You have multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before you according to the joy in harvest…
I. THE HARVEST.
1. Its import. Seasonable gathering of fruits yielded by the earth, according to established natural laws — fruits of the field, orchard, vineyard, or the garden.
2. Its antiquity. It began with the dawn of created life. It is older than any human form of government, and it has the charm of having existed anterior to the division of humanity into tribes and nations, and before the formation of any landed estates. It is one of nature's first bonds to assure every living creature the right of existence.
3. Its universality. It is the heritage of all countries, according to their climates.
4. Its constancy. It is as firm from age to age as the Word of God, and an infallible witness to His faithfulness, as well as to the plenitude of His goodness.
II. THE JOY OF CHRIST. The harvest songs are no pretence without reality.
1. Its intensity. Joy of harvest signifies great joy.
2. Its reasonableness. It is grounded on realised goodness.
3. It is grounded on realised goodness in abundance.
III. THE ANALOGY BETWEEN THE JOY OF HARVEST AND THE JOY WHICH SPRINGS FROM FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.
1. Both are God's gifts.
2. Both are sequels of human industry.
3. Both are teachers of impressive moral lessons.
(1) The goodness of God in providence and grace.
(2) The continual duty of gratitude.
(3) The real dignity of labour.
(4) The wisdom of looking for and hasting to the heavenly harvest home.
4. They differ in that one is temporal and the other eternal in its duration. Joy centred in God will never end.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.