Job 18

Bildad Speaks of the Wicked

18 Then Bildad the Shuhite [a]responded,

“How long will you hunt for words?
Show understanding and then we can talk.
“Why are we regarded as beasts,
As stupid in your eyes?
“O [b]you who tear yourself in your anger—
For your sake is the earth to be abandoned,
Or the rock to be moved from its place?

“Indeed, the light of the wicked goes out,
And the [c]flame of his fire gives no light.
“The light in his tent is darkened,
And his lamp goes out above him.
“His [d]vigorous stride is shortened,
And his own scheme brings him down.
“For he is thrown into the net by his own feet,
And he steps on the webbing.
“A snare seizes him by the heel,
And a trap snaps shut on him.
10 “A noose for him is hidden in the ground,
And a trap for him on the path.
11 “All around terrors frighten him,
And harry him at every step.
12 “His strength is famished,
And calamity is ready at his side.
13 [e]His skin is devoured by disease,
The firstborn of death devours his [f]limbs.
14 “He is torn from [g]the security of his tent,
And [h]they march him before the king of terrors.
15 [i]There dwells in his tent nothing of his;
Brimstone is scattered on his habitation.
16 “His roots are dried below,
And his branch is cut off above.
17 “Memory of him perishes from the earth,
And he has no name abroad.
18 [j]He is driven from light into darkness,
And chased from the inhabited world.
19 “He has no offspring or posterity among his people,
Nor any survivor where he sojourned.
20 “Those [k]in the west are appalled at his [l]fate,
And those [m]in the east are seized with horror.
21 “Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked,
And this is the place of him who does not know God.”

Bildad concludes so confidently, but his confidence is misplaced. He puts more stock in his own wisdom and he is so intent on proving he’s no fool that he oversimplifies the fate of the wicked. Certainly, wicked people will be judged, and there are consequences to all of our actions. Even a follower of Jesus who does something foolish will have to pay the consequences, and the Bible tells us that we will give an account of every idle word we speak.

Can we then learn anything from Bildad’s latest speech? While Bildad speaks as though these things are a foregone conclusion, and yet it seems some evil people escape every snare to skate through life without a care, much of what he says can and does happen to people who deal dishonestly. If you try to cheat others, or trick them into doing what you want, you may find yourself in the trap instead.

So in whatever you do, do it honestly. Be forthright about what you’re trying to do, and don’t use gimmicks to promote your business. Do your best to genuinely serve people, provide a service that is helpful, and do it as if you were doing it for God himself. Whether you are a museum curator, or a hairdresser, a mechanic, or an insurance salesman, treat people as you would treat God, and make sure God is honored by what you do.

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