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Job 18, Bildad Speaks

Thursday, July 21 (July 19 – July 23 Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer)

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Job 18, Bildad Speaks

Ancient texts have the ability to speak to us today in that they clearly communicate the human condition. Bildad tries desperately to convince Job that Job has chosen the better path, regardless what has become of him.

Bildad (Hebrew: בִּלְדַּד‎‎ Bildaḏ, "Bel has loved"), the Shuhite, was one of Job's three friends who visited the patriarch in the Old Testament Book of Job. He was a descendant of Shuah, son of Abraham and Keturah (Genesis 25:1 - 25:2), whose family lived in the deserts of Arabia, or a resident of the district.

Bildad, as Job’s friend, tries to console him with words. His efforts are none too successful. However, the content he lays out for Job speaks of what horrors are to befall the wicked.

The larger question that the writer of Job is addressing is why do bad things happen to both evil but also good people. Bildad, Job, and the other two friends don’t seem to come to any answer. But I’d like to believe that people want to be good, not for some reward they may inherit, but out of doing good for the benefit of others. Period.

Life is often difficult. The Book of Job lays out life exactly how each of us experiences it. Sometimes, that has to be good enough. If anything, it encourages the faithful to continue exploring the question, and of course, simply knowing that God will deliver, eventually.

Daily Reading for Today: Job 18

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered: “How long will you hunt for words? Consider, and then we shall speak. Why are we counted as cattle? Why are we stupid in your sight? You who tear yourself in your anger— shall the earth be forsaken because of you, or the rock be removed out of its place?

“Surely the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of their fire does not shine. The light is dark in their tent, and the lamp above them is put out. Their strong steps are shortened, and their own schemes throw them down. For they are thrust into a net by their own feet, and they walk into a pitfall. A trap seizes them by the heel; a snare lays hold of them. A rope is hid for them in the ground, a trap for them in the path.

Terrors frighten them on every side, and chase them at their heels. Their strength is consumed by hunger, and calamity is ready for their stumbling. By disease their skin is consumed, the firstborn of Death consumes their limbs. They are torn from the tent in which they trusted, and are brought to the king of terrors. In their tents nothing remains; sulfur is scattered upon their habitations. Their roots dry up beneath, and their branches wither above. Their memory perishes from the earth, and they have no name in the street. They are thrust from light into darkness, and driven out of the world. They have no offspring or descendant among their people, and no survivor where they used to live. They of the west are appalled at their fate, and horror seizes those of the east. Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly, such is the place of those who do not know God.”