Next, Bildad the Shuhite speaks up. He asks Job how long he’ll continue talking like this, his words “a great wind.” Does God ever pervert justice or fail to do what’s right? He tells Job that if Job seeks God and is innocent, then surely God will restore Job to his rightful place, making the rest of his life better than the beginning.
Bildad begins his first speech. Unlike Eliphaz, he doesn’t hesitate to criticize Job right from the start. He basically accuses Job of just blowing hot air and doubting God’s justice. Like Eliphaz, he thinks Job’s situation is ultimately a simple matter: if Job is truly innocent in God’s sight, then things will turn out fine for him.
Bildad tells Job that he should consider the wisdom of past generations. Papyrus can’t grow without a marsh, and reeds can’t grow without water—otherwise, they will wither. It’s the same with the lives of those who forget God—their hope fails, and their confidence is like a spiderweb. God would never reject someone who is blameless. If Job is righteous, God will still grant Job laughter and joy, and Job’s enemies will be shamed.
Bildad continues to urge Job to look to traditional wisdom for answers. Even nature shows how these things work—people who don’t look to God will not thrive, just as fragile plants can’t survive without water. Bildad implies that this is why Job is suffering. Again, it’s not that the conventional wisdom he cites is absolutely wrong; but Bildad assumes that it can be applied to Job’s life like a tidy formula.