In this chapter, Bildad came forth for his second attack upon the man of Uz; and it was more violent than his former dialogue in chapter 8. His chief intention, throughout the entirety of this discourse, was to fasten upon Job the conviction of wickedness and hypocrisy. In chapter 8, he had given Job good advice and encouragement; but here, he used nothing but rebukes, and declared nothing but ruin upon his friend. And he concluded that Job would not acknowledge the Providence of God in the management of human affairs, because he would not admit himself to be a wicked hypocrite.
Bildad seemed to be mightily angry that what he had said before had been so little regarded. He began here by charging Job with idle and unprofitable talk, and with displaying contempt toward him and his friends. But he did not bring forward a single proof of that charge. His introduction was full of high resentment, and he re-asserted the favorite proposition of all three of the friends – namely, that destructive calamities are the portion of the wicked, and of the wicked alone. This he confirmed and illustrated by new examples.
But we shall lose the whole intention and drift of what the three friends of Job were intended for, if we lose sight of the Lord’s grace toward Job in the permission of all his afflictions, as well as in the humiliation of Satan, which the Lord had determined all along to be accomplished by the outcome of the attack. The very outset of this whole business, according to the charge of Satan, was to prove Job to be a hypocrite! And when the enemy’s more immediate attack upon Job, through the loss of his property and his children, was over; then, through the means of these mistaken friends, the enemy assaulted him with a different set of afflictions – all in the hopes of making Job out to be a wicked man at heart after all. But just as the Lord preserved Job from cursing Him in the day when he lost all his possessions and his family; so also, He preserved him from being proved a hypocrite, despite the opinions of his three friends!
Beginning in verse 5, Bildad described the miserable condition of a wick-ed man. And in these words, there is indeed much truth – for a sinful condition is a sad condition; and sin will be men’s ruin, if they do not repent. But although Bildad thought the application of his words to Job’s case was easy, yet it was not safe nor just to do so. It is common for angry disputants to classify their personal opponents among God’s enemies, and to draw wrong conclusions from important truths. The Shuhite’s objective here was to make Job draw the application of his discourse on his own. He described the character of a hypocrite, and then he pointed to his sure destruction. And when Bildad had thus drawn out the picture of the wicked in a very detailed manner, he evidently intended that Job should feel that it was himself whom he had in mind; for as far as outward things were concerned, Bildad’s words marked the present situation of the man of Uz.
The destruction of the wicked is described here under several different pictures. Bildad spoke of how the light or the candle of evil men will be put out and extinguished in the darkness. Their downfall is also represented under the similitude of a beast or a bird caught in a snare, and of a robber prevailing against a person. Satan has been both a robber and a murderer among the children of men for 6,000 years. He, the tempter, lays snares for sinners wherever they go; for if he can trip them up and make them sinful like himself, he will then be able to make them miserable like himself. In the transgression of a wicked man, a snare is laid for himself; and God is preparing for his destruction.
But in addition to the earthly devastations that the ungodly are subjected to, they are also kept for eternal ruin; and sometimes, in some degree, these everlasting destructions begin while they are still in this world. The way of sin is the way of fear, and it leads to everlasting confusion – of which, the present terrors of an uneasy conscience are only foretastes, as in the examples of Cain and Judas. And miserable indeed is a wicked man’s death, no matter how secure his life was. When he dies, all that he trusts in for his support shall be taken from him. On the contrary, however, how happy are the saints when they pass away out of this life; and how indebted they are to the Lord Jesus – by Whom, death has been so changed that this “king of terrors” (verse 14) has become a friend and a servant to Christ’s people!
“The memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot,” declared the wise men (Prov. 10:7). It would be well if this report of the end of wicked persons would cause them to flee from the wrath to come – from which, their power, policy, and riches cannot deliver them! But Jesus always lives, and He stands ready to deliver and show mercy to all who trust in Him.
Bear up, suffering believers! For a little time, we shall have sorrow on this earth; but our Beloved Savior will return again to take us to our heavenly home, where there are no more tears! Our hearts shall then rejoice forever, and no person or thing will be able to take away our joy!
Lord, we acknowledge that You are indeed a consuming fire to those who are outside of Christ. And we know that nothing in this world can deliver us from Your wrath! We beseech You to grant us grace to know You in the Person of our Savior; for in Him, we will find You to be holy and just – and yet able to exercise wonderful and marvelous mercy to all those who trust in Him. Amen.
If you prefer to listen, today’s Family Bible guide is available in audio format on both SermonAudio and YouTube.
Join other families all around the globe and receive the full-color, freely downloadable format of these thoughts in your email every day! It’s my prayer that you and your family will be equipped to receive abundant blessings from the hand of the Lord as you study His Word and worship in His presence together.
photo by Brown Bag Photography | Lightstock.com