Sunday, October 12, 2014

Job chapter 18 comments: Bildad's assumptions

1 ¶  Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, 2  How long will it be ere ye make an end of words? mark, and afterwards we will speak. 3  Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and reputed vile in your sight? 4  He teareth himself in his anger: shall the earth be forsaken for thee? and shall the rock be removed out of his place?

Bildad charges Job with talking nonsense in his second attack, much like Eliphaz did previously.

Job 15:2  Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?

3  Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?


Bildad asks why Job thinks of his friends as having no more wisdom than an animal and why he regards them as vile. Job, like most of us, is hurting himself with his anger, and does he expect the earth to be moved for his sake?


    5 ¶  Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. 6  The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him. 7  The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down. 8  For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare. 9  The gin shall take him by the heel, and the robber shall prevail against him. 10  The snare is laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way.

Bildad wants Job to understand that the wicked, and this assumes that Job is among the wicked for why would he suffer were it not so, shall be destroyed. The word, straitened, from strait, in verse 7 means to be confined, to be closed in, to be narrowed. We get straitjacket from strait, meaning a jacket that strictly confines the wearer. Note in Matthew how strait is defined in the verse as narrow.

Matthew 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

See how simple that was? Anyone can do that who has a love for God’s word. Usually it defines itself, if you let it.

Bildad points out how the wicked person’s own advice to himself will be his downfall. We are told not to trust our own counsel;

Proverbs 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Jeremiah 10:23  O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Bildad says that wickedness is a trap and the wicked man is caught in it.

Proverbs 29:6a ¶  In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare…

 We are told elsewhere that the wicked person is caught in the snare that he has set himself.

Psalm 7:14  Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. 15  He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. 16  His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

    11 ¶  Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet. 12  His strength shall be hungerbitten, and destruction shall be ready at his side. 13  It shall devour the strength of his skin: even the firstborn of death shall devour his strength. 14  His confidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle, and it shall bring him to the king of terrors. 15  It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because it is none of his: brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation. 16  His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off. 17  His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street. 18  He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world. 19  He shall neither have son nor nephew among his people, nor any remaining in his dwellings. 20  They that come after him shall be astonied at his day, as they that went before were affrighted. 21  Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God.

Bildad goes on to say that the wicked person will be paranoid and fearful, his strength will fail as if starved, and everywhere he looks destruction is close at hand. He’s not referring to what will happen at the end of history. He’s talking about on this earth and in this life now. It is different from this writing by Paul.

2Thessalonians 1:7  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10  When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Some interesting phrases are used here. One would be, “the firstborn of death,” and another is, “the king of terrors.” Are these merely poetic personifications or do they describe something real?

The, “firstborn of death,” is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible. In Revelation reference is made twice to killing someone with death, which, on the surface sounds redundant but many commentators have linked this with diseases such as various plagues that mysteriously, to the ancients, came upon people quickly and ferociously.

The, “king of terrors,” is also referred to as another personification of death by commentators such as the reliable Matthew Henry who links the death of Revelation 6:8 to the, “king of terrors,” here. Throughout history men have feared death as either the beginning of helpless suffering, the beginning of ceaseless non-existence, or even by their fear of uncertainty. The promise of Christ is that none of that will happen if you trust Him and in His righteousness and not your own. As Paul said…

Titus 1:2  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began…

And John said;

1John 2:25  And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

And Jude;

Jude 1:21  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

And the Lord Jesus Christ Himself;

John 3:1 ¶  There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water [natural birth – see previous verse and next verse] and of the Spirit [second birth spiritually], he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 9  Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

But, who is the, “king of terrors,” and the, “firstborn of death”? 

Hebrews 2:14 ¶  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Bildad, like the others, is certain that the wicked suffer on this earth continually and certainly. However, our experience is that the wicked who know not God can do very well on this earth. As a matter of fact, Satan, as the, “god of this world,” has a great deal of influence in every human institution.

2Corinthians 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Jesus Himself pointed out a fact about the civilizations and cultures of mankind and mankind’s so-called great accomplishments.

Luke 16:15  And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Even our economic systems are opposed to God’s purposes.

Luke 16:13  No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

1Timothy 6:10  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

As a result, true Bible-believing Christianity will not come from a certain class of people, usually.

1Corinthians 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Throughout history, I would then say, that Christian religion that has propped up human government, the institutions of civilization, the standards of human culture, and evils such as slavery, abuse of women and children, a lust for violence, and greed was the anti-Church, if you will, a counterfeit of Christ’s teachings, a justification for wicked behavior, and the Church of Satan.

As a result remember and realize that very often in a democracy a politician who panders to your faith will only do so to justify and confirm your fears, your paranoia, and your bigotry, not to glorify God but to get your approval and your vote. Beware of those people who talk about God from the political stump.

Job’s friends’ view that the wicked always suffer in this life and that the righteous do not is a naïve, twisted view of reality based on pernicious self-righteousness and a misrepresentation of God. So it is with many modern, conservative and liberal Christians who think they have the answers to the questions about every incident of life, good or bad. Other than that God is in control and we must trust Him, you often don’t know what’s going on as this amazing book of the Bible teaches us. Christians often make the error of misrepresenting God by their false assumptions and convoluted conclusions.

Bildad’s error, like Eliphaz before him, is in assuming knowledge he doesn’t have, that Job is suffering because he must have committed a great sin and that his children were punished because of their wickedness or Job’s.

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