I had a pastor one time who said that when he was younger he gave his heart to the Lord after reading the book of Revelation. He said it scared the faith right into him.
I think Bildad’s speech here in chapter 18 is every bit as terrifying, if not more so.
It’s nighttime. You are lying on your cot, almost asleep in your tent. A lantern flickers on the floor next to you, the embers of a campfire glow outside your door. Suddenly both fires go out, and you are in complete and utter darkness.
You stumble outside, only to trip and fall into a net that has been placed there to catch you. Immediately you feel a metal trap clamp down on your heel, holding you immobile. A noose slips over your head, then tightens around your neck.
Every sound terrifies you in the blackness of night. Something you can’t see begins to eat your flesh. It rips your arm from your body.
You are snatched away by soldiers, who take you to stand before the king, to give an account for offenses you do not know.
Your house is destroyed so that nothing remains. Your very life is ebbing away without hope. You’ve been driven from the light into unspeakable darkness, alone. Totally alone.
People are repulsed by the memory of you. The thought of you horrifies them.
(The only thing missing is a guy holding a chain saw, and wearing a mask)
Then Bildad implies… That’s what you deserve, Job.
Now that’s just mean.
Job knew first-hand what it meant to be crushed, unjustly accused, and absolutely alone. Why his friends thought they had to keep throwing salt into his wounds, I don’t know.
But Job, living in the horror Bildad described, demonstrates a faith that blows me away. Listen to what he says:
Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever!
I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me. (19:23-27, emphasis mine)
I’m so thankful Job’s words were recorded like he wished. Job believed he would see God in the flesh some day. And Job longed for that day! In the midst of devastating pain, Job was confident in the fact that he had a Redeemer, alive, and coming to earth. Job wanted to look into those eyes.
We know the name of Job’s Redeemer. His name is Jesus. And He’s your Redeemer, too. Do you know Him with the same confidence Job displayed here? No matter what your circumstances, you have an advocate, one who died so you can live, one who sits at the throne of God and prays for you, draws you to Himself, loves you beyond what you can even imagine.
My dear Redeemer, Jesus, Lord, thank You for the reality of You! Thank You for taking my sins upon Yourself, for suffering what I deserved, for forgiving me. And thank You for the knowledge that You are alive, and one day I’ll look into those eyes of Yours and know for the first time, just how much I am loved. I praise You. I adore You. I worship You.