in the garden.
v17. “HIS ROOTS ARE WRAPPED ABOUT THE HEAP, and SEETH THE PLACE OF STONES.”
Even if his roots appear to be deep and even if they’re wrapped around the great stones that may be under it.
v18. “IF HE DESTROY HIM FROM HIS PLACE, THEN it SHALL DENY HIM, saying, I HAVE NOT SEEN THEE.”
It can be destroyed from its place; it can be cut down and removed. The hypocrite here is compared to a flourishing and well-rooted tree, which, though it does not wither can still be brought down. Even if It grows in firm ground, not, as the rush, of mire and water. Thus does a wicked man, when he prospers in the world, think himself secure; his wealth is a high wall around his own conceit. Bildad says this is what you were Job, before these troubles came upon you.
v19. “BEHOLD, THIS is THE JOY OF HIS WAY, AND OUT OF THE EARTH SHALL OTHERS GROW.”
This is the end and conclusion of the wicked man; this is what all his joy comes to.
Psalms 1:6 “FOR THE LORD KNOWETH THE WAY OF THE RIGHTEOUS: BUT THE WAY OF THE UNGODLY SHALL PERISH.”
Thus the wicked man perishes just as God desires, just as God places judgment upon him. His hope, he thought, would be turned into joy; but:
Isaiah “IN THE DAY SHALT THOU MAKE THY PLANT TO GROW, AND IN THE MORNING SHALT THOU MAKE THY SEED TO FLOURISH: but THE HARVEST shall be A HEAP IN THE DAY OF GRIEF AND OF DESPERATE SORROW.”
Read Job 8:20-22
v20. “BEHOLD, GOD WILL NOT CAST AWAY A PERFECT man, NEITHER WILL HE HELP THE EVIL DOERS:”
Job, God will not cast away a perfect man, so you must not have been perfect, God will also not help evil doers, so in order to gain God’s favor you will need to repent of your evil. Bildad here sums up what he been telling Job; setting before him life and death, the blessing and the curse, assuring him that as he was so he should fare, and therefore they might conclude that as he fared so poorly he must have been extremely wicked. If he were a righteous, upright man God wouldn’t cast him away and if he wasn’t an evil man God wouldn’t forsake him.
v21. “TILL HE FILL THY MOUTH WITH LAUGHING, AND THY LIPS WITH REJOICING.”
Though now he seems to be forsaken by God, if he would but return to Him then his mourning would be turned to joy. He would be as David in one of his psalms
Psalms 30:11 “THOU HAST TURNED FOR ME MY MOURNING INTO DANCING: THOU HAST PUT OFF MY SACKCLOTH, AND GIRDED ME WITH GLADNESS;”
v22. “THEY THAT HATE THEE SHALL BE CLOTHED WITH
SHAME; AND THE
Those who make things other than God their refuge will be disappointed. Sin brings ruin on persons and families. Yet to argue that because Job’s family was sunk, and he himself at present seemed helpless, therefore he certainly was an ungodly, wicked man; was neither just nor charitable. There appeared to be no other evidence of his wickedness and ungodliness. Let us not judge anything before the time, but wait till the secrets of all hearts shall be made manifest and the present difficulties of Providence be solved, when the mystery of God is finished.
Psalms 132:18 “HIS ENEMIES WILL I CLOTHE WITH SHAME: BUT UPON HIMSELF SHALL HIS CROWN FLOURISH.”