Job Chapter Eighteen
This chapter covers the second discourse of Bildad. In chapter 8 he had given Job encouragement to hope that all would be well with him. But here there is not a word of that, he takes the same tack that Eliphaz did in chapter 15, rejects Job’s reasoning and displays probably as much temper and impatience as Eliphaz. He attacks Job personally rather than answer his words.
Read Job 18:1-4
v1-2. “THEN ANSWERED BILDAD THE SHUHITE, AND SAID, HOW LONG will it be ere YE MAKE AN END OF WORDS? MARK, AND AFTERWARDS WE WILL SPEAK.
Bildad starts out with words that are bitter against Job. He charges him with idle endless talk just as Eliphaz had done. Some of the commentary on this chapter gives us the possibility that there were other men present at this gathering, men whose may have spoken but whose presence is not recorded. Bildad appears to be weary of hearing the others speak and impatient till it came to be his turn. This, of course, is a weakness or failing on his part as we all encouraged to be “swift to hear and slow to speak” as James tells us.
James “WHEREFORE, MY BELOVED BRETHREN, LET EVERY MAN BE SWIFT TO HEAR, SLOW TO SPEAK, SLOW TO WRATH:”
I’m sure that this admonition that the Holy Spirit causes to be recorded through James is a principle would be good for all men in all ages of time to follow, not just the New Testament times.
v3. “WHEREFORE ARE WE COUNTED AS BEASTS, and REPUTED VILE IN YOUR SIGHT?”
Bildad here overstates the matter just as many others would in a heated debate or dispute. Job had indeed called them mockers, and had represented them both as unwise and as unkind, short in both reason and compassion, but he did not count them beasts. This is figurative language of course, much the same as in:
Psalms 73:22 “SO FOOLISH was I, AND IGNORANT: I WAS as A BEAST BEFORE THEE.”
v4. “HE TEARETH HIMSELF IN HIS ANGER: SHALL THE EARTH BE FORSAKEN FOR THEE? AND SHALL THE ROCK BE REMOVED OUT OF HIS PLACE?”
Job your anger is something that will tear and torment you, increasing your impatience with your afflictions. Do you think that God has forsaken the earth just because you are being punished? Are you denying the providence of God, suggesting that the rock of ages has been removed?
The providence of God works in many ways doesn’t it? It can bring us joy, happiness, and blessing or it can bring us tribulation and trial, and we will be tried, won’t we? Jesus tells us:
John “THESE THINGS I HAVE SPOKEN UNTO YOU, THAT IN ME YE MIGHT HAVE PEACE. IN THE WORLD YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION: BUT BE OF GOOD CHEER; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.”
Read Job 18:5-10
v5-6. “YEA, THE LIGHT OF THE WICKED SHALL BE PUT OUT, AND THE SPARK OF HIS FIRE SHALL NOT SHINE. THE LIGHT SHALL BE DARK IN HIS TABERNACLE, AND HIS CANDLE SHALL BE PUT OUT WITH HIM.”
There is sure condemnation in sin, but some sins are looked upon as being worse than others; such as deliberate, rebellious sin, willful sin, especially by those who have been taught and know better. Outer darkness is the destiny of those who conduct themselves as such, we’re taught that even in the Old Testament:
Proverbs “WHOSO CURSETH HIS FATHER OR HIS MOTHER, HIS LAMP SHALL BE PUT OUT IN OBSCURE DARKNESS.”
Proverbs 24:20 “FOR THERE SHALL BE NO REWARD TO THE EVIL man; THE CANDLE OF THE WICKED SHALL BE PUT OUT.”
Bildad here is drawing a parallel between Job and the wicked in his description. The wicked may have things pretty well for a time, some pleasure, some joy, some hope within, as well as wealth, honor and power just as Job did. But his light is but a spark, a little thing and soon put out. It’s like a candle wasting and burning down, and easily blown out. It is not the light of the Lord but like the one described by Isaiah:
Isaiah 50:11 “BEHOLD, ALL YE THAT KINDLE A FIRE, THAT COMPASS yourselves ABOUT WITH SPARKS: WALK IN THE LIGHT OF YOUR FIRE, AND IN THE SPARKS that YE HAVE KINDLED. THIS SHALL YE HAVE OF MINE HAND; YE SHALL LIE DOWN IN SORROW.”
v7-10. “THE STEPS OF HIS STRENGTH SHALL BE STRAITENED, AND HIS OWN COUNSEL SHALL CAST HIM DOWN. FOR HE IS CAST INTO A NET BY HIS OWN FEET, AND HE WALKETH UPON A SNARE. THE GIN SHALL TAKE him BY THE HEEL, and THE ROBBER SHALL PREVAIL AGAINST HIM. THE SNARE is LAID FOR HIM IN THE GROUND, AND A TRAP FOR HIM IN THE WAY.”
