And saying, Sirs, why do you these things? We also are men of like passions with you…
I. HARVEST TIME AS A WITNESS FOR GOD. The apostles reminded the people that they had no excuse for their ingratitude or idolatry; the order and fruitfulness of the seasons testified to the fact of —
I. The Divine existence. Every court in the temple of nature is crowded with witnesses to the Divine existence.
2. The Divine attributes —
(1) Natural, e.g., self-existence, intelligence, almightiness.
(2) Moral; e.g., rectitude, benevolence, faithfulness. The fertility, regularity, variety, beauty, freeness of the seasons, these all illustrate the excellency of the character and perfection of the working of the God of the harvest, who opens His hand and supplies the wants of every living thing.
II. HARVEST TIME AS AN APOCALYPSE TO MAN. The processes and phenomena speak to the reason and spiritual intuitions of man. The brutes gaze unconsciously upon creation, but man can reflect, deduce, conclude. When the brawny reapers thrust in the sickle and gather the harvest home, we have revealed —
1. The complex character of nature's laws. From the initial step in preparing the ground for the reception of the seed to the time when the garners are stored with the finest of the wheat, what majesty, manifoldness, mercy, and mystery are displayed! Life out of death; real good out of apparent evil — blight, mildew, etc. Kept under restraint, under constant control.
2. The connection between Divine sovereignty and human free agency.
(1) Man's sphere in the economy of nature is clear and free, with liberty to plough, sow, reap; we may use our choice as to when, how, what, where.
(2) God's sphere is absolute. He sends rain, gives fruitful seasons. We have no command or control over winds, or rain, or sun.
3. The correspondence between cause and effect. In quality and quantity. "Whatsoever a man soweth that also shall he reap." The more thorough and severe the cultivation of the soil, the richer the harvest. In moral discipline, the severer the trial, the nobler and richer the character.
4. The dependence of man upon God — "In Him we live and move," etc. "He gives rain," etc. "He fills our hearts with food and gladness." The thought with which we plan and purpose; the strength with which we labour and gather, all come from Him.
5. The duty of man to bless God.
(F. W. Brown.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
WEB: "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the sky and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them;