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Counsel Based on Tradition

By Theodore Epp


      Job 8:1-10

      Bildad made no appeal to the revealed will of God but only to whatever wisdom the fathers may have taught.

      He asked if God perverted justice. The answer, of course, is no. Then Bildad used this premise to argue that Job must have lost his children because of some transgression on their part. He also charged Job with lack of purity and uprightness.

      This was little help to a man who, according to Job 1, had offered sacrifices to God just in case his children had offended God in something they had said or done. Then to have them accused of some sin that was so great that they all died because of it was a terrible charge to make.

      The arguments of Bildad were all from appearance and based on suppositions. He used many "ifs." He did not really know, but he supposed many things. This was the way he interpreted the situation, but his interpretation was wrong.

      Christians need to learn to distinguish between facts and how the facts are interpreted. Just because we read something does not mean we may assume that something else is also true.

      Just because one person interprets a set of facts a certain way does not mean that his interpretation is correct. All the facts may not be given. And often the withholding of one essential fact can change the interpretation.

      "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col. 2:8).

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