Bildad done good . . . though he didn’t even realize it. Asking the right questions is a big part of getting to the right answers. And Bildad asks a good one, in fact, he asks two real good ones. What he didn’t realize though is that he already knew the answer. What he was missing was the “on earth as in heaven” part.
Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said: “Dominion and fear are with God; He makes peace in His high heaven. Is there any number to His armies? Upon whom does His light not arise? How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure?”
(Job 25:1-4 ESV)
Bildad is about done with Job. He and his friends have relentlessly been trying to “comfort” Job by connecting Job’s suffering with what must be Job’s sin. You must have done something wrong, they argue, why else would a just God allow you to go through what you’re going through? But Job will not come down from his high horse. God is righteous, Job acknowledges, but so am I . . . let me talk to Him and we’ll settle all this.
And so, Bildad tries to get a last word in . . . tries to make his final argument. Pretty simple really, how can anyone born of woman be righteous or justified before God? How can anyone who is but a maggot or worm (a bit overly dramatic, I think) next to a holy God (25:6), be clean and pure in His sight?
Good questions. Both of them. That’s the mystery of the ages. The irreconcilable dilemma since the rebellion of Eden.
And Bildad kind of knew the answer though he didn’t quite get the connection or application. How can a man stand before God boldly and confidently in righteousness? Because God is a peacemaker . . . on earth as in heaven.
Bildad argues that God is so awesome–that His dominion is so far-reaching and His presence so dread-inducing–that by the great power of His presence He establishes peace throughout the heavenly realms.
There is no challenging His might. There is no countering His will. God is god above all things. He is Sovereign over all creation, celestial and terrestrial. His dominion is without exception. Thus, He is the peacemaker of heaven through the power of His very person. So Job, argues Bildad, how are you to stand before such a God in righteousness and purity?
But that’s the answer, isn’t it? The God who “makes peace in His high heaven” by His very presence is the same God who has brought peace on earth through His divine presence. God in flesh. Immanuel.
How can someone be clean before God? By being cleansed of their unrighteousness through the once-for-all atoning sacrifice–Jesus, the Lamb of God, sent from heaven to earth that He might take away the sin of the world. How can someone be in the right before God? By being robed in God’s own righteousness. The Father’s holy nature and character imputed to redeemed men and women as the Spirit of God infuses within them the perfect, spotless life of the risen Son of God. And thus, He who makes peace in His high heaven, also brings peace to earth.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace . . .
(Ephesians 2:13-14a ESV)
For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.
(Colossians 1:19-20 ESV)
Good questions Bildad. Great reminders this morning. The right focus to have as we enter into this Advent season.
Because to us a child is born, because to us a son is given, God has done on earth as in heaven. He who makes peace in His high heaven has made possible peace on earth. The Prince of Peace has come.
What wondrous grace. To Him be all the glory.