Chapter Eight in the Book of Job is all about Job’s second friend, Bildad the Shuhite’s, response to Job. Like Eliphaz, Bildad’s words are cutting not comforting. In his whole speech, he’s basically accusing Job of being unrighteous. He even goes as far as saying, “Hey what happened was deserved.” Not the time or place, Bildad. However, if we look past his glaringly obvious accusations and apply them in the light of Christ and the mercy that is found at the Cross, we have a better picture of what actually happens in Job’s story, as well as what can happen in our own story.
Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will greatly increaseJob 8:7 AMP
As far as we know, Job was not born into the wealth and status he had when the Book of Job began. He had to come into it. When he lost everything, Job had to rebuild his life from the foundation up. This foundation was not a physical one, but one of being, a spiritual foundation.
Throughout his story, Job doesn’t curse God. The author makes it a point to tell us that. But in his suffering and the following discourse, Job came to know God in a new way. Job’s foundation needed to be rebuilt, cracks had appeared and weeds had started to grow. One example is that he became filled with pride. That pride was not one of humble means, either, and through it he challenges God to speak with him. That was a weed that needed to be removed and the crack it had caused needed to be filled with God. Once Job’s internal foundation was secured again then the life around him could be rebuilt and it was more stable than the life he had before.
Though our beginning is unstable, not found in the firm foundation of Christ but born into the curse of sin, when we come to Jesus then the foundation of our life becomes secure. We start prospering in the ways that truly, eternally matter. Though we have nothing at first, the end we will have everything.
Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the rushes or reed grass grow without water? While it is still green (in flower) and not cut down, Yet it withers before any other plant [when without water]. So are the paths of all who forget God; and the hope of the godless will perish…Job 8:11-13 AMP
However, we cannot grow spiritually without the Living Water. If we do not seek Him past the initial actions of salvation and baptism then the well within us will dry up and we will never grow. Our foundation will become cracked once again, destabilizing all we strive to build.
In this, the only one who hinders our growth is ourselves because we are the one who plugs up the well.
Such are the paths of all who forget God…He can lean on his house, but it won’t stand; he can hold on to it, but it won’t last; [for its destruction will come] like the lush growth of a plant in the sun, its shoots may spread out all over its garden, but meanwhile its roots cause the stone house to collapse, as it seizes hold of the rocks; someone who tears it away from its place denies he has ever seen it.Job 8:13-18 CJB
If we abandon Him, never moving into a greater relationship with and knowing Him, if we live life by our own way, in the end it will all crumble. In the end, it will pass through the fire of testing and there will be nothing left to speak of us or the work we put our hand to. And all that God has called us to, all the blessings that He has stored up for us, will go to another who walks as God calls them to.
The Way of Justice
Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert righteousness?Job 8:3 AMP
Because of Jesus’ actions on the Cross, God deals with us in mercy and grace. However, God does not stand in the way of justice.
If we continue to reject God, there will come a time when we become so consumed by sin and evil that we will no longer be able to be in His presence and He will turn us over to the just consequences of our sin.
If you would [diligently] seek God and implore the compassion and favor of the Almighty…Surely now He will awaken for you and restore your righteous place.Job 8:5-6 AMP
But if we earnestly seek God, repenting in our heart and with our mouth (Rom. 10:9) then He will show us mercy. The just consequences for our sin will be paid for in the death of His Son, Jesus.
The truth is God doesn’t need us, but He does want us.
The same is for us as it was for Job. We might wonder how testing Job is considered just, but it was through these tests that God was able to bring Job’s heart back into correct alignment with His. He was able to remove the weeds that had begun growing in Job’s life and fill the cracks they had caused, stabilizing Job’s life once more. We have to remember a couple of things:
One, God’s ways are not our ways. What we may think as foolish, He sees as wisdom. Sending His Son to die on a cross seems insane to us–seriously, how many of us would send our children, especially an only child to die? Yet Jesus was the only One who could do so and it have the intended consequences. God saw that. So Jesus was sent.
Two, God already knew the outcome of Job’s trial. He already had blessings stored up for Job. Not only physical blessings, but spiritual ones, too. These were not blessings Job would’ve been able to access without first fixing the foundation of his life. It would’ve been too much and what God meant for good could have been used for evil in Job’s life.
God made way for a greater blessing, and brought justice into Job’s life by reimbursing him for all that Satan had taken away.
Are there cracks in your foundation?
We all have weeds in our life and if we don’t address them, they will cause issues in our internal foundation. The first step is to humble ourselves before God.
Ask Him to show you what weeds are growing in your life.
Then ask Him to help you remove those weeds and fill in the cracks they’ve created.
Maybe you need a total foundation renovation. If that’s the case, it’s never too late to ask God for one.
Remember, God is justice. It’s not something He practices, it is literally part of Who He is, His character. But He also accepts us with mercy and grace through the Cross. If you ask Him to come into your life, to perform a total foundation renovation, according to Romans 10:9, He will be true to His Word.