Exposition: This statement is utterly hopeless without the cross. If God’s justice is as pure and perfect as Bildad has already stated in verses 3-4 then Job must be pure and upright to perfection in order to be restored. That is a standard to high to reach for the human soul. The Gospel slightly edits this statement for us and it makes all the difference. If the cross were included in Bildad’s address it might read, “If you will seek God and plead with the Almighty for mercy, because Christ was pure and upright in your place, then he will rouse himself for you and restore to you a Christ-given habitation.” Over and over the advice of Job’s friends, though containing much truth, fails to comfort because it is missing the cross of Christ.
Application: Christian, do not enter God’s presence pleading your own righteousness. In doing so you lay out the case for your own condemnation. Self-righteousness weighs itself by the law of God and leads to hopelessness. Enter pleading the righteousness of Christ and experience restoration and grace. You are not good enough. You have not done enough. You have no merit of yourself in God’s economy. But Jesus is. Jesus has. Jesus does. And you are His. Now breathe, rest, and live for Him in freedom.