With this reading, Job’s friends are done with the conversation, but Job is not finished by a long shot. Chapter 26 begins Job’s longest reply yet, to be followed by a new voice; that of a younger man named Elihu.
Bildad’s reply here exhibits his exasperation with Job. It is short and blunt, but it evidences a view of man that is totally out of harmony with biblical truth. Job has been maintaining his innocence. His friends have been supposing his guilt. How could it be otherwise since such bad things have happened to Job? Bildad ends by asserting no one can be as righteous as Job claims because, at heart, mankind has the value of a maggot – a worm.
But Bildad is wrong. God made man in his image. He set him above all His creation, and God expects more of him. The problem is, mankind often imagines himself less than he really is, and whether he really believes he is but a worm, his actions are often as valueless. God has placed humanity in a higher place than that of the field, sky or sea creatures. He expects us to behave in accordance with the stature he has given us and he expects us to view ourselves as He does – made in His image.