This brings us to cycle one, round two, and the speech from Bildad and Job’s response. Bildad picks up where Eliphaz left off. Utterly insensitive to Job’s lament and his defense against Eliphaz’s accusation, Bildad doggedly returns to the theme of divine justice, even calling Job a windbag in Job 8:2:14
“How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind.”
For Bildad the issue is very straight-forward. There are two kinds of people–those who are blameless and those who are wicked. God reveals who is who through blessing or curse. And so in verses 3-7, Bildad makes his case, only instead of accusing Job of a secret sin, he accuses Job’s children of sinning.
“Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right? When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin. But if you will look to God and plead with the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your rightful place. Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.”
These words must have cut Job to the quick, since he regularly made burnt offerings on behalf of his children. Bildad’s words are not only cruel, they are dead wrong. Notice how his speech ends. Job’s own illness has not yet proved fatal, so he still has time to repent and plead with God to spare his life.
Perhaps aware of the stinging nature of his words, Bildad offers a rather weak attempt in 8:20-22 to offer Job words of cheer, but these words bite as well.
“Surely God does not reject a blameless man or strengthen the hands of evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Your enemies will be clothed in shame, and the tents of the wicked will be no more.”
The problem is that God does not reject the blameless, yet God has apparently rejected Job. Therefore, Job must not be blameless. Again, the implication is obvious. Job must repent of whatever sin he has committed!