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In this Chapter Bildad comes forth to a second attack upon the man of Uz, and more violent than before. Chap. 8. His chief scope, through the whole of his discourse is, to fasten upon Job the conviction of wickedness and hypocrisy.
(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?
There is nothing new in these observations, except in the different manner of expression. Bildad seems mighty angry, that what he had said before had been so little regarded. He chargeth Job with idle unprofitable talk, and with observing contempt towards him and his friends. But he advanceth no one proof to make good that charge, and there the matter seemeth to rest.
(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.
What an unnecessary question or two, doth the Shuhite make use of here. Surely Job in desiring quietness and a deliverance from trouble and pain, had never intimated that he wished miracles to be wrought, in the accomplishment of the mercy he implored. But Reader! we shall lose the whole design and drift of what those three visitors of poor Job upon his dunghill, were intended for, if we lose sight of the LORD'S grace towards Job in the permission of those exercises, and the discomfiture of Satan, as was all along determined to be accomplished, in the issue of the attack. This the Reader should continue to recollect, as he passeth through the perusal of Job's history. The very outset of the business, from the charge of Satan, was to prove Job an hypocrite. And when the enemy's more immediate attack upon Job, on account of his substance and children was over; through the means of those mistaken friends, the enemy assaults him in those afflictions.
(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.
I see no reason for making a break in this discourse of Bildad. It should seem better to read it wholly through, and then look to gather into one point of view, the drift of his whole reasoning. The Shuhite is not through the whole of it, speaking personally of Job, but rather his object is to make Job draw the application of his discourse himself. He is describing the character of an hypocrite, and then pointing to his sure destruction. And this he doth under several particulars. His candle shall be put out. The sparks he hath kindled shall not shine. His feet shall be taken as in a net. His life shall be in terrors. Both root and branch shall die. When Bildad had thus drawn out in a very finished manner, the picture of the wicked; he evidently intended that Job should feel, that it was he whom the Shuhite had in view. The close of his lecture evidently implied all this, for he calls it the misery of such an end, and which as for as outward things reached, marked the present situation of the man of Uz.
Our reflections on this chapter will be rendered profitable, if so be the HOLY GHOST graciously make them so for us, in leading our minds to consider how very consistent it is, with the love the LORD hath to the persons of his people, as in the instance of Job, to chasten them for their departures and infirmities. Reader! only pause and consider how great, how dear, how inexpressibly costly our redemption was to GOD, And therefore how suitable it is, that there should not be the smallest abuse of his covenant mercy, by his dear Son. Though Job was no hypocrite, yet Job confessed himself to be a sinner, sprung from the common stock of whom it is with truth said, there is none righteous, no not one. And there is in the best of men, even the most faithful servants of the LORD JESUS, so much of that commonness of corruption, belonging to a fallen nature, that if GOD'S grace did not restrain it, the worst of sins would be the sad and deadly consequence breaking out in all. How blessed is it then to see in GOD'S chastisement of our sin, though accepting the person of his people in JESUS, he manifests the holiness of his nature, and secures his own glory. And here, blessed JESUS, cause both Writer and Reader to pause, and contemplate the unparalleled instance of this regard JEHOVAH had to his holiness, and to his glory, when for sin in us he put thee to grief. Never, surely, was there such a proof ever given. And never can there be any more the like to it; as when he made thee to be sin for us, though thou knewest no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of GOD in thee. Hail! thou holy, blessed, spotless LAMB of GOD. Oh! what unknown, what unnumbered, what never to be fully accounted for, or fully recompensed riches, blessings, glories, are contained in the one offering of thyself once for all, by which thou hast forever perfected them that are sanctified. Oh! write this precious thought upon my inmost soul, and let death itself never, never be able to blunt the remembrance of it; JESUS and his glorious redemption hath more to plead for his church before GOD and his FATHER, than all the church's sins can plead against them. Neither can eternity itself recompense the infinite merit of the righteousness and blood-shedding sacrifice of a GOD incarnate.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 18". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20