Job 18

The way of sin is a way of fear and leads to everlasting confusion, of which the present terrors of conscience are but the earnest.

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?

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.

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.

Job 18 – “Cast into a Net”

   Bildad’s second speech reveals how utterly he failed to understand Job’s appeal for a divine witness and surety. Such words were snares to him, Job 18:2. The deep things that pass in a heart which is enduring sorrow are incomprehensible to shallow and narrow souls.
   His description of the calamities which befall the wicked is terrible: their extinguished light, Job 18:5-6; their awful distress, Job 18:7-11; their destruction, Job 18:12-17; the horror with which men shall regard their fate, Job 18:18-21. All this was, of course, intended for Job. It was very severe. Even if the worst had been true, his extreme sufferings should have elicited more tenderness from his friends. Only the strong, wise hand of love can assuage the wounds that sin has made. We are indebted to Bildad for the phrase, king of terrors, as applied to death, Job 18:14. Apart from Christ, it is a significant and appropriate term. Sin has made his monarchy terrible. Yet even he has met his conqueror, John 11:25-26; Hebrews 2:14; I Corinthians 15:26.
   The ancients had a deep presentiment of the punishments which must overtake sin. Probably we make too little of them. The note of fear has almost died out of modern preaching. In this there is a marked divergence from Baxter’s Call to the Unconverted and from Jonathan Edwards’ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. But the doom of sin can only be terrible, especially for those to whom Calvary has pleaded in vain. A great atonement implies great sin, and this, a great penalty. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Job 18:14—The king of terrors.

   So the ancients spoke of death. They were constantly pursued by the dread of the unknown. Every unpeopled or distant spot was the haunt and dwelling-place of evil and dreadful objects. But the grave, and the world beyond, were above all terrible, and death the King of Terrors. It is difficult for us, who inherit centuries of Christian teaching, to realize how dark and fearsome was all the realm that lay under the dominion of death and the grave. What a shiver in those words, King of Terrors!
   But for us how vast the contrast! Jesus has abolished death, and brought life-and immortality to light. He has gone through the grave, and come again to assure us that it is the back door into our Father’s house, with its many mansions. At His girdle hang the keys of death and Hades; none can shut the door when He opens it, and none open when He keeps it shut. He was Himself dead; but He lives forevermore, and comes to the side of each dying saint to escort him through the valley to His own bright abode.
   There is something better. In the case of immense numbers, who shall be alive and remain when He comes again, death will be entirely evaded. “Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:26). They shall be caught away to meet the Lord in the air. Suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye, this mortal shall put on immortality, this corruptible incorruption. At His coming the grave shall be despoiled of its treasures, and death shall miss its expected prey.
   “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-56). —Our Daily Homily