Satan is preparing for man’s destruction. Just as he was a murderer, a liar and father of lies, he also is a robber, stealing men’s souls. He, as the tempter, lays snares for sinners in the way, wherever they may go, and he shall prevail. If he makes men sinful like he is, he will also make them miserable like he is: or as David describes:
Psalms “THE HEATHEN ARE SUNK DOWN IN THE PIT that THEY MADE: IN THE NET WHICH THEY HID IS THEIR OWN FOOT TAKEN.”
Psalms 35:8 “LET DESTRUCTION COME UPON HIM AT UNAWARES; AND LET HIS NET THAT HE HATH HID CATCH HIMSELF: INTO THAT VERY DESTRUCTION LET HIM FALL.”
The steps of his strength, his mighty designs, plans and efforts will be for naught; so that he shall not achieve what he intended and the more he strives to free himself the more he will be entangled, like a fish caught in a gill net. He can no more escape the divine wrath that is in pursuit of him than a man, so held, can flee from someone who has caught him. But the children of God have a deliverer:
II Peter 2:9 “THE LORD KNOWETH HOW TO DELIVER THE GODLY OUT OF TEMPTATIONS, AND TO RESERVE THE UNJUST UNTO THE DAY OF JUDGMENT TO BE PUNISHED:”
Read Job 18:11-21
v11-12 “TERRORS SHALL MAKE HIM AFRAID ON EVERY SIDE, AND SHALL DRIVE HIM TO HIS FEET. HIS STRENGTH SHALL BE HUNGERBITTEN, AND DESTRUCTION shall be READY AT HIS SIDE.”
The wicked man shall be haunted, disheartened and weakened by the continual terror in the knowledge of his own guilt and the fear of the wrath of God to come. He carries his own accuser, his own tormentor in his conscence, in his mind he cannot but be fearful of everything on every side. He’s like one that flees when none pursue as again we find in the Proverbs:
Proverbs 28:1 “THE WICKED FLEE WHEN NO MAN PURSUETH: BUT THE RIGHTEOUS ARE BOLD AS A LION.”
His strength, which was based upon worldly things such as his wealth, power, pomp or honor, friends and the hardiness of his own spirit, will fail him in his time of need. He sees the his ruin coming; destruction shall be ready at his side, to destroy him when justice determines that it is time and he is brought from his pinnacle of worldly success in but a moment. Speaking of sinners we find in a psalm of Asaph:
Psalm 73:19 “HOW ARE THEY brought INTO DESOLATION, AS IN A MOMENT! THEY ARE UTTERLY CONSUMED WITH TERRORS.”
v13-14 “IT SHALL DEVOUR THE STRENGTH OF HIS SKIN: even THE FIRSTBORN OF DEATH SHALL DEVOUR HIS STRENGTH. HIS CONFIDENCE SHALL BE ROOTED OUT OF HIS TABERNACLE, AND IT SHALL BRING HIM TO THE KING OF TERRORS.”
The wicked man is devoured and swallowed up by a miserable death. How miserable a wicked man’s death is; he’s leaving the only joy and security that he knows for a future that he doesn’t know, or maybe does know and fears. We have and example in Herod in Acts 12:
Acts -23 “AND
UPON A SET DAY HEROD, ARRAYED IN ROYAL APPAREL, SAT UPON HIS THRONE, AND MADE
AN ORATION UNTO THEM. AND THE PEOPLE
GAVE A SHOUT, saying, it is THE VOICE OF A GOD, AND NOT OF A MAN. AND IMMEDIATELY THE ANGEL OF THE LORD SMOTE
HIM, BECAUSE HE GAVE NOT GOD THE GLORY: AND HE WAS EATEN OF
This must have been a fearful death for this man Herod. He knew that he was walking contrary to God, even though he had been blessed by many things. Not only was the means of his death horrendous, but his conscience could not have been pure and his fear of that which was to come must have been great.
v15. “IT SHALL DWELL IN HIS TABERNACLE, BECAUSE it is NONE OF HIS: BRIMSTONE SHALL BE SCATTERED UPON HIS HABITATION.”
