Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
Little beginnings in your hearts will lead to great ends.
I. The first thing I should mention is the little feeling that people have in their own hearts about their sin. Josiah was a very good boy. What is said about him? "Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God" (2 Chronicles 34:27). That was a sure beginning.
II. Sometimes we feel a battle in our hearts, a struggle, something good and something naughty. They seem to fight. At last we get the victory over something. That is a sure beginning when boys or girls begin to feel a struggle in their own hearts, because by nature people feel no struggle. So God said to Adam and Eve, "I will put enmity"—a struggle. It is a sign for good.
III. Notice another thing—beginning to feel an interest in good things. Some children do not like going to church, reading their Bibles they think stupid and dull, and they only do it because they must. When a boy or girl finds a pleasure in these things, then there is a good beginning.
IV. When you try to be useful, when you begin to be religious, you will want to do good things. Your small things will become great things; that is, your soft heart will get softer, till it becomes quite soft enough to take the impression of God's image. The struggle with sin will go on till you get a victory over your own sins and over Satan, and you will come forth more than conquerors. Your pleasure in good things will increase; you will go on and on in usefulness while you live, till finally you will go to that place where "His servants shall serve Him" throughout eternity.
J. Vaughan, Children's Sermons, 1875, p. 82.
Reference: Job 8:7.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vi., p. 311.
Job 8:9One only appears in the centuries of human existence who speaks of immortality as One who knows He is the most lowly of the sons of men. Yet He talks of providence, of immortality, as God might talk, could His voice come down to us from the eternal silence. He does not reason, but declares truths beyond the range, above the scope, of reasoning. He came forth alive from His own sepulchre, thus attesting the non-reality of death, the continuity of life through the death-slumber.
I. If God is our Father, if He exercises a loving providence over us, if He hears our prayers, if He has ordained for us a life beyond death, how shall we know it? Nature is voiceless. Revelation alone can meet these desires of ours, can answer these questions which every awakened consciousness must ask. Jesus Himself is the best proof of the Divinity of the revelation which He gave, or rather which He was and is. His is the most potent spirit that ever dwelt on the earth; His is the mightiest force at work in our world.
II. Here then, in Him "who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light," we have our sure resort and remedy under the depressing consciousness of which our text gives us the formula. Taught by Jesus, we can say, I am not lost; I am not forgotten in the crowd of beings, in the crush of worlds. Thou who art the life of all that live hast made me, in my littleness and lowliness, the partaker of Thine own immortality.
A. P. Peabody, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xi., p. 273.
References: Job 8:11-13.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xi., No. 651. Job 8:13.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. v., p. 62. Job 8—Expositor, 1st series, vol. v., p. 26. Job 9:13.—Ibid., 3rd series, vol. iv., p. 286. Job 9:21.—Ibid., vol. iv., p. 286. Job 9:25, Job 9:26.—J. Budgen, Parochial Sermons, p. 102. Job 9:30-35.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. v., p. 192.
How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?
Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?
If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression;
If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty;
If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.
Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.
For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers:
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)
Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart?
Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water?
Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb.
So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope shall perish:
Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web.
He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.
He is green before the sun, and his branch shooteth forth in his garden.
His roots are wrapped about the heap, and seeth the place of stones.
If he destroy him from his place, then it shall deny him, saying, I have not seen thee.
Behold, this is the joy of his way, and out of the earth shall others grow.
Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers:
Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.
They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nought.