Bildad's venom

Job Sees The Light - Nineteenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job asked, “Who can see any hope for me?” (Job 17:15b previous post) Does Bildad respond with a word of comfort? No, he reacts instead to Job's remark, “I will not find a wise man among you.” (Job 17:10) He scolds Job as one as one rebukes a child, and upbraids him for making too much of his miseries.

Job 18:1-4 NIV We could see this coming. Job insulted Bildad so he is getting what he gave.

Job 18:5-10 NIV Could we not expect better from Bildad? Considering he is older and not suffering anything other than the insults of a man who has experienced the most extreme tribulation imaginable, could he not be less judgmental and more forgiving?

No, Satan will not give his victim a rest. Once he has worn down his composure, he is close to achieving his end, namely the defeat of his resistance. Without resistance to the wiles of the devil, a man can be seized and carried away by his suggestions. Bildad will not let up.

Job 18:11-15 NIV To resist the devil in his specific campaigns against us it is helpful to discern what he wants to accomplish. From Bildad's words we see Satan's accusation that Job brought his terrors on himself by his own wrongs.

Such condemnation could evoke several possible responses from Job. He could begin to doubt his own experience and accept these accusations as true. One Christian author has pointed out that if we accept the devil's attacks on our character or lives as valid, we will suffer as much as if they really were true. We will condemn ourselves and hate our lives for no reason.

Another response might be to defend himself as he has been doing. In this he is letting Satan win by focusing him on himself. A self focus is a noose. A third response would be retreating into depression and discouragement, and Job has exercised this option, too. The right response is to resist the devil.

Job 18:16-19 NIV It would not occur to Bildad that the wicked could experience anything but calamities, nor that the righteous could know anything but cheer and ease. Thus he believes that Job deserves the condemnation of his words.

When the Lord rebukes a man, he is strengthened and helped, but Satan's rebukes are designed to weaken and hurt us.

Job 18:20-21 NIV When Satan provokes us to speak in an ungodly way, he is only stirring up what is already in our hearts, not putting something new or different there. This verbal bile that Bildad has spewed on Job is from his own heart even though Satan inflamed him to deliver it. He, too, must learn to resist the devil.

Can mortals stand against the flaming darts of Satan? When those arrows bored into Bildad urging him to slander and accuse Job, and to particularly spotlight the death of his descendants, could Bildad have resisted? In a category 5 tempest it is very hard to stand, but with God all things are possible.

Speaking for Satan

Job Sees The Light - Sixteenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

A God-ordained trial such as Job endured, is not to be viewed as divine permission for onlookers to help bring the subject to a right view of things. Job's friends believe they are promoting God’s agenda by castigating Job, but they have no concept of what the Lord has determined to achieve, so how can they assist him?

Job 15:1-6 NIV Nevertheless, Eliphaz, in Chapter 15, striving to defend God in the courtroom brawl, takes the floor to cross examine Job. In his previous speech he was solicitous, but now he wants only to prove that Job is guilty.

The “east wind” in that land was the most violent. Job is being accused of attacking and weakening the foundational knowledge about God's very nature. Such an offense must be strongly opposed!

Job 15:7-14 NIV Job, you are not a discerning man. (But wasn't it Job who initially stated that man is by nature impure? (refs Job 15:14; Job 14:4)) We, your friends, have tried to comfort you with our words and you have shown no respect for our wisdom, even though we are your elders!

Job 15:15-16 NIV Next, Eliphaz repeats his previous insight that God “puts no trust” in his servants, “and his angels he charges with error.” (Job 4:18)

God takes a dim view of his angels who were created with mightier powers and better qualities than man, so how can man expect any greater consideration?

This line of reasoning rephrases Satan’s own complaint against the Lord. I was the most beautiful creature of all — I was anointed as a guardian cherub. Every precious stone adorned me… But I was driven from the mount of God — I, the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty… (Ez 28:12-17) —If God would do this to me, the highest angel, then he would surely do it to you, a mere man. Thus we detect the influence of Satan in the discourse of Eliphaz.

Satan wants us to identify in his rebellion against God and to doubt our prospects for salvation. Man needs assurance of salvation and to know that God is love. We must minister in this way to those in deep distress.

Job 15:17-30 NIV Job had pointed out that the evil are not always hounded by God (Job 12:6), but Eliphaz thinks differently. The evil man is a marked man and will be punished. In fact the two would agree: evil men are not always promptly punished, but in time, they will be. Arguments cause us to bicker over things about which we agree.

Job 15:31-35 NIV Eliphaz has begun to view Job as a reprobate.

In Proverbs we read that the wounds of a friend are faithful (Prov 27:6), but here we see that they can be deadly and cruel. We also read in Proverbs: The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear? (Prov 18:14)

Will Job collapse under Eliphaz’s tirade? Stay tuned.

Contending with God

Job Sees The Light - Fifteenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 14:1-2 NIV Job, in Chapter 14, strives with God. He will not address his friends at all.

Job reminds God, the Creator, what sort of creature man is. He is mortal, born of a woman, not sprung from the head of God. He is flesh, of few days, days full of difficulties. He starts life in the grandeur of youth only to fade and wither in old age. He dies.

Job 14:3-6 NIV Would God really interact with such a creature? Wouldn't he consider it a waste of his time? Why apply high expectations to a lowly, laughable bag of bones?

Why unleash trial and judgment on a creature who is at God's mercy? Man, by definition, is imperfect. He is wanting. He is a mixture– impure. And no matter how harshly you deal with him, you can never distill from this polluted creation a purified man. It's impossible. Not even you can do it, God!

Job feels that God has been overzealous with his faithful servant and needs to recognize the error of his ways. Stop bearing down on this broken man!

Job 14:7-12 NIV It is possible for a dead tree to revive, but a dead man, no. Not until a different time, a new day when the heavens have disappeared: Then man will be roused from sleep of death. A day of resurrection will come! Commentators agree that the resurrection is in view here; Job envisions it in his extreme misery.

Job 14:13 NIV Yes, this is actually what God will do. As surely as spring follows winter, so will the Lord remember his children, and at a set time.

The resurrection is a good hope, but better still is the wonder of interaction with God and the experience of his lovingkindness in this life. This is greatly to be desired.

Job 14:14-17 NIV Job is looking toward a day of restoration when things will be back to normal, and he will not be under God's magnifying glass.

Job 14:18-22 NIV Job was a mountain of a man, but God’s torrents wore him down. God does not even care whether a man and his sons remain in contact, Job reflects. He reduces a man to inner pain and aloneness. God, you have destroyed my hope! Shame on you! says Job, in effect.

Before we backslide to doubt and fury against God, we must run to him for strength. “We hide from God in God.” Trust in the Lord no matter what appearances are. The one who feels far from God must chose to advance deeper in to Him.

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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