TIT FOR TAT
Job suffers, and his friends add to his misery. His friend Bildad will join the accusations again after Job’s latest complaint. There is a battle raging between heaven and hell in all of this. People can be used by demonic voices to drag us down.
My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me. Are there not mockers with me? and doth not mine eye continue in their provocation? Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me? For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them. He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail. Job 17:1-5
Job feels disease corrupting his breath and personal odors. He is feeling even lower with the low opinion of his friends. He challenges God to find one who would represent him if it had a cost to the defender. But he thinks that God has blinded their understanding and will not honor them in the end. Flattery is a symptom of mischief that may become sin to generations that follow.
He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret. Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow. Upright men shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite. The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger. But as for you all, do ye return, and come now: for I cannot find one wise man among you. Job 17:6-10
Job is feeling like the butt of jokes and an outcast with dim prospects. Good people who observe this will be shocked by the behavior of his friends in their hypocrisy. Honest men will be strengthened but Job can’t see that wisdom in his friends.
My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart. They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness. If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness. I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister. And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it? They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust. Job 17:11-16
Job can see no future or mission for his life, and he is without vision for hope. His nights are restless and his days are fleeing back into night again. He sees only the grave and a relationship with the worms of the earth ahead.
Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, How long will it be ere ye make an end of words? mark, and afterwards we will speak. Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and reputed vile in your sight? He teareth himself in his anger: shall the earth be forsaken for thee? and shall the rock be removed out of his place? Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. Job 18:1-5
So Job doesn’t get to go on whining if Bildad can shoot his mouth off. He is offended to be so discredited by Job. Indeed he seems to be calling Job a wicked man again, with threats of what God would do to him.
The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him. The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down. For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare. The gin shall take him by the heel, and the robber shall prevail against him. The snare is laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way. Job 18:6-10
According to Bildad Job will be snared by his own words, he will be robbed and defeated by his own sin.
Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet. His strength shall be hungerbitten, and destruction shall be ready at his side. It shall devour the strength of his skin: even the firstborn of death shall devour his strength. His confidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle, and it shall bring him to the king of terrors. It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because it is none of his: brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation. Job 18:11-15
Perhaps all these terrors are reserved for the wicked, but Job is not one who is targeted for this. Bildad wants to call down hell fire on Job. Dire futures are his prediction for the evil he thinks Job is hiding.
His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off. His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street. He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world. He shall neither have son nor nephew among his people, nor any remaining in his dwellings. They that come after him shall be astonied at his day, as they that went before were affrighted. Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God. Job 18:16-21
If evil were always so punished no one would run for public office. We would not see bootleggers turning into political dynasties and Generals being accused of sexual assault. We must live in a vastly different world than Bildad has imagined. Unfortunately evil was prospering in Bildad’s day even as it does now. And Job was being punished in spite of being a faithful man. But unknown to both was that the tormentor was Satan, not God and Job was passing his test.
When we are weighed down by the pain of battle, God is engaged with our enemy in our behalf. The enemy may use men to drag us down, but we can be sure that God is there with us. We must walk by faith, and not by sight.