The wrath and curse of God shall dwell in the wicked man’s household as well and will consume it with the timber and stones thereof.
Zechariah 5:4 “I WILL BRING IT
v16. “HIS ROOTS SHALL BE DRIED UP BENEATH, AND ABOVE SHALL HIS BRANCH BE CUT OFF.”
The wicked man’s tabernacle is marked for ruin because it is none of his; it was gained unjustly and unjustly kept from the rightful owner. Therefore he should not expect either the comfort or right for it to continue or be a blessing to his children. His house in the eternal realm:
Malachi 4:1 “FOR, BEHOLD, THE DAY COMETH, THAT SHALL BURN AS AN OVEN; AND ALL THE PROUD, YEA, AND ALL THAT DO WICKEDLY, SHALL BE STUBBLE: AND THE DAY THAT COMETH SHALL BURN THEM UP, SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS, THAT IT SHALL LEAVE THEM NEITHER ROOT NOR BRANCH.”
v17. “HIS REMEMBRANCE SHALL PERISH FROM THE EARTH, AND HE SHALL HAVE NO NAME IN THE STREET.”
His memory will be buried with him, or made to be remembered with scorn. He shall either be forgotten or spoken of with dishonor. If the memory of him perishes then, it perishes completely, for it was never written in the heaven, as the names of the saints are:
Luke “NOTWITHSTANDING IN THIS REJOICE NOT, THAT THE SPIRITS ARE SUBJECT UNTO YOU; BUT RATHER REJOICE, BECAUSE YOUR NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN.”
v18. “HE SHALL BE DRIVEN FROM LIGHT INTO DARKNESS, AND CHASED OUT OF THE WORLD.”
He is driven from the light of the world, and his prosperous condition in it, into darkness, the darkness of the grave, the darkness of hell, into utter darkness, never to see light again for eternity, not even the slightest gleam, nor can he have any hope of doing so.
Psalms 49:19 “HE SHALL GO TO THE GENERATION OF HIS FATHERS; THEY SHALL NEVER SEE LIGHT.”
v19. “He shall neither have son nor nephew among his people, nor any remaining in his dwellings.”
The destruction of the sinners family is mentioned by Bildad here again in verse 19. He shall neither have son or nephew, child or grandchild, to enjoy his estate and bear up his name, nor shall there be any remaining in his dwelling akin to him. Sin sometimes brings a curse even upon the wicked man’s prosperity and the iniquity of the father visited upon the sons. Herein, probably, Bildad is referring back to the destruction of Job’s children and servants as a further proof of him being a wicked man.
v20. “THEY THAT COME AFTER him SHALL BE ASTONIED AT HIS DAY, AS THEY THAT WENT BEFORE WERE AFFRIGHTED.”
Those that see it are affrighted, so sudden is the change, so dreadful is the execution of judgment that has been visited upon him. It is so threatening to all about him: that those that come after him, and hear the report of it, are astonished at it; their ears are made to tingle, and their hearts to tremble, and they cry out:
Psalms 66:3 “SAY UNTO GOD, HOW TERRIBLE art thou in THY WORKS! THROUGH THE GREATNESS OF THY POWER SHALL THINE ENEMIES SUBMIT THEMSELVES UNTO THEE.”
v21. “SURELY SUCH are THE DWELLINGS OF THE WICKED, AND THIS is THE PLACE of him that KNOWETH NOT GOD.”
Here in the words of Bildad that are directed toward Job the we see what is the beginning and what is the end, of the wickedness of this wicked world. The beginning of it is ignorance of God, and it is a willful ignorance for there is that to be known of him which is sufficient that they would never be excused. The end of it is utter destruction. Such is the condition of the sinner, so miserable, are the dwellings of the wicked. Vengeance will be taken on those that know not God and Paul records for us:
II Thessalonians 1:8-9 “IN FLAMING FIRE TAKING VENGEANCE ON THEM THAT KNOW NOT GOD, AND THAT OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: WHO SHALL BE PUNISHED WITH EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, AND FROM THE GLORY OF HIS POWER;”