Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine…
A "watered garden" suggests the idea of —
I. A FRAGRANT FRESHNESS. What a difference there is in the plants of a garden after they have been watered by the dews or showers, or by the hand of the gardener! The flowers lift their drooping heads; the leaves, set free from dust, put on a brighter aspect; the plants look as if they had taken a "new lease of life," and you might almost fancy that they were entering with new zest into the enjoyment of their existence! Now, the characters and lives of the people of God ought to be marked by a similar freshness. There ought to be a certain fulness of life in the soul of the Christian, making itself felt by those around him. Godliness tends to keep the soul from withering, and replenishes the springs of the deepest life. There is a perennial freshness in unselfish affections and unworldly aims. The "eternal life" never grows old. Each new day is a new gift from the Father's hand, and brings with it new opportunities of serving the Master and helping the brethren. The faith of the Gospel tends to produce the childlike heart; and to the childlike all is not "vanity and vexation of spirit." Oh! if we would only look at this human life of ours in the light of God, it could scarcely ever lose the freshness of its interest; and if we ourselves were only saturated with the love of God and the love of man, our own souls would be ever full of life, and fresh as a "watered garden." And this freshness of the Christian life is a fragrant freshness. It is a freshness which may co-exist even with physical weakness, sometimes even with disappointed expectations. There are souls which, like the thyme, give out their sweetest perfume when they have just been bruised. And how refreshing it is to see an aged Christian manifesting a fresh and kindly interest in the welfare of others, and especially in the pleasures of the young, and rejoicing in a daily sense of the presence and love of God!
II. A VARIED BEAUTY. In a well-kept garden there is beauty of colour and of form; beauty of order and of tasteful arrangement; beauty of stem, and leaf, and flower; and amongst the flowers themselves a varied beauty, resulting from manifold varieties of form and colour. Flowers do more for people — and especially for some people — than they themselves are aware of; and the blossoming of Christian character has its own subtle influence in the world. There are times when a man may get more good from the flowers of the garden than even from its fruits. And there is a kind of good which a man may get from the sight of a daisy, which he cannot get from the sight of the sturdiest oak. And, even so, the lovelier features of the Christian character have their own peculiar charm and peculiar power. "See how these Christians love one another!" was the admiring cry of the heathen, as they watched the flowering of brotherly affection in the early Church. And certainly there is no beauty to be compared with that of moral and spiritual character. It is said of Linnaeus that the first time he saw the gorse in bloom he knelt down upon the ground in grateful rapture, and gave God thanks for the sight. And have not we ourselves sometimes — after hearing of some chivalrous and generous deed, or after enjoying the company of the pure-minded and the tender-hearted — gone home to thank God upon our knees for the grace which can clothe human character with so much beauty? No rose of the garden is so beautiful as human love when it is both passionate and pure. No geranium, with its contrast of scarlet and green, is so lovely as an open frankness associated with a quiet modesty. No apple-blossoms are so fair as the kindly sympathy which is the natural forerunner of the fruits of well-doing. No lily of the valley is so beautiful as the sweet dignity which half hides itself in humility and tenderness.
III. A RICH FRUITFULNESS. Even the beauty of spiritual character has, as we have just seen, uses of its own, and is, therefore, in a sense, fruitful of good. But, over and above all this, Christians ought also to be putting forth practical endeavours for the promotion of Christ's kingdom, and for the welfare of human hearts and lives. If only you were more generous with your time or with your money, or if only you were more consistent in your conduct out in the world, or if only you were more earnest in the training of your children, or if only you took a deeper interest in the cause of Him who died for you, would not your life be much more fruitful of good
(T. C. Finlayson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
WEB: They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow to the goodness of Yahweh, to the grain, and to the new wine, and to the oil, and to the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.