Job 8

It is not just or charitable to argue that merely because one is in deep affliction, he is therefore a hypocrite. Let us “judge nothing before the time” (1 Corinthians 4:5). A day is coming when the secrets of God’s providence will be solved to universal satisfaction.

1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,

2 How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?

3 Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?

4 If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression;

5 If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty;

6 If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.

7 Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.

8 For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers:

9 (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)

10 Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart?

11 Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water?

12 Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb.

13 So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish:

14 Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web.

15 He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.

16 He is green before the sun, and his branch shooteth forth in his garden.

17 His roots are wrapped about the heap, and seeth the place of stones.

18 If he destroy him from his place, then it shall deny him, saying, I have not seen thee.

19 Behold, this is the joy of his way, and out of the earth shall others grow.

20 Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers:

21 Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.

22 They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nought.

Job 8 – God Will not Cast Away

   Bildad now takes up the argument, appealing to the experience of former generations to show that special suffering, like Job’s, indicated special sin, however deeply concealed. He feels that God could not pervert judgment, and that the sudden destruction of Job’s children proved that they had transgressed.
   Job 8:11-13 are probably quoted from an old poem, embodying the sententious observation of some older generation, which compared the ungodly to the rapid growth and more rapid destruction of the papyrus plant. Job 8:14-15 compare the state of the ungodly to the slight fabric of the spider’s web, fine-spun, flimsy, and insecure. Job 8:16-19 employ yet another comparison—that of the weeds, which grow to rank luxuriance, spreading over heaps of stones and even walls, which they are figuratively said to see in the distance and creep toward; the very earth is ashamed of them, as presently they lie withered on the path. But notice the assurances that God will uphold all those who return to Him. Be of good cheer; thou shalt yet praise Him! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Job 8:6—If thou wert pure and upright; surely now He would awake for thee.

   So Bildad spoke, suggesting that job was not pure and upright, since God did not appear to deliver him. The premises from which he argued were that God always delivers and prospers pure and upright men, and that therefore, if a man were not delivered and prospered, he was proved to be neither pure nor upright. The fallacy lay in the premise. It is not universally true that God delivers His saints from adverse circumstances, or prospers them with outward good. There have been in all ages thousands of devoted servants of God who have been destitute, afflicted, and tormented; and there are thousands of such today in prisons, in hospital wards, in every condition of privation and trial; but in none of these cases can there be the least imputation on the love and righteousness of God, nor necessarily on their fidelity and goodness.
   God’s arrangements for us are not governed by the superficial philosophy which would make material prosperity a sign of His favor, and adversity of His displeasure. There are many considerations beside. Our privations in the outward strengthen and ripen the inward. As the outward man decays, the inward is renewed day by day. We have to learn and manifest those passive virtues which can only mature in silence and sorrow. We must be taught to be largely independent of circumstances, and to find in God Himself the springs of unfailing supply. We must learn to carry the sentence of death in ourselves, that we may not trust in ourselves, but in the living God. We have to suffer with and for others. All these things worketh God with us to make us partakers of His holiness. But amid all our sorrows, He is always awake for us. —Our Daily Homily