In 5 short verses, Bildad concludes his arguments with a simple assertion that mere humans are only worms compared to God. This, of course, includes himself and his friends. In essence, we are all nothing.
Job replies with thick sarcasm:
How you have helped the powerless!
How you have saved the arm that is feeble!
What advice you have offered to one without wisdom!
And what great insight you have displayed!
Who has helped you utter these words?
And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?
Job’s Final Words to his Friends
I will never admit you are in the right;
till I die, I will not deny my integrity.
I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it;
my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.
Job confesses nothing–he is innocent. After all the talk, all the tough love, Job is unmoved and unable to repent from sin he did not commit.
In verses 13-23, Job describes the fate of the wicked, how God will severely remove them.
He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more;
when he opens his eyes, all is gone.
Job is finished arguing with these three friends. Tomorrow we’ll read Job’s lament as we round the last corner of the story of Job.
His friends showed up, but provided little help. Perhaps, at best, they distracted Job from his misery, his sores and physical pain. What they did accomplish for our sake is to display rather dramatically how not to reach out to friends in trouble. The challenge, of course, is often our friends can’t see their mistakes and a pound of tough-love is indeed in order. It seems the Bible is full of moments when this is the right course of action (e.g., Nathan confronting David, etc.). Perhaps God gives us these words of wisdom to help us weigh our thoughts when reaching out to those in need.