You water the ridges thereof abundantly: you settle the furrows thereof: you make it soft with showers…
Every season of the year utters a voice, and every succeeding day proclaims knowledge; yet, if any one of the revolutions of time speaks more clearly and distinctly than another, it is that which rapidly clothes and covers barren land with verdure and abundance. Then everything is vocal.
I. AN INTELLIGENT RECOGNITION OF DIVINE INTERFERENCE. Let this fact, which is so readily admitted, produce the proper practical effects on your heart and conduct.
1. Diligence will then result, under the powerful conviction that it is not the earth uncultured which God blesses, but that which has been furrowed by the plough, and sown with the valuable grain; this He smiles upon, there He "causes the bud of the tender herb to spring forth."
2. Faithful dependence.
II. A CLAIM ON YOUR GRATITUDE. To whom are you indebted for the refreshing verdure of your fields, for the tender herb which appeareth? That which we hope to gather, God giveth. "I beseech you, therefore, brethren," etc. (Romans 12:1). And has God blessed those other fields which you have cultured with a solicitous and parental care? When you are permitted to see your sons growing up as plants in their youth, to witness the domestic regularity of your children; and at the same time observe some neighbouring households, like the field of the slothful, grown over with the thorns and thistles, the nettles and briars, of unholy tempers and conduct; when you notice these things, and consider the inadequacy of your talents and toils to effect these pleasing prospects, can you refrain from praising God even with a loud voice, in that He has been mindful of His promise that "He would pour out His spirit from on high, so that the wilderness should become a fruitful field"?
III. AN ANTIDOTE TO YOUR APPREHENSIONS. When God begins any good work, the commencement is the best pledge of its completion. As farmers watch over their rising corn, but God alone preserves it from danger, and brings it to its destined maturity, — as fathers are solicitous about the health and support of their families, but find that it is vain to rise early, or sit up late, unless God giveth them the needful supply, — as mothers tenderly nourish their offspring, and dandle their little ones on their knees, — so will the Great Author be also the Finisher of their faith. He will watch with care the rising grain, He will support the life He has imparted, He will cherish the endeared resemblance of Himself; He will, in fine, bless the springing of the precious seed, will not let one grain be lost, but gather all into His garner. Conclusion —
1. Although God is the great Agent, He works instrumentally.
2. Is it not a painful consideration, that the promised benediction of Heaven shall prove to some the heaviest calamity?
3. The springing of the corn is frequently employed as an emblem of the resurrection of the body; the subject may therefore profitably lead our thoughts to that great day of decision — delight or despair.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof.