Job Appeals for Mercy (Job 7) Job becomes less defensive and more contemplative in this chapter. He reflects upon how short and toilsome life is, and how the days and nights mesh into a weary routine in which he finds no relief. Scripture urges such thoughts in order to engender humility and spirituality. The brevity of life leads us to ponder our place in eternity and our need for God's mercy. Job appeals to his friends for consideration based on the thought that this may be the last time they see him. If we would think this way, surely our relationships would be transformed for the better. Job addresses God and asks why God will give him no relief -- and why God would take such a harsh interest in him in the first place. As with many of the Psalms, such expressions of suffering and abandonment have a Messianic dimension.
Bildad Appeals to Tradition (Job 8) Bildad is a new voice but does not introduce a new argument. He blames Job for his suffering based on a simplistic, moralistic interpretation of God's providence. He bases his argument on the authority of tradition and the wisdom of ancient men. Bildad's argument shows us the inherent danger of dogmatizing tradition, which, even if its source is good, can be tainted with error or easily misconstrued. The uncritical appeal to tradition is still a hallmark of false doctrine. The basic premise, that suffering is always retributive, is false. Scripture alone shows us how to view the harder elements of life in faith.