Bildad Speaks: Man Cannot Be Righteous
25 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
“Dominion and fear are with God;
he makes peace in his high heaven.
Is there any number to his armies?
Upon whom does his light not arise?
How then can man be in the right before God?
How can he who is born of woman be pure?
Behold, even the moon is not bright,
and the stars are not pure in his eyes;
how much less man, who is a maggot,
and the son of man, who is a worm!”
Job 25 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Sometimes there’s nothing left to say. Sometimes conversations come to an impasse, a screaming halt. It seems the 3 friends of Job have done just that. As with the previous way they responded, each spoke and gave their lofty opinion to which Job countered back. They are running out of fuel as Bildad’s very short response here is the final. More to the point, there is nothing new he states but regurgitates the same philosophy and mindset. On some levels, you could reason Job’s rebuttals have finally silenced them.
There are some people who just like to talk. They talk and talk and talk and never say anything new. I’ve always been amazed at these who seemingly are attempting to care still somehow make a conversation all about them. If anything it’s irritating.
I think there’s much to be said about our being in prayer when we are engaged in conversation especially when it’s a difficult one. As Believer’s our words matter. I have a friend who used to be a police officer. He found himself in all kinds of conversations. He one time told me how whenever he was speaking to someone about a difficult topic he would take a moment and pray for the Holy Spirit to equip him with the words to say in that moment.
This would be smack in the middle of his conversation. His words of wisdom made an impact for me personally. I find myself doing the same many times. I’m praying for the right words to say. I’m praying for knowledge as to if I should open my mouth or not. The way is always clear when I pray about this.
I think if we come into a conversation with an expectation of what we’re going to say – there can be a miss. Sometimes people are not ready to hear what we think is to be said. Sometimes we are off base with our own thinking even. Our words matter.
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy he was challenging him to preach the Word of God boldly. He said:
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”2 Timothy 4:2
Part of being ready in season and out of season is yes to be ready to defend and instruct but also patience plays a large role as well. As my friend who prays continually through his conversations for the Holy Spirit to guide his words and thoughts – try this today. Whatever conversation you may find yourself in, pray for wisdom and discernment and the right words to speak. Ask the Holy Spirit to make it clear to you as to if the timing is right to speak or it is time to simply be silent.
Job 25 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Well, there is not much here that we haven’t already heard. Bildad sums up with “God is holy” and “man is sinful.” Job has heard all of this already but it seems his friends have been worn out by his responses. Since Bildad is basically saying that no one is righteous before God, which is also a biblical theme found in Romans 3 (among other chapters) then does that mean that Job was without sin?
Job was described as blameless and upright man. He feared the Lord, and he served the Lord. But this does not mean he was sinless. When Job talks about how he “doesn’t deserve” the treatment he is getting, he is referring to the fact that he was a righteous man who pursued the Lord with all his heart. Typically, we think of people like that as not enduring horrific suffering like we have seen with Job.
Even though Job was still a sinner despite being upright and righteous, he wouldn’t (in our minds) deserve to be punished with the type of suffering he endured. We tend to put people somewhere on a hierarchy of faith (which is actually judgment) so that we can decide if we think they really deserve what they are getting.
Here is the problem… when we do that, we elevate ourselves to God’s level to evaluate whether or not the person deserves what they are getting and/or whether or not God is being fair to them. In both of these instances, we place our thoughts above God’s thoughts. There is no way we can fully grasp God’s reasons for allowing suffering. We also cannot understand the human heart like God.
The back and forth of Job and his friends has flirted with overruling what God has sovereignly allowed to happen. It’s been said many times in this book, but without knowing the entire situation, his friends have falsely judged Job and failed to relate compassionately to his situation. Job, on the other hand, has questioned God’s motives and demanded to appear before him to plead his case without taking into consideration the bigger picture of what God is allowing to take place.
In both instances, conclusions have been made by viewing the tip of the iceberg. Now, what I don’t want to communicate is that we can never stand up for truth. Certainly, there are times where we must call out truth, and I believe that Scripture and the Holy Spirit play vital roles in that decision. If a tree produces bad fruit, it probably doesn’t have solid roots or nourishment. But what we need to remember is that we cannot rush to judgment in our own wisdom and undermine the bigger picture of what God is doing. We will see how these themes come into their own in the following chapters.