Next it is Bildad’s chance to turn the knife. He describes Job’s plight and relates it to the punishment of a wicked man. Can Job be any more stricken? His reply begins, “How long will you torment me and crush me with words?” His reply this time focuses on his plight and his desire for vindication after death. “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”
Job also warns his friends, “you should fear the sword yourselves; for wrath will bring punishment by the sword, and then you will know that there is judgment.” They have always assumed that because they are hearty and hail they are righteous. This warning offends Zophar who shows his dismay and launches into a long speech about the fate of the wicked, ending with “The heavens will expose his guilt; the earth will rise up against him. A flood will carry off his house, rushing waters on the day of God’s wrath. Such is the fate God allots the wicked, the heritage appointed for them by God.”
In chapter 21 Job laments the exalted status of the wicked. He is terrified and trembling seizes his body but the wicked live on in luxury. Their wealth and children increase. They do not seem to be punished for their wickedness as Job’s friends have indicated. Job concludes, “So how can you console me with your nonsense? Nothing is left of your answers but falsehood!” If the righteous experience suffering and the wicked live on in prosperity what does that say about the “health and wealth” gospel?