A Timely and Terrible WarningStudies in Job · part 26 of 30Rev. Ivan Foster · Sunday - AMJob 36:18 · Sun Jan 1, 1995

"Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee," Job 36:18.

Our text is one of those that have quite often been applied as a gospel warning to the unconverted. While we do not quarrel with the applicability of this truth to sinners, we would fear lest the verse be ignored by the believer on this account. It is a verse meant for the people of God. Aye, even the best of saints, for it was spoken to one of the greatest men of all ages.

When Elihu says to Job, But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee, Job 36:17, he is accusing Job of joining cause with the wicked and arguing their case and, because he was reacting to God’s chastening as would the ungodly, he was prolonging his afflictions. Remember, it was said of Job in 32:2, he justified himself rather than God. Job was clearing himself of all guilt and accusing God of treating him unfairly. For this reason Elihu tells Job to beware of God’s wrath.


God’s wrath may be provoked by His people. Exodus 22:24, 32:7-10. Consider the following occasions of wrath.

  1. A despising of God's provision angers Him. Numbers 11:4-10, 31-34.
  2. A corrupting of true worship will anger God. Exodus 32:7-10
  3. A disobeying of the book of God gives rise to wrath. II kings 23:13-17, Ezra 8:22.
  4. Self-esteem angers God. I Chron 21:1, 7, II Chron 32:25,
  5. Helping the cause of the ungodly angers God. II Chron 19:2.
  6. Profaning the Sabbath angers God. Neh 13:15-18.


The word stroke literally means the clap of His hands. In just such a brief moment God’s wrath can fall upon those who defy Him.

  1. This is true of believers. Acts 5:1-11, 1 Cor 11:29-32.
  2. It is most assuredly true of the unbeliever. Numbers 16:28-33, He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy, Pro 29:1. Suddenly means in the blinking of an eye.


  1. It is swift but it is also final. The Hebrew word for ransom appears first in Gen 6:14. There it is translated pitch. Pitch was the means of safeguarding the lives of Noah and his family, of putting them beyond the reach of the flood. There is nothing that will safeguard the offender once God’s stroke falls. There is no pitch, no payment, there is no hand that can stretch out for your help or comfort.
  2. How vital it is that we all obey the Lord and walk in submission to Him. Believer remember, the fear of the Lord is an essential aspect of true holiness. What is it we should fear but His anger. Exodus 18:21, Deut 9:4-7, Acts 9:11, II Cor 7:11, Hebrews 12:28.

For the sinner who has long defied and disregarded His mercy we can but beg you to consider your ways. This day, hell could open up its mouth to receive you. From that most awful fate there is no recovery. As it was with Sodom, when the sun arose as on any other day but it was the day of their damnation and they knew it not. “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God,” Hebrews 3:7-12.

ID: 11900132820 · A Timely and Terrible Warning