Lent Devotional: Job 8

by Jonathan Haefs

Job 8 (click here)
Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said: 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 have sinned against him, he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression.” (Job 8:1-4)

Bildad’s problem is that he is right! God does not pervert justice! The Almighty does not pervert the right! Bildad’s theology is correct…but he makes the grave mistake of assuming that he can see the whole picture of what is going on with Job and that leads him to horribly, wrongly apply his right beliefs!

Bildad cannot imagine a universe beyond what he can see…a world in which God has more information and wisdom than he does. In his mind Job’s suffering must be direct punishment for some sin or that would make God unjust. This leads him to say foolish things to his suffering friend…such as, “Your kids must have sinned and received what they deserved!”

Could a worse thing be said to this bereaved father? All too often, we have correct beliefs that lead us to say foolish things amidst suffering because we believe we have the full picture when we simply do not. We must always remember there is a heavenly perspective that goes beyond us and we cannot possibly know all that God is doing in any given situation.

Before we attempt to advise anyone who is suffering, we would do well to recall Paul’s words in Romans 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.