Can you bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after you?
What more humiliating proof have we of the depravity of the human heart, than the arrogant assumption of deciding on God's plans, and censuring His providential government, when we are so entirely ignorant of the most simple and ordinary occurrences in Nature? This was the error into which Job had fallen. Harrowing so tears and disturbs the ground, that it has, from the earliest ages, been considered as a fit emblem of very heavy and complicated trial. Here it suggests the necessity and benefits of frequent adversity.
1. The human heart, naturally haughty, requires much to reduce it, and break it into subjection to Christ; events adverse to our wishes, and which cross our inclinations, graciously effect this useful purpose. As the ground is torn and reduced by the harrow, so adversities administered by the Almighty lower the haughty temper and subdue the unhallowed dispositions of His people.
2. By this method of tillage the surface of the earth is smoothed and rendered level. Our minds are brought into an orderly and submissive state by trials of extraordinary severity and pressure. So ruffled and rugged are our tempers that, for our own sakes, this chaos must be brought to order, this confusion into regularity. The unequality of a ploughed field is too feeble a representation of this state of mind.
3. Adverse providences occasion the good seed of the Word to be covered and hidden in our hearts, as the grain literally is covered from injury, and concealed from the birds, by the process of harrowing. An analogy may be traced between the field sown and yet unharrowed, and the mind stored with moral and even religious instruction, but undisciplined by trial.
4. The resemblance between the usefulness of harrowing, to collect the dead weeds, and cleanse the land of old roots, and the good effects of holy trouble, to detach those many moral weeds and those pernicious roots of evil which yet remain in our hearts.
Parallel VersesKJV: Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?