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 Hank Workman
“Death where is your sting?”1 Corinthians 15:55
He’s been called the Grim Reaper, the Angel of Death – An image even of foreboding being cloaked in dark, skeletal hands seen as he waits inside a boat on the River Styx who ushers each of us over to our eternal destiny. The creature as we have come to refer to him in one sense is the one whom people fear.
Tucked inside Bildad’s response to Job is another name — The King of Terrors. (Job 18:14) Here among the ancients was a name given of the unknown. Within the Canaanite pagan religion was a deity called Mot or Death as is translated. The concept to the nonbeliever of death brings the great questions and terror. It brings about the thought, often relegated to deep recesses of our minds, of tremendous fear. It was a dread then and for some a fearful thought now. The grave is something no one who is not secure within their relationship with Jesus, is a terrible consideration of their fate.
The Apostle Paul addresses such thoughts in 1 Corinthians 15 as he speaks of the hope for Believers of the resurrection of the dead and people found in Christ – the spiritual body living in eternity. It would have seemed that Satan was the victor through death with the fall of Adam in Genesis 3 and Jesus on the cross. But it was God who turned the victory of Satan on it’s head when Jesus defeated death and rose from the grave. Praise His name!
Death is no longer a fear for those who believe and have their hope firmly resting in Jesus. Christ overcame death and for each of us – there is no getting out of this event. One day we all will take our final breath. And for each we will be ushered into eternal life. Death was defeated on the cross and we ourselves should live within that victory.
In light of this, Paul speaks toward our need to stay vigilant to the things and tasks God has for us now. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, nothing we do is in vain. If we believe that Jesus won on the cross, then we must stay the course of our own lives He has ordained for us. Even though we may not see ‘results’ per se, we are to live in the hope of Jesus and make a difference in our world now.
“Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”1 Corinthians 15:58
Christ has taken away our fears of the great unknown after death. The Grim Reaper, the Angel of Death, the King of Terrors hold nothing over those who are faithfully committed to their God and love Jesus, continuing the work He has for us until that time we pass from this life to the next.
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?