You have multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before you according to the joy in harvest…
I. WHAT IS THE JOY OF HARVEST, which is here taken as the simile of the joy of the saints before God?
1. Sometimes the farmer only rejoices because he sees the reward of his toils, and is so much the richer man.
2. The joy of harvest has another element in it, namely, that of gratitude to God for favours bestowed.
3. To the Christian it should be great joy, by means of the harvest, to receive an assurance of God's faithfulness.
4. To the Christian, in the joy of harvest, there will always be the joy of expectation. As there is a harvest to the husbandman for which he waiteth patiently, so there is a harvest for all faithful waiters who are looking for the appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our joy of harvest is the hope of being at rest with all the saints, and forever with the Lord.
II. WHAT JOYS ARE THOSE WHICH TO THE BELIEVER ARE AS THE JOY OF HARVEST?
1. One of the first seasons in which we knew a joy equal to the joy of harvest, — a season which has continued with us ever since it commenced — was, when we found the Saviour, and so obtained salvation. No husbandman ever shouted for joy as our hearts should when a precious Christ was ours, and we could grasp Him with full assurance of salvation in Him. The joy of harvest generally shows itself by the farmer giving a feast to his friends and neighbours; and, usually, those who find Christ express their joy by telling their friends and neighbours how great things the Lord hath done for them.
2. It is the joy of answered prayer.
3. We have another joy of harvest in ourselves when we conquer a temptation. Those know deep joy who have felt bitter sorrow. As the man feels that he is the stronger for the conflict, as he feels that he has gathered experience and stronger faith from having passed through the trial, he lifts up his heart, and rejoices, not in himself, but before his God, with the joy of harvest.
4. Again, there is such a thing as the joy of harvest when we have been rendered useful.
5. Another delight which is as the joy of harvest is, fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Our condition matters nothing to us if Christ be with us.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
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.