Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
8 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
2 “How long will you say these things,
and the words of your mouth be a great wind?
3 Does God pervert justice?
Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
4 If your children sinned against him,
he delivered them into the power of their transgression.
5 If you will seek God
and make supplication to the Almighty,
6 if you are pure and upright,
surely then he will rouse himself for you
and restore to you your rightful place.
7 Though your beginning was small,
your latter days will be very great.
8 “For inquire now of bygone generations,
and consider what their ancestors have found;
9 for we are but of yesterday, and we know nothing,
for our days on earth are but a shadow.
10 Will they not teach you and tell you
and utter words out of their understanding?
11 “Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
12 While yet in flower and not cut down,
they wither before any other plant.
13 Such are the paths of all who forget God;
the hope of the godless shall perish.
14 Their confidence is gossamer,
a spider’s house their trust.
15 If one leans against its house, it will not stand;
if one lays hold of it, it will not endure.
16 The wicked thrive before the sun,
and their shoots spread over the garden.
17 Their roots twine around the stoneheap;
they live among the rocks.
18 If they are destroyed from their place,
then it will deny them, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’
19 See, these are their happy ways,
and out of the earth still others will spring.
20 “See, God will not reject a blameless person,
nor take the hand of evildoers.
21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter,
and your lips with shouts of joy.
22 Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”
Today we read the words of Bildad, Job’s friend who joined two others “to go and sympathize with him and comfort him” (Job 2:11-13). After Job has spoken, expressing his anguish and claiming his innocence to God and to his friends who have seen how great his suffering was, his friends question his integrity. Bildad asserts that Job is suffering as punishment for his sin and questions the uprightness of Job. He believed that for someone to be inflicted as Job had been that there had to be sin at the root of the suffering.
There may be times in our lives that God disciplines us to address sin in our lives. He disciplines those he loves (Hebrews 12:4-11) and there is always a purpose in his discipline: “for our good, that we may share in his holiness”. And there are times that our friends should “gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path” (Gal 6:1). It is those times that we need to confess our sins and repent. This brings hope and draws us closer to God.
But, with Job’s story in mind, it also brings the question: Why do bad things happen to good people? Why would a good and loving God allow a good person to suffer? This could be answered with the question that was posed from Job himself, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” And while to us, who have been provided at the start with the information about God and Satan’s conversation, it doesn’t seem fair. We can only rest in the Lord’s declaration: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,… As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” We can’t comprehend God. We can’t even begin to understand his ways or why he does or allows what he does. And even if he did give us an explanation, we still couldn’t understand. Simply, He. Is. God.
Oh, Holy God, our Lord and our Savior, You are perfect in all your ways. You are just in all that you do. You show love and kindness and goodness and mercy! You, and you alone, are worthy and deserve our complete devotion. Search me and open my eyes to see where I have sinned against you that I may confess and repent. And I know, Lord, that you are faithful and just to forgive my sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Amen
Go with God!