And saying, Sirs, why do you these things? We also are men of like passions with you…
Rain indicates sovereign power and goodness — "it tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men." In seasons of eastern drought, when the earth is parched, when "the field is wasted, and the land mourneth, and the new wine is dried up," when the dread of hunger appalls everyone, and even the dumb brutes are looking up to heaven in stupid despair; then it is felt that man cannot help himself, that he must only wait and long and pray till the clouds begin to gather, for he is conscious of being wholly in the power of a higher Will. Day after day passes, and the sun looks down on burnt pasture, dry channels, and a cracked and dusty soil. At evening there are hopeful symptoms, but they are vanished before the morning. The heavens are anxiously scanned if the smallest speck may be discovered, and the imagination often creates it. It is hoped that the wind may veer, and every breath excites, and then belies such an expectation. Spirit and energy are gone — "dimness of anguish" is seen on every countenance. Men dream of floods, and waken to more disappointment. They can do nothing, and devise nothing, to better themselves, No wonder, then, that the giving of rain was associated with Divinity. It is pointedly asked in a Greek drama, when the existence of Jupiter is denied — "And who then giveth rain?" as if this were proof beyond all doubt. In Southern Africa, where the idea of God is nearly effaced, there is still a belief in a Supreme Power, whose awful prerogative is, not to create men or govern them, but simply to give rain — a gift which is felt to be so necessary, and withal is conferred or withheld in such precarious and variable times and quantities; the dreaded Deity is He who brings them what they so much want, and on the gift of which they can never count — He is the rainmaker. Nay, in that dry upland region of Lycaonia water was often scarce; the heaven as iron, and the earth as brass, and water fetched up from deep wells was so precious as to be sold for money. It was with peculiar point, therefore, that the apostle turned his audience to God — who is doing good — giving rain from heaven.
(J. Eadie, D. D.)
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;