Job 8 has friend two coming out swinging. Bildad rebukes Job and tells him that if he were righteous, God would be blessing and defending him. Bildad comes to the defense of Eliphaz. Bildad sees things as black and white and comes across as somewhat harsh and no nonsense. He accuses Job of being full of wind. “How long will you say these things, and the words of your mouth be a great wind”? God is never wrong, so Job must be. Bildad believes in the justice of God, so Job has to be guilty of something.
Or at least connected to some who are guilty. Bildad throws the death of Job’s kids in his face – not exactly a compassionate and supportive approach. He basically says they got what they deserved, and now Job is getting the same. Then after tearing Job down, Bildad encourages him to repent and return to God. “If you will seek God and plead with the Almighty for mercy, if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and restore your rightful habitation”. I can just imagine Job getting worked up by the way Bildad is talking with him.
Bildad then tells Job to check out the wisdom of the past. “For inquire, please, of bygone ages, and consider what the fathers have searched out”. If you don’t believe me, see what God has done before. Typically good wisdom, except in this case, Job’s situation is not like anything that we’ve seen before or after in scripture. Bildad does give Job a pass on not knowing why things were the way they were. “For we are but of yesterday and know nothing, for our days on earth are a shadow”. After all, we’re humans and don’t know everything, so your foolishness has an excuse.
Bildad then turns to trying to show cause and effect in Job’s case. Because of what you have done, you are receiving this treatment. He begins with the papyrus and uses it to illustrate the reality that without water, it won’t grow. He further explains that it is fragile and its flower withers faster than any other plant. Bildad applies that illustration to Job’s life. He’s dead wrong based on what we know is happening, but based on what he and his two buddies knew this seemed to be the case. Job was a sinning, shallow hypocrite and had no real faith and trust in God. Totally misplaced words, but it is what seemed right to the trio of friends around Job.