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Bildad and Zophar’s first speeches: Job 8–11

Lacking in sympathy, Bildad seemed to be that person: the one you avoid because they really know everything. Your troubles must be your own fault in some way, and the Bildads of the world have an explanation ready.

Job 8:3-4 Does God twist justice?  Does the Almighty twist what is right? Your children must have sinned against him, so their punishment was well deserved.

Job‘s response is that he is innocent, but there is no point in arguing with God because you’ll only lose, even if you are blameless. Job identified his most fundamental need:

Job 9:33-35 If only there were a mediator between us,  someone who could bring us together.The mediator could make God stop beating me, and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment. Then I could speak to him without fear,  but I cannot do that in my own strength.

Zophar wasn’t much better, telling Job how great God is. In Zophar’s worldview, Job obviously did something wrong, so Job should just repent and all will be well.

Job 11:3-16 If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you.Then your face will brighten with innocence. You will be strong and free of fear.You will forget your misery;