Bildad reproves Job. (1-4) Ruin attends the wicked. (5-10) The ruin of the wicked. (11-21)
Verses 1-4 Bildad had before given Job good advice and encouragement; here he used nothing but rebukes, and declared his ruin. And he concluded that Job shut out the providence of God from the management of human affairs, because he would not admit himself to be wicked.
Verses 5-10 Bildad describes the miserable condition of a wicked man; in which there is much certain truth, if we consider that a sinful condition is a sad condition, and that sin will be men's ruin, if they do not repent. Though Bildad thought the application of it to Job was easy, yet it was not safe nor just. It is common for angry disputants to rank their opponents among God's enemies, and to draw wrong conclusions from important truths. The destruction of the wicked is foretold. That destruction is represented under the similitude of a beast or bird caught in a snare, or a malefactor taken into custody. Satan, as he was a murderer, so he was a robber, from the beginning. He, the tempter, lays snares for sinners wherever they go. If he makes them sinful like himself, he will make them miserable like himself. Satan hunts for the precious life. In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare for himself, and God is preparing for his destruction. See here how the sinner runs himself into the snare.
Verses 11-21 Bildad describes the destruction wicked people are kept for, in the other world, and which in some degree, often seizes them in this world. The way of sin is the way of fear, and leads to everlasting confusion, of which the present terrors of an impure conscience are earnests, as in Cain and Judas. Miserable indeed is a wicked man's death, how secure soever his life was. See him dying; all that he trusts to for his support shall be taken from him. How happy are the saints, and how indebted to the lord Jesus, by whom death is so far done away and changed, that this king of terrors is become a friend and a servant! See the wicked man's family sunk and cut off. His children shall perish, either with him or after him. Those who consult the true honour of their family, and its welfare, will be afraid of withering all by sin. The judgments of God follow the wicked man after death in this world, as a proof of the misery his soul is in after death, and as an earnest of that everlasting shame and contempt to which he shall rise in the great day. The memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot, Pr. 10:7 . It would be well if this report of wicked men would cause any to flee from the wrath to come, from which their power, policy, and riches cannot deliver them. But Jesus ever liveth to deliver all who trust in him. Bear up then, suffering believers. Ye shall for a little time have sorrow, but your Beloved, your Saviour, will see you again; your hearts shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh away.
In this chapter is Bildad's second reply to Job, in which he falls with great fury upon him, very sharply inveighs against him, and very highly charges him; the charges he brings against him are talkativeness and inattention to what was said to him, Job 18:1,2; contempt of his friends, impatience under his affliction, and pride and arrogance, as if the whole world, the course of nature and providence, and God himself all must give way to him, Job 18:3,4; nevertheless, he is assured of the miserable state of a wicked man, sooner or later, which is described by the extinction of his light of prosperity, Job 18:5,6; by the defeat of his counsels, being ensnared in a net laid for him, Job 18:7-10; by the terrible judgments of the sword, famine, and pestilence, by one or the other of which he is brought to death, the king of terrors, Job 18:11-14; by the destruction of his habitation and of his posterity, so that he has none to hear his name, or perpetuate his memory, Job 18:15-17; by his being driven out of the world, leaving no issue behind him, to the astonishment of all that knew him, Job 18:18-20; and the chapter is closed with this observation, that this is the common case of wicked and irreligious persons, Job 18:21.