I’m pretty sure that if Bildad was my friend, that friendship would’ve ended with this speech of his.
He starts off by saying, in essence, “Are you through yet? You are talking nonsense.”
Granted, I’m not in Job’s position right now, but I was, to a lesser extent a couple years ago. I’ll get to that in a minute.
But my goodness gracious! What a terrible way to begin, when your “friend” is sitting there covered in ashes, with sores all over his body, having lost everything but his wife and his life.
Talk about kicking a guy when he’s down. I’m wondering if there was some jealousy going on with these three friends. Job had been the richest guy around, with a wonderful family and an all-around good life. Maybe these guys were jealous of Job. And now that it’s all gone, maybe they’re feeling a bit smug. Maybe they’re thinking, “I knew it was too good to be true. I knew Job just lucked into that life. And now God is evening the score. Job thought he was so good. Ha! How does it feel to be down in the pits? Huh, Job?”
So this guy, Bildad now says, “Your children sinned against God, so He punished them.”
Ok. You can say what you want about me, but if you attack or accuse my kids I’m coming after you. Especially when they’re sick.
A couple years ago, my 21 year old middle son Steven came down with an extremely bad case of ulcerative colitis. It was so bad the gastroenterologist that first saw Steven said it was the worst case he had ever seen.
For those of you that have heard this story, don’t worry. I’m not going to tell the whole ordeal here. Stick around.
Long story short, shortly after having been diagnosed, Steven suffered a perforated colon. The UC had gotten so bad that the contents of his colon began leaking into his abdomen. He woke us up at about 2 in the morning in extreme pain. By now he had already lost 30 or so pounds in just a matter of weeks, and he was extremely weak.
So we rushed him to the hospital, and within an hour or two he was in an operating room having his colon removed. The infection in his abdomen was so bad that he ended up being on round the clock IVs of four different high powered antibiotics for something like seven months. It took nearly ten months for him to return to work.
That first night in the waiting room, while Steven was being operated on, LeeAnn and I cried out to God, asking him to spare our son. We had no idea what the outcome would be, but we knew that Steven’s life was in His hands.
Friends and family came to be with us as we waited. And believe me when I say that if one of them had said what Bildad said to Job, that would’ve been the last words ever between us. They would be out of our lives.
Of course Steven is not perfect, but he is a good young man who loves the Lord. To accuse him of suffering some kind of punishment from God because of some moral failing would’ve been beyond the pale.
Thankfully, we have a wonderfully loving and supportive family and that sort of thing didn’t happen. All through the ordeal with our boy, they were supportive in a thousand different ways, as was our astounding church family. They were truly what the New Testament church is supposed to be.
We are grateful that God has restored Steven’s health. He’s back to work and living the life of a newlywed. Actually he and his lovely bride Tarynne are quickly coming up on their first anniversary.
Yes, God heard our prayers and spared Steven, but I’m very aware that not every situation has the same outcome. When I was sixteen I had a sixteen year old girlfriend who was diagnosed with cancer and exactly one month later was gone. She was very well known, and there were thousands of people praying for her, including her extremely devoted and doting parents. But for some reason, God did not choose to heal her.
Does that mean God was not good in that situation? Of course not. God does not change. God is always good. God is love. And His plans are seldom revealed to us. Like Job did, on that day that he lost everything, the appropriate response is still to praise Him.
What do you think? Have you suffered a great loss? What did that do to your relationship with God? Did it cause you to doubt God? Did you question Him? Did you ask, “Why me?”.