Job 8: Understanding before Judgment
Job’s other friend Bildad decided that it was time for him to start talking in Job 8. Unfortunately for Job, the message was not very much different than what he heard before.
Job 8:2 How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?
Job 8:3 Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?
Job 8:4 If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression;
Job 8:5 If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty;
Job 8:6 If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.
Again, we see a radical misunderstanding of the situation, but there is quite a bit of truth in this passage. God is just, and He does not pervert justice. When people sin, sometimes they do face consequences. If you do seek God for mercy, He will listen and forgive (although He never promises the financial restoration that we hear Bildad discussing at this point).
This is an interesting problem that I think we can all run into particularly when our Christian lifestyle is challenged. People might bring true statements to the table. A popular one is Matthew 7:1.
Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Critics argue that Christians can never make any type of correction because we are not allowed to judge. This statement itself is true, but the understanding of the statement is wrong without context. As the chapter goes on, it becomes clear that if we do judge, we need to make sure that we have our own life in order. We need to deal with the major problem in our own eye first before we can help other people understand that they need the same kind of change. This is a classic proof text.
This is basically the same kind of problem that we saw in Job. There were true statements spoken. Bildad understood quite a bit about the character of God, but he did not understand the situation. He did not understand the greater context (Job did not understand it either), but he was quick to offer an opinion that apparently Job’s children must have done something wrong.
Unintentionally, this kind of fits in really well with Matthew. We need to understand the context and not make blanket judgments. Not only does that kind of behavior violate what Jesus said in Matthew, but it also causes a lot of collateral damage with the person you are misunderstanding. Job did not appreciate being misjudged.