Bildad answered Job saying that dominion and fear are with God. God makes peace in His high heaven. Is there any number of 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? Behold, even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in His eyes; how much less man, who is a maggot, the son of man, who is a worm!
Bildad fails in his execution/application of seeking to defend a clear biblical truth. He’s right that God is righteous and sovereign. He’s right that no human being can be compared to God. He’s right that no man can be in the right, and no person born of woman can be pure. He’s right that man is a maggot, the son of man, is a worm (yet still made in the image of God). He has a clear doctrine of the depravity of man. He’s correct that in and of himself, mankind cannot be righteous and pure before God. But he doesn’t have a category for a righteousness that isn’t dependent upon sinful men in and of themselves, but an alien righteousness outside of themselves. In Bildad’s attempt to defend God from Job’s laments he displays his ignorance of how God works and wrongly attempts to constrain God’s power, ultimately limiting God’s sovereignty. Sadly, in zeal for apologetics (making a defense) of God and seeking to correct others we too can wrongly put blinders on as we consider one of God’s attributes, neglecting and even negating His others. When we do this it can be easy to draw conclusions and make applications that are simply wrong half-truths. In Bildad’s case he fails in his “doctrine of God” because he neglects the fact that God is able to declare an unrighteous people to be righteous by the gift of faith He gives to them (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23). God gives His people the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-10) in the Messiah/Christ, and it’s by that gift that He declares an unrighteous people righteous. And by their being united to God through Christ by faith they receive God’s Holy Spirit by which they are enabled to live a life of pursuing pure and righteous lives. Bildad’s instinct is good that no one is righteous, no not one (Psalm 14:1, 3; 143:2; Romans 3:10), but he neglects the clear teaching from God’s Word that there is such a thing as a “generation of the righteous” (Psalm 14:5). This is a people who are declared righteous by faith (justified) in the promised offspring of Abraham (the seed of Eve and King from David’s lineage), Jesus Christ. And this righteous people live righteously in obedience to God’s Word, but that righteousness in the life of the believer is always ultimately attributable to God, not men. Yet, by faith in what Jesus Christ has done (in Job’s case, faith in what the offspring/Messiah would do) God enables us to pursue to live pure lives of righteousness in obedience to God’s Word. The God that Bildad proclaims is a God in whom there is no way of salvation, and this is not the God of the Hebrew Scriptures. Bildad’s doctrine of God leads to an impotent God who is unable to glorify Himself in the salvation of worms by faith in the Son of Man, born of the virgin Mary to the praise of His glorious grace. Bildad’s doctrine of God leads to the conclusion that God isn’t able to declare a people righteous (justification) and then grow them in holiness (sanctification). Praise God Bildad’s half-truth is wrong.