Job18

Overview

Bildad opened his second speech with similar tone of his first speech (8:2 [How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind]?. Comparing to 18:2 [When will you end these speeches?].

The friends were growing impatient with Job because their conversation seemed to be getting nowhere.

It never dawned on Bildad that he and his two friends were playing the same tunes over and over again: 1) God is just; 2) God punishes the wicked and blesses the righteous; 3) since Job is suffering, he mush be wicked; 4) if he turns from his sins, God will again bless him. They were going around in circles.

Bildad, like his friends, ruthlessly attacked Job in his second speech, by telling Job to stop complaining and to become sensible (v2). Bildad said Job was treating them like dumb cattle instead of like the wise men (v3). Job was also being irritable and displaying anger instead of humility (v4).

Bildad said in sarcasm that should the earth to be abandoned and rocks be moved just because of Job? (v4)

In a fit of anger, he cries to Job, why do you “tear yourself to pieces in your anger?” (v4). And assuming Job’s wickedness, he tries to frighten Job into repentance by depicting the awful doom of the wicked. Since they could not successfully reason with Job, or shame Job into repenting, perhaps they could frighten Job by describing what happens when wicked people die.

Fear is a part of human emotion. It is a useful emotion to keep us from trouble. For example we use the fear of sickness, injury, or death to teach children to wash their hands, stay away from power lines, and look carefully before crossing the street.

Adults fear of financial loss and buy insurance. Our fear of sickness and death drives us to have annual physical checkup.

Fear of death and judgement after death is a legitimate motive for trusting Jesus Christ and being saved. ” Jesus said [.. and do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell] (Matt 10:28).

Paul wrote [knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men”] (2 Cor. 5:11).

Jonathan Edwards famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” turned many sinners to Christ.

However Bildad made two mistakes when he gave this speech about the horrors of death. 1) He preached to the wrong man, Job was already a believer (1:1). 2) he preached it without love.

Dr. R.W. Dale, the British preacher, once asked evangelist D.L. Moody if he ever used “the element of terror” in his preaching. Moody replied that he usually preached one sermon on heaven and one on hell in each of his campaigns, but that a “man’s heart ought to be very tender” when preaching about the doom of the lost.

v5-6: [..lamp..flame.. light..lamp..] Light is associated with life and darkness is associated with death. The picture here is that of a lamp hanging in a tent and a fire smoldering in a fire pot. Suddenly, the lamp goes out, and the last spark of the fire vanishes, and the tent is in total darkness.

v7-10: [..his step.. his feet.. a net…a snare.. noose..a trap..] The picture is the man is frightened by the lights out in his tent, he leaved his tent and started down the road, looking for a place of safety. But the road turns out to be the most dangerous place of all, for it is punctuated with traps.

These traps are used to catch animals. But the wicked person is like a beast because he has left God out of his life.

v11-15: v13: [First firstborn of death]… A poetical expression meaning the most deadly disease death ever produced. v14: [the king of terrors]… this is death, with all its terrors to the ungodly, personified. Death is the king of terrors determined to arrest the culprit no matter where he is. If the escaped criminal runs on the path and escapes the traps, then death will send some of his helpers to chase him. Terror frightens him, calamity eats away at his strength, and disaster waits for him to fall.

The frightened criminal gets weaker and weaker but still tries to keep going. If he goes back to his tent to hide, the pursuers find him, arrest him, drag him out, and take him to the king of terrors. They take everything out of his tent, burn the tent, and then scatter sulfer over the ashes. The end of that man is fire and brimstone.

v16-21: Sometimes death is not as dramatic and sudden as the arresting of a criminal. Death may be gradual, like that dying of a tree. The roots dry up, the branches start to wither, and the dead branches are cut off one by one. Soon the tree is completely dead, and men chop it down. The death of a tree illustrates the extinction of a family tree. Not only is the wicked man himself cut down, but all the branches are cut down too. and he leaves no descendants to carry on his name.

Job had used a tree as an illustration of the hope of resurrection (14:7-11), but Bildad did not agree with him. According to Bildad, one the tree is down, that is the end; the wicked man has no future hope.

Death is real and should be taken seriously. The only way to prepare is to trust in Jesus Christ. [I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believers him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.] (John 5:24).

For christians, death means going home to the Father in heaven (John 14:1-6), falling asleep on earth and waking up in heaven, entering into rest, and moving into greater light. [Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Rev 14:13).

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