Though your beginning was small, yet your latter end should greatly increase.
With irritating admonitions - most galling in the cruel insinuation that Job's children had died on account of their sins - Bildad presumes to assure Job that if only he is pure God will be just, and will awake to deliver him, so that, though he has a small beginning, his end shall be very great. This was all based on a very false and unjust idea of Job, his past conduct, and his present duty. Nevertheless in itself it opened up a true view of the course of one who is restored to right relations with God.
I. THE CHRISTIAN MUST HAVE A SMALL BEGINNING.
1. In penitence. He must first humble himself in the very dust. No boasting can be admitted into the kingdom of heaven.
2. In childlikeness. We have to turn and become as little children if we are to enter God's kingdom. This implies humility, simplicity of heart, and the utter self abandonment of faith.
3. In spiritual experience. We can but begin the Christian life as babes in Christ. Our knowledge is small, our strength slight, our spiritual attainment most imperfect.
4. In enjoyment of blessings. We may begin in temporal adversity. There is no promise that the Christian shall be a rich and prospereus man in the world. But whatever the external condition may be, the enjoyment of the real fruits of Divine grace will be but small until the soul has grown into the capacity to receive more of the blessings they bring.
II. THE CHRISTIAN WILL HAVE A GREAT INCREASE.
1. On earth. The Christian life should be one of progress, and it will be if it is healthy. Growth is a law of life, and it is a law that applies to the Divine life in the soul. The healthy Christian will grow in grace; his knowledge will expand; his spirituality will deepen; his capacity for service will widen; his enjoyment of the blessedness of the vision of God will become richer and more intense.
2. In heaven. The best comes last. The great increase is in the "latter end; This is different from the experience of natural life, which reaches a climax in middle life, and then turns towards the decrepitude of senile decay. But there is no such decline for the spiritual life so long as it is healthy. That life knows no old age; it partakes of the unfading glory of the Eternal. For the aged Christian there shall be "light at eventide;" and when his sun has set on earth, it shall rise in heaven in the larger glory of God's eternal day.
III. GOD LEADS THE RACE FROM A SMALL BEGINNING TO A INCREASE. This is the case naturally in the population which has sprung from one pair of parents, until it has filled the earth with more than a thousand million souls, and which continues to increase at an unprecedented rate. The same is true of civilization and human progress. The law of human life on earth is one of advance and enlargement. Thus we are encouraged to look forward to the golden age. God is educating the race by the process of the centuries, and preparing it for great increase at the latter end. There was a grand advance beyond these Old Testament times when Christ brought in his gospel; the triumphs of the gospel speak of an enlarged increase. But the best is in store in the full coming of the kingdom of Christ. Therefore let us press forward in hope and an eager desire to do our part towards hastening the happy advent of the promised future. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.