Does God subvert judgment? Or does the Almighty pervert justice? If your sons have sinned against Him, He has cast them away for their transgression. Job 8:3,4
Bildad: Job & his children must have sinned. Job should repent.
Bildad now joins in with a blunt accusation. Surely God does not “pervert justice” (v.2). The death of Job’s children is prima facie* proof that they sinned. God comes to the aid of a “pure and upright” man, and most surely “does not reject a blameless man”. One can almost sense Bildad struggling not to blurt out what his argument obviously implies. Job has sinned, or he wouldn’t be suffering as he is.
“Your children sinned” (8:3-4). Bildad’s view of God is extremely legalistic. Job’s suffering and the death of his children prove that each sinned. There is no room in Bildad’s theology for God’s mercy or grace. It’s all a business transaction. If your balance sheet shows sin, God will get you! Watch out for those who make rigid, simplistic statements about God. A “ 1 + 1 = 2” theology is almost always wrong!
“The former generations” (8:8). Bildad invokes tradition as authority for his views. If a teaching was accepted by the ancients, it must be correct. Our standard must be Scripture itself, not what others have said about it.
8 “For inquire, please, of the former age, And consider the things discovered by their fathers;
8:11-19. Bildad uses illustrations from nature to support his belief that God punishes only the wicked and always rewards the righteous in this life. He falsely deduces that one can always determine the casue by looking at the effect. Oversimplification resulting in inadequate answers is a common error of Job’s counselors.
11 “Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the reeds flourish without water? 12 While it is yet green and not cut down, It withers before any other plant. 13 So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the hypocrite shall perish, 14 Whose confidence shall be cut off, And whose trust is a spider’s web. 15 He leans on his house, but it does not stand. He holds it fast, but it does not endure. 16 He grows green in the sun, And his branches spread out in his garden. 17 His roots wrap around the rock heap, And look for a place in the stones. 18 If he is destroyed from his place, Then it will deny him, saying, ‘I have not seen you.’ 19 “Behold, this is the joy of His way, And out of the earth others will grow.
*Prima facie Latin for “at first sight.” Prima facie may be used as an adjective meaning “sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless disproved or rebutted.” An example of this would be to use the term “prima facie evidence.” It may also be used as an adverb meaning “on first appearance but subject to further evidence or information.” An example of this would be to use the term “prima facie valid.” A prima facie case is the establishment of a legally required rebuttable presumption.