Job 18:14

Men regard death as the king of terrors. Let us consider first the grounds of this notion, and then how it may be dispelled.

I. LET US CONSIDER WHY DEATH IS REGARDED AS THE KING OF TERRORS. Men instinctively think of death as "the grisly terror."

"I fled, and cried out, 'Death!'
Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sighed
From all her caves, and back resounded, 'Death!'"

1. It is opposed to the natural love of life. "All that a man hath win he give for his life." Therefore death appears as his enemy. Every living creature shuns it. The fear of it makes a tragedy of the chase.

2. It is irresistible. A veritable monarch. We may maintain a state of siege for a time, but we know we must all capitulate at last. When death storms the citadel in real earnest, no power can keep it out.

3. Its territory is unknown. The mystery of death adds to its terrors. If we saw more we might fear less. We launch our vessel on a dark sea, not knowing what surges beat on the further shore.

4. It comes in pain. We often say that the worst is over with the poor sufferer before the end has come. The bitterness of death has passed before death itself has been reached. Still there is suffering at the end of most lives, and we instinctively shrink from this. We cannot bring ourselves to face the thought of the death-struggle.

5. It takes us from all the light and joy of earth. The natural love of life is confirmed by experience. To die is "to lie in cold obstruction." All the sunshine and flowers of this fair world are gone, all the sweetness of companionship with the loved on earth. The soul is severed from its earthly delights.

6. It comes to each singly. Each soul must venture alone into the dread unknown.

7. It ushers us into future judgment. "After death the judgment" The sinner who dares not give an account of himself before God dreads to hear the summons from the messenger of the unseen. "The sting of death is sin."

II. LET US SEE HOW DEATH CAN BE SOBBED OF ITS TERRORS. Christ dethrones the king of terrors, and wrests his dark kingdom away, flooding it with the light of his grace. The Christian can do more than the Roman hero and the Stoic philosopher who had learnt to me, t death "with an equal mind." He can say, "To me... to die is gain."

1. Christ removes the causes of the fear of death. He does not lull the fear as with an opiate, He dissipates it by abolishing its source, as one dissipates a malarious fog by draining the marsh from which it rises. He goes to the root by conquering sin, which is the most fundamental cause of the terror of death. Bringing pardon for past sin, he dispels the alarm of future judgment; and bringing purification of soul, he removes the indwelling sin that always shrinks from death as the foe of man. Then Christ helps us to face the pain, the darkness, and the mystery of death, by assuring us of his own supporting presence: "It is I; be not afraid."

2. Christ throws light on the region beyond death. He would not have us fix our attention on death. That is but a transient experience. At the worst it is a dark door to be passed through. The Christian will never dwell in the kingdom of death. To him death is

"That golden key
That open the palace of eternity." There is a triumph over death for those who, sleeping in Christ, wake to the life eternal. For them the king of terrors has ceased to be. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:26). - W.F.A.

His confidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle, and it shall bring him to the king of terrors.
The world understands by the word "wicked" one who offends against the law of conscience, — one who breaks the second table of the law, the only table which it thinks important. Scripture means by it one who violates his relationship to God, — who transgresses the first table of the law. The term "wicked" has much more reference to the state of their hearts towards God than their state before man. Bildad shows the effects of wickedness.

I. ON THE WICKED MAN HIMSELF (vers. 7, 8). The great point in these verses is the certainty with which he brings misery upon himself. His very sins are made his chastisement.

II. ON HIS FAMILY (ver. 6). "The light shall be darkened in his tabernacle." In some Eastern countries a lamp is suspended from the ceiling of each room, and kept burning all the night, so that the house is full of light. And so, in the dwellings of the godly, there is light — the light of God's presence. But in the dwellings of the ungodly there is no such light, and no blessing. And with the absence of this there is also, very often, the absence of family union and love. Very different is the Christian's confidence. It rests upon a faithful and unchanging Saviour. Its roots strike deep into the everlasting hills.

(George Wagner.)

It shall bring him to the king of terrors.
Under a threefold consideration.

1. If we consider the antecedents, the forerunners or harbingers of death, which are pains, sicknesses, and diseases.

2. If we consider the nature of death. What is death? Death is a disunion; all disunions are troublesome, and some are terrible. Those are most terrible which rend that from us which is nearest to us. Death is also a privation, and a total privation. Death is such a privation, as from which there can be no return to nature.

3. In regard of the consequents. Rottenness and corruption consume the dead, and darkness covers them in the grave. We may ranks a threefold gradation of the terribleness of death.(1) To a godly man, when his spiritual state is unsettled.(2) When his worldly estate is well settled, when he hath deeply engaged in the creature, and his earthly mountain apparently stands strong.(3) Death is most terrible to those who, though they have the knowledge of God, and outwardly profess the Gospel of Christ, yet walk contrary to it. It should be our study, as it is our wisdom, to make this "king of terrors" a kind of "king of comfort" to us. Many believers have attained to this.A believer moves on these principles.

1. That death cannot break the bond of the covenant between God and us.

2. Death may break the union between the soul and the body, but it cannot break the union between the soul and Christ. This outlives death.

3. The apostle asserts that the sting of death is out.

4. Scripture calls death a sleep or rest.

5. Death puts a period to our earthly sorrows, and we have no reason to be sorry for that.

6. It is called a "going to God," in whom we shall have an eternal enjoyment.

7. It is a dying to live, as well as a dying from life.

(Joseph Caryl.).

Then Job answered and said.

1. He complains of the conduct of his friends, and especially their want of sympathy.

(1)They exasperated him with their words.

(2)With their persistent hostility.

(3)With their callousness.

(4)With their assumed superiority.Nothing tends more to aggravate a man's suffering than the heartless and wordy talk of those who controvert his opinions in the hour of his distress.

2. He complains of the conduct of his God. God had "overthrown and confounded him": had "refused him a hearing and hedged up his way." He complains that he was utterly "deprived of his honours and his hope." God had even treated him as "an enemy, and sent troops of calamities to overwhelm him." God had put "all society against him." These complainings reveal —

(1)a most lamentable condition of existence;

(2)considerable imperfections in moral character.

II. JOB FIRMLY CONFIDING. He still held on to his faith in God as the vindicator of his character.

1. His confidence arose from faith in a Divine vindicator.

2. A vindicator who would one day appear on the earth.

3. Whom he would personally see for himself,

4. Who would so thoroughly clear him that his accusers would be filled with self-accusation. "But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?"


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