Bildad is the traditionalist. He speaks again now and makes it clear that he cannot tolerate anything but a “black and white” world. There are no grey areas. It’s obvious to Bildad that people suffer because of their own wickedness and Job’s anger and refusal to acknowledge his sin is evidence against him of his wickedness. Bildad seems to believe, ask Konkel observes, “the world is not a safe and stable place if we allow it to be mucked up with gray.”

Good guys and bad guys are always easy to distinguish. The good guys wear white hats and ride on white horses. The bad guys wear black hats and ride black horses. The characters in the old westerns were all simple. There was never any confusion in Gene Autry, or Roy Rogers, or The Lone Ranger. Unfortunately, life is really not like that at all. There is no such thing as a simple character. Everyone is complex, and life is complex, and God deals with each person in a complex way.

We just don’t know enough to judge others. We cannot put ourselves in God’s place in the life of others. The disciples saw the blind man as having brought on his own suffering because of his own sins or possibly even the sins of his father. But Jesus saw him entirely differently. Rather than an object to be used in a debate about retribution theology, Jesus saw him as an opportunity for God. Why was he blind? So God could show the world His power.

Max Lucado says not only do we not know enough in general or about the individual involved, we are also ignorant about the future. “Dare we judge a book while chapters are yet unwritten? Should we pass a verdict on a painting while the artist still holds the brush? How can you dismiss a soul until God’s work is complete?” Jesus said not to judge other people, and you will not be judged. Don’t accuse others of being guilty, and you will not be accused of being guilty. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. He also said the opposite: if you don’t forgive, you will not be forgiven.


“What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true.  I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; only trouble comes.” (Job 3:25-26)