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Job 8 - Playing the Blame Game - Are you a builder or a blamer?
Themes - Suffering, Accusations, Blame, Assumptions, Sin
Are you a builder or a blamer?
When I was a kid, I remember my Mum coming to me and blaming me for something I had not done. Mostly when she came to me with punishment I deserved it, but not this time. She was so sure that I was the culprit. In the end there was nothing I could say or do to convince her that I had not committed the act (I donít even know what it was now). I have always remembered the false accusations of wrongdoing and being helpless to defend myself. I forgive you Mum! What can I say. I was innocent for once.
Bildad the Shuhite (some people say that he was the smallest man in the Bible) made the same sort of accusations to Job. Bildad the Blamer. This is Jobís so called friend, who has his 2 fangs worth of venom to bite with, in the guise of helping Job.
Remember that Job has just lost his family in tragic circumstances and on top of that is now covered in sores, itching like crazy, no appetite, canít sleep, hallucinating, maggots on his flesh, in agonizing pain and generally experiencing extreme suffering. Satan is given full reign and Job is barely alive.
So what does Bildad do? He accuses Job of sin and suggests that he repents. Great friend to have. Very comforting and very judgmental. He has no evidence that Job has sinned, except that Job is going through a tough time, so he comes up with the "God is punishing you" scenario.
Bildad is guilty himself. Like a lot of us when we make ill-conceived conclusions about our friends at times, he was not able to see the heavenly battle going on over Job. Now why didnít he just ask God for insight, rather than sling his pre-conceived and ill-conceived notions of Job deserving everything he got? Because we are all too willing to make up our mind about someone when they are down in their circumstances. What sort of assumptions and judgments do you make about the homeless and the poor?
Bildad says that even the ancestors with any nouse would agree that suffering is the result of sin. He says itís all about cause and effect. Papyrus canít grow without water and neither can someone who leaves God out of the equation of their lives experience blessing. Now on one level heís right, but this truth doesnít apply to Job. Job has trusted God, and refuses to sin against God in all this.
Bildad continues to fire his poisonous arrows. He says God wonít cast away the blameless and since He has obviously cast you out, then you must not be blameless. What he fails to realize is that God has called Job "blameless" on 2 occasions so far. Hey Bildad, get your facts straight before going in with both guns blazing! Hey Christian, before you accuse others, make sure you go to God first and ask Him to give you an understanding of the person. And if you donít have any facts, donít make the accusations. Far from helping, it will just make increase the pain for that person.
God bless you Church as you refuse to make up your mind about someone until you have seen them through the eyes of the Cross. Be a builder not a blamer.
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