What did Bildad mean when he said to Job, “If he is destroyed from his place, then it will deny him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’?” What came to my mind is what happens when I put my hand in a bucket of water and then remove it. My hand is removed (destroyed) from its place (i.e., the water), and when it’s gone the water denies the hand has ever been there. When the hand is gone, its place appears to have been left with no impression of it ever being there.  This is your fate, Job, Bildad says, because that’s the fate of all wretched sinners.

Bildad has already asserted that Job’s children have been destroyed because they have sinned.  There will be no record of Job’s ever being on the earth. Job has already expressed his uselessness and hopelessness with similar comments, but he has maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal. Bildad turns his misery back on him by explaining that this is the normal outcome for the wicked. It is your own suffering that condemns you, Job. You lie in this vile dust, Job, having lost everything, because you are a wretched sinner. And the fate of all wretched sinners is the same. Sir Walter Scott describes the fate of the wretched. He writes, “The wretch, concentred all in self, Living, shall forfeit fair renown, And, doubly dying, shall go down To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.” That’s you, Job. 

Well, this may not be a true assessment of Job, but it certainly is of me.

We will later be introduced to a “redeemer” who will intercede for Job. The Psalmist captures the redeemer’s role very well. Psalm 113:7-8 says, “He picks up the poor from out of the dirt, rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash, Seats them among the honored guests, a place of honor among the brightest and best.” In Romans 7, Paul exclaims, “Oh, wretched man that I am, who can deliver me from this body of death?” He goes on, “But thanks be to God through Jesus Christ Our Lord…”

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!

Chuck

“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21)