Read Job 25
25 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2 “Dominion and awe belong to God;
he establishes order in the heights of heaven.
3 Can his forces be numbered?
On whom does his light not rise?
4 How then can a mortal be righteous before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?
5 If even the moon is not bright
and the stars are not pure in his eyes,
6 how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot—
a human being, who is only a worm!”
Job 25 marks the last occasion that we hear from Bildad, Eliphaz, and Zophar. Day after day we have read these back-and-forth debates about the situation Job found himself in and this is the finale. In this chapter, Bildad concludes their collective attempt at consoling their friend and trying to explain why all that has happened to Job just happened. While they were well intentioned, we can sense the frustration that Job must have felt. It’s easy to start poking holes in their arguments while reading along ourselves.
Bildad’s final speech was short and straightforward. He has two points he is trying to drive home: God is great and majestic and man is the opposite. Bildad ends on the most depressing note of all of the speeches we read from Job’s friends, concluding with Bildad devaluing the role of humanity to nothing more than a maggot or a worm (an insensitive comment considering Job already told us he was covered in worms in Job 7:5). It is hard for us to know exactly what Bildad was hoping for in this speech. Maybe he just wanted Job to concede defeat and tell Bildad he was right. Maybe he was trying to get Job to his breaking point. Whatever Bildad’s reasoning, his argument is both right and wrong and it is important to put his argument under the microscope to see what we can learn about God and His character in this story.
We can agree with Bildad about the greatness of God. Scripture time and time again reinforces that fact. We can also agree with Bildad about the wickedness of man. From Genesis 3 on, man stumbles to uphold God’s standard time and time again. But where we can disagree with Bildad is about God’s love for people. People, despite their wickedness, aren’t on par with worms and maggots in the eyes of God. God’s love and heart for humanity is displayed all throughout Scripture, but perhaps most prominently in John 3:16-17:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
While Job didn’t have the benefit of that reminder from Scripture, we do today. Let’s live as people who are both aware of our depravity and God’s unending love for us through Jesus today.
- What stands out to you in Bildad’s speech?
- What have you learned from reading all of these back-and-forth dialogues between Job and his friends?
- What does this passage teach you about the character of God? What is one way to apply this text to your life today?
“The best way to help discouraged and hurting people is to listen with your heart and not just with your ears. It’s not what they say but why they say it that is important. Let them know that you understand their pain by reflecting back to them in different words just what they say to you. Don’t argue or try to convince them with logical reasoning. There will be time for that later; meanwhile, patiently accept their feelings—even their bitter words against God—and build bridges, not walls.”–Warren Wiersbe
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