Job 18:1

 

The Bible says in Job 18:1-7, “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.” In verse two Bildad is telling Job to stop talking. Job’s friends do not want to hear what Job has to say because they think that they have all the answers. They have already prejudged the matter, and they do not want to hear what Job has to say for himself. Such an attitude will result in the miscarriage of justice. They realize that Job disagrees with them, and they do not like disagreement. They do not believe in the concept of having a discussion and agreeing to disagree. Like all control-freeks, they want total conformity. Therefore, they assume that Job is looking down on them and degrading them. That is why Bildad said in verse three, that they are “beasts” and “vile.”

 

As far as Bildad is concerned, the issue is that one hundred percent, no doubts, no questions, that Job’s sufferings are punishment for sin. As far as Bildad is concerned, all of life teaches that very thing. For Job to claim otherwise, means that Job is saying that everything on earth is upside-down and totally different from what everyone knows. That why Bildad asks in verse four, “shall the earth be forsaken for thee? and shall the rock be removed out of his place?

 

Once again in verse 5, 6, and 7 Bildad finds new ways to say that Job is being punished for his sins. Is it not true that “the light of the wicked shall be put out?” Is it not true that “The steps of his strength shall be straitened?” This means that his strength shall be taken away. And is it not true that “his own counsel shall cast him down?” Therefore, it should be obvious that Job deserves all his sufferings. There is only one problem: Bildad is wrong.

 

Bildad continues speaking and says in Job 18:8-21, “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.” Every one of these statements are directed at Job. These statements describe what happened to Job, but of course Bildad makes it very clear in verse 21 that these are the things that happen to people who are “wicked” and who do not know God, and therefore Job is wicked and does not know God.

 

Job answers Bildad’s attacks in Job 19:1-4, “Then Job answered and said,[2] How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?[3] These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.[4] And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself.” In verse two Job mentions once again the effect of his friends’ words on him: “ye vex my soul.” Words should build up, encourage, and help. Good words will inspire to good deeds and to increase one’s faith in the Lord. So if your words are vexing someone, you might want to ask the question: are you using the right words?

 

It is important to notice that Job said to his friends in verse three: “ye are not ashamed.” Any human being is in a bad place in life if they do wrong and it does not bother their conscience. It is terrible to not listen to your conscience. It is terrible to not be ashamed of your failures in life. These “friends” of Job were failing very much because they were speaking against Job and judging Job. They were attacking him when he was down. Their words were caustic and cruel. God is very merciful to us all, but He expects us to confess our sins. There is no forgiveness without repentance and confession. Hopefully, you are ashamed of your sins, and you go to Jesus for forgiveness.

 

In verse four Job said, “mine error remaineth with myself.” Job is saying that his failures are his own business, even if his “friends” were right about Job deserving his sufferings. We offer the people the Gospel of Christ. The word “gospel” means good news. You are not delivering good news to people if you are condemning them, judging them, being critical of them, and telling them how much they deserve all the bad things that have happened to them. Jesus said, “Judge not that ye be not judged.” Mind your own business. Be concerned about your own failures, and not about other people’s failures.

 

Job said in Job 19:5-20, “If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach:[6] Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.[7] Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.[8] He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.[9] He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.[10] He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree.[11] He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.[12] His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle.[13] He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.[14] My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.[15] They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight.[16] I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth.[17] My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children's sake of mine own body.[18] Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me.[19] All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.[20] My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.” Once again Job lists many of the afflictions and sorrows that have come upon him. The most recent suffering for Job was the fact that his “friends” were attacking him and speaking against him. That hurts when even your friends turn against you. But it is important to notice that Job does not focus on people. Job does not say that people caused his sufferings. Job believes in Almighty God, and therefore, Job knows that God is the source of all these afflictions. In all of these verses that start with the word “He,” Job is talking about God. God could have kept the disasters from happening. God could have kept the blessings flowing in Job’s life, but God did not do that. Job knew it. That is why Job said on verse 6, “Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.” Probably everyone who has suffered some great sorrow knows that God let it happen, and that God could have stopped the sorrow from happening. But many people become angry at God permanently and lose faith. Job did not do that. Job was actually seeking to understand why God allowed these great sorrows. Of course, we know that God did have a purpose. It was part of the battle of good against evil. It was to demonstrate to Satan that someone loved God no matter what happened.

 

Job said in Job 19:21-29, “Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.[22] Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?[23] Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book![24] That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever![25] For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:[26] And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:[27] Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.[28] But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?[29] Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.

 

In the above verses Job makes one of the great statements in the Bible about the resurrection. Job said in verses 25-27, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:[26] And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:[27] Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” Job calls God “my redeemer.” When you are saved through faith in Christ, you are redeemed. To be redeemed means to be purchased. Every true believer is purchased by the blood of Christ, and then we belong to Him. We are His possession. All of God’s possessions will live as long as God does, and God is eternal. Job said in verse 25, “I know that my redeemer liveth” We do not only believe that Jesus rose from the dead: we know. Jesus is alive. Spiritually speaking, a human being can meet Jesus by calling upon Jesus’ name and by opening up one’s heart to Jesus.

 

Because Jesus rose from the dead, so will all His believers. That is why Job said in verse 26, “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” Right now we have a human body, but there will also be a resurrected body. It says in First Corinthians 15:42-44, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: [43] It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: [44] It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” 

 

Notice at the end of verse 26 Job says, “shall I see God.” In this life when we believe in Jesus, it is a spiritual connection only. Jesus makes His presence known to us in a very real way wherein we are so much aware of His presence that it is almost as if we see Him; but we do not see Him with our eyes. In heaven we will see Him. We will see God. In this life we are told, “No man hath seen God at any time.” The Apostle John wrote this in both John 1:18 and in First John 4:12. That is one of the reasons to look forward to the return of Christ: to finally see our Savior. How wonderful that will be. It says in First Thessalonians 4:17 concerning the rapture of the believers: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” And then it says concerning what will be seen by those who are on the earth seven years after the rapture at the Second Coming of Christ in Revelation 19:11-13, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. [12] His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. [13] And he was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called the Word of God.”      

 

 

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Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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