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.