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Bildad steps into the ring. Coached by Eliphaz at the beginning of the second round, Bildad launches a furious burst of invective against the wicked. The wicked deserve all they’re going to get; and more.
It’s a simple-minded and single-minded sermon. There are, so Bildad would argue, just two groups in the world, the righteous and the wicked. And the wicked have had it!
They live in moral and spiritual darkness; they are trapped by their own deceits; they live with terrors; they are hungry and sick; they’re judged by Death; they are soon forgotten; they have no descendants; we are appalled at their fate, but their fate is the inevitable and just conclusion. “Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly, such is the place of those who do not know God.” (v21)
And that’s you, Job!
And on a television sit-com comedy, we would have Job raise his eyebrows in mock astonishment and offer a, “Who, Moi?”
But this is no sit-com. This is no comedy. This is a brutal religious conflict, and an intensely personal one too. Little surprise, then, that Job is tormented by these endless and increasingly devastating attacks. How can he survive the onslaught? How can he persist in clinging to any insistence of innocence?
Then what about us? What do we do when we are being hammered by a friend or a family member who’s intent on destroying us spiritually?
Father God, we know that whether we are wicked or righteous is not as simple as it seems; that our wickedness is often redeemed by our goodness and that our righteousness is often spoiled by our wickedness. Help us to get it right. Help us not to run to judgment of either ourselves or others. But help us at the same time to “clean up our act.”