The final words of Bildad the Shuhite in Job 18 had to have hurt: “And this is the place of him who does not know God” (Job 18:21b). While he may not have directed them specifically toward Job, the implication was strong enough. Job’s friends had assumed the worst about him, despite offering no evidence of a single wrongdoing (Job 19:1-4). Having thus lost the support of his friends, and yet confident in his innocence, he grew frustrated at his inability to discern the reason why God would allow him to suffer so (Job 19:5-12). In particular, he noted how he no longer could even enjoy human companionship because no one would stand with him, whether friends, servants, or family (Job 19:13-19). Feeling the full effect of his situation and the emotional distance of human kindness, he asked for pity, as the smallest gift another could offer one suffering innocently (Job 19:20-22).
With the loss of not only his worldly goods but also his health, Job felt the ever approaching nearness of death. And it is within this context that he spoke these words: “Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock With an iron pen and lead, forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth” (Job 19:23-25). Above all else, Job was confident he would ultimately be vindicated. How sweet that he longed for his words to his friends to be written for everyone to see throughout all the ages and ultimately for them to be included in Holy Writ! Why did He want them written in stone? Because He had confidence that God Himself would one day set the record straight. He assumed that this would occur long after he himself had passed away, but he anticipated his vindication in the resurrection nonetheless. What hope! What faith! What an example of true patience! Thus, having confidence in the truth and in God’s knowledge and justice, he challenged his friends to prepare themselves for that day (Job 19:26-29).
Christians today do not face the same kind of opposition Job did; however, we still regularly find ourselves derided by people around us and treated as mindless fools who know nothing. And in this we can identify with this great patriarch. The world around us denies God, denies His Word, denies His morality, and denies His people. To them, our confidence in God and the Bible places us in the realm of fools and dreamers, removed in every way from the wisdom of the world to which they have obtained in their postmodern arrogance. They fear a changing climate while we rejoice in the promise of a rainbow. They push an agenda to erase gender while we maintain our confidence that God created us “male and female.” They insist, rather hypocritically, that moral absolutes do not exist while we embrace the beauty of God’s revealed truth (John 17:17). We may never see the day again in our lifetime when truth garners respect and God is honored. Our children may never know a world that at least acknowledges the Word of God or seeks some level of morality by it. Nevertheless, we can still go to bed each night with the quiet confidence that vindication is coming because of this fundamental truth: “My Redeemer lives.”