Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: "How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind. Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right? When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin. Job 8:1-4
Sorta some tough words for Job from his good friend Bildad, huh? Hey Job, yeah I know I'm supposed to be your buddy and I'm really here to comfort you, I even have sat with you for 7 days, but let's just be honest here. Your kids, they got their come uppins. What do you expect out of a God of Justice? Death for their sin. If you read further, he not only has dissed Job's dead kids, but he goes on to say that it has to be Job's fault that he is suffering. Ouch.
I had the opportunity to teach from this passage this last week at church to the high school class. I've been pondering it all week even more. Bildad, like so many of us, was simply stereo-typing and not thinking outside his human mind about what happens in Job 1 & 2. He was, as many people did then and even still do so today, basically saying it's karma. Though he was saying from a Jehovah God sense. What goes around comes around. They got what they deserved and Job should just admit it and move on with his life. Jesus refutes this very thing in John 9, when he is asked by his disciples who sinned that caused the blindness of man. The disciples thought it had to be the guy himself or at the very least his parents, but Jesus said neither did. He was blind for the glory of God.
We (I include myself in this completely) must remember that there are consequences for individual sin. You sleep around, well you're more likely to get an STD, have a broken heart, have stress and relationship issues in the future, all kinds of potential fall outs from being promiscuous. If you are greedy, you might step over the people you care about, trying to earn that dollar, and thus damage those relationships or get burned in a raw business deal or even do something illegal and be put in prison for your greed. There are consequences for individual sin - the high schoolers pointed out David's first born dying because of what he and Bathsheba did to Uriah.
But the story of Job illustrates and the story of Jesus illustrates, this is a fallen world. Not only have I sinned, but everyone has sinned, and the original Adam brought that sin into this world. This world is a fallen and broken world even without your individual sin it still would be. It's amazing to me that God, the same just God that Bildad refers to in Job 8, hasn't destroyed it already. He hasn't though. He sent Christ to take on that sin Himself. All that individual sin that Bildad likes to point out to Job as the reason for suffering, Christ takes it on Himself.
So what does Bildad teach me. First, don't be so quick to judge because there could be stuff going on you don't know about. Second, sometimes even when things seem so correct, I should have more tact in comforting my friend and not being so quick to point out it has to be their personal sins that brought a tragedy around them. Finally, he reminds me that God is just. Not only is God just when it comes to my individual sins though, but He is just when it comes to our corporate sin as mankind. That's and that is why Christ died.
Never thought I'd learn so much from a Shuhite did you? I'm finding there is more to the Book of Job than the first couple chapters and the last four.