Sunday, January 16, 2005

Bildad, Take 2: Job 18:1-4

"How long will you hunt for words? Show understanding and then we can talk. Why are we regarded as beasts, as stupid in your eyes? O you who tear yourself in your anger -- for your sake is the earth to be abandoned, or the rock to be moved from its place?" (Job 18:2-4)
Out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks. Here, Bildad shows us some of the issues in his heart.
  1. In Bildad's eyes, Job had become foolish. Yet, instead of helping Job understand and come to grips with what was happening to him, Bildad chides Job for his foolishness. Bildad felt no compassion for Job, after all, Job was the author of his own fate. Bildad basically says that, until Job can get it together and start thinking "rationally", there was little use in talking to him. Bildad saw his responsibility towards Job not in comforting him, but rather in correcting him, and the sooner Job realized this, the sooner Bildad could help "fix" Job.
  2. Bildad was offended at Job's lack of respect for his "wisdom". Sometimes, people who are hurting can also be prickle. But we must remember that, in situations like Job's, it's not about us, it's about the other person. I'm so glad that, when Jesus came to deliver us from our sins, he didn't go home and pout that "His own received Him not." Sometimes it takes sacrifice to help others. Sometimes we need to lay aside our own egos for the sake of others. Like Jesus, we need to be willing to empty ourselves and lay our lives down for our friends.
  3. Bildad saw that Job had become self absorbed. It seemed to Bildad that Job felt that his problems were more important than anything else. He also judged that Job's anger was only making his pain worse. Yet instead of trying to help Job, he was content to merely judge him. Bildad's remedy for what he saw were Job's errors was to shame Job into changing. Yet forgetting all the time that it is not the shaming of the Lord but the kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance.
Jesus said rightly that before we help others we should, "first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye." (Luke 6:42) We must remember that it's not all about us. We must be willing to lay aside our own lives that we might help others. We must genuinely care for the needs of others and not allow our own needs, hurts, and hangups to cloud the issue. After all, it's not all about us.

David Robison

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