Be patient therefore, brothers, to the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth…
Christian patience supposeth a sense of evil, and then, in the formality of it, it is a submission of the whole soul to the will of God: wherein observe —
1. The nature; it is a submission of the whole soul. The judgment subscribeth, "Good is the Word of the Lord," &c. (Isaiah 39:9). Though it were to him a terrible word, yet the submission of a sanctified judgment can call it good. Then the will accepteth, "If they shall accept the punishment" (Leviticus 26:41); that is, take it kindly from God that it is no worse. Then the affections are restrained, and anger and sorrow brought under the commands of the word. Then the tongue is bridled, lest discontent splash over; Aaron held his peace (Leviticus 10:3).
2. Consider the grounds and proper considerations upon which all this is carried on; usually there is such a progress as this in the spiritual discourse.
(1) The soul seeth God in it, "I was dumb and opened not my mouth, because Thou didst it" (Psalm 39:9).
(2) It seeth God acting with sovereignty, "None can say unto Him, What debt Thou?" (Job 9:12). And elsewhere, "He giveth no account of His matters."(3) Lest this should make the heart storm, it seeth sovereignty mitigated in the dispensation of it with several attributes. With justice. With mercy, "Thou hast punished us less than we deserved" (Ezra 9:13). They were afflicted, they might have been destroyed; they were in Babylon, they might have been in hell. "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might keep Thy statutes." God's faithfulness would not suffer them to want such a sweet help. With wisdom, "God is a God of judgment "(Isaiah 30:18); it is meant in His dispensations. Let God alone; He is too just to do us wrong, and too kind and wise to do us harm.
Parallel VersesKJV: Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.