Job Chapter Eight, The Voice Of Tradition...

In our study of Job chapter eight, we look at the fact that tradition is not a good substitute for wisdom from God. We will look at the words of Job's second "friend" as they continue to debate the nature and solution to Job's current situation.

Job 8:1

"Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:" NIV translation

Now, we are introduced to Bildad whose name means "confusing love" or "Bel has loved" and, as we will see, this was truly a man that was confused about the nature of God. He was a descendant of Shuah which was a son from the marriage of Abraham and Ketura (after the death of Sarah) and they lived in the Arabian desert areas. 

We also see (in Genesis 25) that Abraham had sent the children from this marriage away to the east. They must have come under the influence of the pagan gods of Babylon as Bel was the name of one of the them.

Once again, we are reminded of the fact that we must be careful about who we allow to give us advice. As we shall see, Bildad did not truly know God but, in fact, was leaning on traditions that had been passed down to him.

Job 8:2

"'How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind.'" NIV translation

Evidently, Bildad was younger and less patient than Eliphaz as he jumps right into the attack on Job by basically calling him a windbag. He was telling Job that he was using an abundance of words to cover up the facts concerning his present situation.

Job 8:3

"'Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?'" NIV translation

In chapter seven, we saw that Job had implied that God was being unjust in His treatment of Job. Here, Bildad defends the justice of God and his words are true but we are still reminded of the fact that Job's current situation was not the result of judgment from God. Although they did not know what was going on in the spiritual realm, they never considered that fact. Eliphaz did not consider it because of his past experiences while Bildad did not consider the possibility because his ancestors had never told him that it was a possibility. This is a reminder to us that, not only are our personal experiences limited when it comes to the ways of God, but those of our ancestors were as well.