Job 18

Job 18

Bildad Speaks: God Punishes the Wicked

18 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

  “How long will you hunt for words?
    Consider, and then we will speak.
  Why are we counted as cattle?
    Why are we stupid in your sight?
  You who tear yourself in your anger,
    shall the earth be forsaken for you,
    or the rock be removed out of its place?
  “Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out,
    and the flame of his fire does not shine.
  The light is dark in his tent,
    and his lamp above him is put out.
  His strong steps are shortened,
    and his own schemes throw him down.
  For he is cast into a net by his own feet,
    and he walks on its mesh.
  A trap seizes him by the heel;
    a snare lays hold of him.
  A rope is hidden for him in the ground,
    a trap for him in the path.
  Terrors frighten him on every side,
    and chase him at his heels.
  His strength is famished,
    and calamity is ready for his stumbling.
  It consumes the parts of his skin;
    the firstborn of death consumes his limbs.
  He is torn from the tent in which he trusted
    and is brought to the king of terrors.
  In his tent dwells that which is none of his;
    sulfur is scattered over his habitation.
  His roots dry up beneath,
    and his branches wither above.
  His memory perishes from the earth,
    and he has no name in the street.
  He is thrust from light into darkness,
    and driven out of the world.
  He has no posterity or progeny among his people,
    and no survivor where he used to live.
  They of the west are appalled at his day,
    and horror seizes them of the east.
  Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous,
    such is the place of him who knows not God.”


Job 18 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

The dating of this time period would have meant that Job and his friends were highly influenced by mythopoetic language. In Ugaritic mythology, death was thought to be ruled by the god Mot who was known as the ‘King of Terrors.’ Ironically, this teaching held that Mot’s firstborn was a demon who brought complete destruction and turmoil to people in order to satisfy the appetite of Sheol (Hades). It was believed the demon attacked the body, making the person physically ill before taking them for good.

Even though Bildad is off in his application, he vividly portrays an accurate picture of death. No matter how you slice it, death is an overwhelming and sobering beast. Bildad illustrates that the fate of Job will only get worse as he continues down this path. Again, it’s an accurate statement, but a terrible application.

Let’s consider some of the biggest challenges of Job’s time which have been answered for us today. Job is wrestling with wanting a mediator to go between him and God. His friends fear this destructive path will lead to the mystery of death. Humanity was desperate for Jesus then, and we are desperate for Him today.

Christ has removed the eternal fear of death. He didn’t do it by persuasion or even by making truth claims like Job’s friends. He did it by grace and love. The question I pose to you today is, since the eternal fear has been removed, what risks are you willing to take in the temporary?

If we do not have to fear eternity, what is stopping us from stepping out in faith here in our temporary lives? For those in Christ, the only fear that could possibly come upon you is finite. How is that changing how you live today?

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