Job 8:11 Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water?
12 Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb.
13 So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish:
14 Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web.
15 He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.
16 He is green before the sun, and his branch shooteth forth in his garden.
17 His roots are wrapped about the heap, and seeth the place of stones.
18 If he destroy him from his place, then it shall deny him, saying, I have not seen thee.
19 Behold, this is the joy of his way, and out of the earth shall others grow.
20 Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers:
21 Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.
22 They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nought.
Bildad was very good at looking at common things. He asked two rhetorical questions in verse 11. We know that a rush grows in the swamp and if the swamp dries up, the rush will dry up as well. It needs its feet wet all the time. The flag is also a reference to a marshy grass. These plants need wet ground. They need to be a ground that is saturated.
In verse 12 Bildad continued to speak of the fragile nature of these plants. They dry out very quickly. It is interesting that Bildad classified these plants as herbs. We do not generally think of those plants as herbs.
In verse 13 and a few verses further Bildad brings this analogy to bear upon Job. He assumed Job was like this bulrush that was without water. He was withering away because he lacked the water of life. He was guilty of sin and not willing to acknowledge that and thus his life was being destroyed. Bildad talked of the hope that Job should have and did not have because of his sin. He also referred to Job’s life as that of a spider’s web. We know that the spider’s web can hold up the spider and it is strong enough to catch insects in it. However, it is not that difficult for us to tear down a spider web. We do not like to get it into our faces, etc., but it is not that strong to us.
It is true that we need to be drinking from the “Living Water” which is Jesus Christ. Without knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, man’s life is useless. The mercy of God allows ungodly people to do well in this world. God allows the devil to influence lost sinners in many different ways. Jesus spoke of the wealthy farmer who had a good crop and did not know what to do with his abundance of grain. He decided to tear down his barns and build bigger. He thought he could sit back and live in luxury off the abundance of crops. Jesus called this man a fool. He only looked at this life. He failed to consider eternity.
Bildad was wrong in his assessment. He was the one in trouble with God, not Job. Bildad and his two friends were not drawing from the Living Water. They were receiving their directions from the devil.
In verse 15 he referred to Job’s life as that of a house that cannot stand. Bildad, as Eliphaz before him, was convinced that Job’s suffering was of his own making. There was no other option in his mind. He was so sure that he knew what was going on even though he had nothing to back up what he believed.
That is the wickedness of false religion. It pulls some truths together and comes to a completely wrong conclusion but because there are some truths there, many people blindly fall for the tricks of the false teachers. They are blinded by their unwillingness to trust in the true God. Job was being frustrated by these men and yet he had nowhere to go to get away from them. He needed time to think on the things of God, but these men were trying to clutter up his mind with their false ideas.
Bildad made it sound like Job’s life was a complete failure. He made it sound as though Job just needed to do as they were telling him and things would be so much different. Job’s three friends could be thankful for the mercy of God. They could be thankful that they had a good measure of health. They were in far worse shape than Job was. Their depravity was of far greater concern than Job’s boils. Job was a saved man. He was going to be with the Lord when he died. These three friends were corrupt and evil. They had no shame.
In verse 20 Bildad stated that God will not cast away a perfect man. The word translated as “perfect” means to be “complete and undefiled”. It is true that God would not cast away such a man. Bildad assumed he and his two friends were such people. They assumed Job was far from that.
The second part of that verse shows us what Bildad thought of Job. He believed Job was an evil doer, and that was why, in his evil mind, God was not taking these boils away from Job. We need to remind ourselves that Job’s suffering was not a judgment from God; rather it was an affliction from the devil. It was the wickedness of the devil to try to break down a man of integrity. God was showing the devil that a man of integrity will stand. He may wobble for a time, but he will not be shattered.
In verse 21 Bildad suggested that if Job would get right with God, God would fill his mouth with laughing and his lips with joy. God would soon do this, but not as Bildad suggested.
In verse 22 Bildad was describing himself and his two friends. They hated Job. They were slandering a man of God without cause. They would be clothed with shame soon. They should have been clothed with shame now, but their pride would not allow them to be ashamed. It is true that the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nought.
There have been many wicked people who have died and gone to hell. Their place has either been sold to someone who did not care and it became rundown and worthless, or it was destroyed by fire or a storm. It is always important to be careful to seek to make a right assessment of what is going on. Those who are on the outside looking in need to be careful to have the facts before jumping to their own conclusions.
In John 9 Jesus’ disciples were sure that either the blind man’s parents or the blind man himself were guilty of some sin. They did not know which one, but they asked Jesus to give them an answer based on their false assumption. Jesus corrected their thinking. Even Jesus’ disciples had corrupt thinking in their background. It is far more common to develop and learn wrong thinking than to have right thinking. We need God to give us that humility that is necessary to learn and develop right thinking.
Christians need to check their thoughts carefully. Do they have the facts? Are they sure they know what they are talking about? If sin needs to be addressed, then fine. However, don’t allow the devil to puff you up with pride and assume that you know better than the person you think you want to help. Be sure you are walking in the wisdom of the Lord, and not the folly of the devil.
There are many people that need the help of a God-fearing person. Be sure you are such a person first of all, and then God can direct you in your thinking and your responses.