by Jerry Vines

God, Dust and a Tombstone
Jerry Vines
Job 18-19

His friends will accuse Job and then, Job will answer them. In the opening dialogues that were going on between them as they were dealing with the problem of Job's tragedy and Job's suffering. They are rather civil and somewhat polite in what they have to say to him, but as the controversy continues and as they talk with one another and the heat rises and the anger builds they become more and more caustic and hateful and belligerent in what they have to say. We can really see this in the words of Bildad in the 18th chapter as he steps to the stage again and he begins to speak. Bildad was the traditionalist. He's the one who had all the pious platitudes. He's the one with the slick saying. He, along with his other two friends, have come to a belief that faith can be reduced to a formula. They have a very simple answer to the suffering that Job is experiencing.

Here's the way they put it. They said that all suffering is caused by sin. Number two, Job is suffering and therefore the conclusion is that Job is a sinner. He has done something, he has sinned, and made this possible. So, this is the basic premise. They have reduced faith to a formula. Now they have taken this formula and turned it into a system. The problem is that Job just doesn't fit their system and he is unwilling to agree with the charges which they make against him.

So, Bildad snarls in verse 2, "How long will it be ere ye make and end of words? mark, and afterwards we will speak." He is saying to him, "Why don't you just shut up. Be sensible and we can talk." He's getting very sarcastic and ugly. Down in verse 4 he says to Job, "He teareth himself in his anger (talking about Job); shall the earth be forsaken for thee?" He is saying, "Do you want the world redesigned to suit you? Do you think that God is going to rearrange the whole universe in order to accommodate you? Do you think God is going to change ...

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