You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
11 Can the rush [gome'] grow up [ga'ah] without mire [bitstsah]?
can [sagah] the flag ['achuw] grow [sagah] without [baliy] water [mayim]?
12 Whilst it is yet in his greenness ['eb], and not cut down [qataph], it withereth
[yabesh] before [paniym] any other herb [chatsiyr].
13 So are the paths ['orach] of all that forget [shakach]
God ['el]; and the hypocrite's [chaneph] hope [tiqvah] shall perish ['abad]:
14 Whose hope [kecel] shall be cut
off [qatat], and whose trust [mibtach] shall be a spider's [`akkabiysh] web [bayith]. KJV-Interlinear
11 'Can the papyrus grow up without marsh? Can the rushes
grow without water? 12 'While it is
still green and not cut down, Yet it withers before any other plant. 13 'So are the paths of all who forget God,
And the hope of the godless will perish,
14 Whose confidence is fragile, And whose trust a spider's web. NASB
Papyrus called rush, and rushes called
flags, are wetlands plants. When the
river floods and then recedes, it leaves ponds, and puddles and marsh areas
behind. In those wet areas where the
water saturates the ground, these plants grow up quickly. So long as there is an abundance of water,
they flourish, growing to approximately eight to twelve feet tall, which is
about three to four meters in height.
Papyrus is of course the plant from
which the ancient papyrus paper was made.
Common in the Middle East, papyrus paper could have been available, but
that is not the point that Bildad is making here. It is the sudden flourishing
of the plant followed by its sudden demise when the water dries up, that Bildad
These plants grow up without being
planted, without being cultivated, without human intervention whatsoever. Then, just as they grow up to great heights,
when the water dries up, while they are still standing tall, and green and
healthy, they suddenly wither and die.
Their magnificence disappears in short order.
Bildad's point? As goes the marsh plants, so goes the life of
Anyone who lives in this world, can, by
the productiveness of the world, become successful and stand tall among men. So long as the economics of the region
remains prosperous, so the wicked might be able to remain successful.
But just as the waters of the river
recede, so too, the prosperity of a region will decline in normal economic
cycles. Along with that decline, the
wicked can lose their wealth and status, and then be no more.
An over simplification, but Bildad's
point has its merit, to some extent.
It is true that God has put into place
various systems or laws which aid the survival of humanity. We call these systems, the Laws of Divine
Establishment. They include concepts of
free enterprise and fundamental economics principles, as well as principles of
freedom, liberty, volition, privacy and so forth.
These laws were put into place to offset
the Laws of the Jungle, over which Satan rules.
Both sets of laws compete for rule in
this world, and apply to every living person, whether young or old, rich or
poor, male or female, believer of unbeliever.
No one is excluded. We all have
to deal with them throughout our life.
Whether you are a good person or bad,
makes no difference. A bad person can
buy low and sell high and make a profit. A bad person can deceive others and
become prosperous. An unbeliever can
live a perfectly normal and honest life, utilizing his gift for business, or
from some other talent he might have, and be very successful in life.
Anyone who lives in this world, can
become successful or poor depending on his or her talent, skill, or even luck.
But as Bildad suggests, one day the
waters, which feed success, will run dry, and then the wicked will whither and
Truthfully, when a person dies, then
this principle becomes true. However
during ones life, it may or may not apply.
Some bad folks can live their entire life and never have a problem, up
to the moment of their death. Likewise,
anyone can get rich and then lose it all during their life, even several times
over. Their spiritual status however,
may not have anything to do with their economic status.
Lazarus was spiritually mature but
economically poor. He died at the gate
of the rich man, who was an unbeliever.
Lazarus went to Paradise, while the rich man went to Torments.
Bildad is looking at Job, and in this
example, suggests that Job has grown up quickly within the abundant waters of
prosperity, but with no real soil to establish good strong roots. Wickedness would be like building in a marsh. Goodness would be like building ones life in
good soil, or on a solid foundation.
Bildad uses the spider's web to
illustrate the weak and insecure life of the wicked. A spider weaves and places all of his trust
in his web. The web may look magnificent, but when put to the test, it proves
to be easily destroyed with little effort.
So it is with the wicked person. A life without God, a life without
spiritual growth, is like building a spider's web within your soul. It has no real strength or durability and is
easily fragmented and destroyed.
The life based on good remains, while
the life based on bad, sinks away.
That is the general principle. But that principle does not apply in its
finality until the person dies. Only
after death comes the ultimate evaluation.
Bildad presumes that your economic
status and the existence of problems or absence of them in life, determines
your spiritual status. Knowing your
worldly life, enables other people to evaluate you, or at least know what kind
of a person you are.
However, it is not our place to evaluate
or judge others. That is Gods business. We do not have the right, nor do we have
enough information to enable us to evaluate the spiritual status of others. We
cannot say that a rich man is good and a poor man is bad, nor can we say that
someone who has been caught up in some horrendous disaster, deserved what they
God has a different and unique purpose
for each individual. Some He might make
wealthy, and some He might make poor. To
some, He might add an abundance, and to some He might take it away.
For whatever reason, God determines what
is best for each person.
Here, in Job's case, his wealth and
decline are provided by God to teach many generations of people throughout
history. Job did not know this back
then, but I am sure he is aware of it now.
His book has been the basis of teaching many billions of people. And if human history continues for another
century or two, many tens of billions more will read this book and learn from
That alone should be viewed as a
tremendous honor and source of blessing to Job.
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.