Bildad's First Speech
After sitting silently for a week and hearing Job and Eliphaz speak, Bildad the Shuhite breaks his silence:
"How long will you speak these things, and the words of your mouth be like a strong wind? 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. If you would earnestly seek God and make your supplication to the Almighty, if you were pure and upright, surely now He would awake for you, and prosper your rightful dwelling place. Though your beginning was small, yet your latter end would increase abundantly" (Job 8:1-7).

With friends like this, who needs enemies?

Bildad labels Job from the beginning as an old wind bag (i.e., "a strong wind"). Bildad affirmed that God knows how to deal with the righteous and wicked. He argues that since God is just He would not make anyone suffer without a good reason. In other words, your children wouldn't have died, Job, if they had not been so wicked!

Bildad subscribes to a very simple type of cause-effect reasoning. The cause is man's sin and the effect is suffering that God inflicts. In logical form: (1) If a man sins, then he will suffer as a result, (2) Job is suffering, and (3) Therefore, Job has sinned. Bildad's reasoning is true sometimes, but certainly not always--and therein lies the problem with his application. He assumes what he does not know, and his assumption about wickedness in Job's life (as well as his children's lives) is completely wrong. He even insults Job by declaring that his beginning "was small" (8:7). A simple reading of Job 1 disproves this statement.

Bildad believes that those of the past have already answered Job's questions. Although wisdom is often found with those of many years, such is not always true (as is the case here).

Bildad begins a series of arguments in 8:11ff designed to demonstrate Job's unrighteousness. Just as plants cannot flourish without water, so neither can a man prosper who forgets God. The hope of an ungodly man is as flimsy as a spider's web. He has nothing to lean on except his false confidence. Bildad believes Job has rebelliously tried to strengthen himself, but he is not well-rooted. He thinks that although Job was once prosperous, he and his wealth have been uprooted due to sin and given to others.

To Bildad it seems obvious that if Job were truly blameless, then God would not treat him this way. Job 8:20-22 - "Behold, God will not cast away the blameless, nor will He uphold the evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, and your lips with rejoicing. Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the dwelling place of the wicked will come to nothing." In other words, just repent Job and everything will turn out better! You'll be laughing and shouting for joy soon if you'd just turn from your sins and confess them!