Bildad didn’t say much, but his words cut like a knife. In essence: “Your kids deserved what they got.”
The pounding Job receives is just getting worse. Already he’s said “I despise my life.” In chapter 10 he begins with “I loathe my life” and the ruthlessness of his friends has apparently infected him for he accuses God favoring the schemes of the wicked while oppressing Job. He pictures God as just looking for an occasion to beat up on him and while the accusation becomes more pronounced later, Job hints that God is unjust; God knows Job is not guilty of crimes worthy of the judgment he’s receiving. “Why would you let me be born if you were just going to treat me this way?” (see verse 18).
And God is silent.
God’s silence does not mean God isn’t listening. God’s silence does not mean God is not there. God’s silence does not mean that God is unjust (though, for Job, and probably us, it feels that way).
At issue for Job (and us all) is how we will handle the silence.
We could, I suppose, just walk away. Who would blame us?
But where would we go? The misery would not be lessened. The troubles will not go away. No matter the silence, our only source of help is God, as it was Job. For all his complaining, Job sticks within God’s hearing. The book of Job is testimony to the fact that God is listening.