|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
65:6-13 That Almighty strength which sets fast the mountains, upholds the believer. That word which stills the stormy ocean, and speaks it into a calm, can silence our enemies. How contrary soever light and darkness are to each other, it is hard to say which is most welcome. Does the watchman wait for the morning? so does the labourer earnestly desire the shades of evening. Some understand it of the morning and evening sacrifices. We are to look upon daily worship, both alone and with our families, to be the most needful of our daily occupations, the most delightful of our daily comforts. How much the fruitfulness of this lower part of the creation depends upon the influence of the upper, is easy to observe; every good and perfect gift is from above. He who enriches the earth, which is filled with man's sins, by his abundant and varied bounty, can neither want power nor will to feed the souls of his people. Temporal mercies to us unworthy creatures, shadow forth more important blessings. The rising of the Sun of righteousness, and the pouring forth of the influences of the Holy Spirit, that river of God, full of the waters of life and salvation, render the hard, barren, worthless hearts of sinners fruitful in every good work, and change the face of nations more than the sun and rain change the face of nature. Wherever the Lord passes, by his preached gospel, attended by his Holy Spirit, his paths drop fatness, and numbers are taught to rejoice in and praise him. They will descend upon the pastures of the wilderness, all the earth shall hear and embrace the gospel, and bring forth abundantly the fruits of righteousness which are, through Jesus Christ, to the glory of the Father. Manifold and marvellous, O Lord, are thy works, whether of nature or of grace; surely in loving-kindness hast thou made them all.
Verse 10. - Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly; rather, the furrows (Hengstenberg, Kay, Cheyne, Revised Version). Thou settlest the furrows thereof; rather, thou smoothest down its ridges. So covering up the grain, and bringing the rough ploughed land to a comparatively smooth surface. Thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof. The whole ground being softened with warm showers, the springing of the blade begins under God's blessing.
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Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly,.... Kimchi calls them the eminences of the earth, the little hills, the higher parts of ploughed land; those which lie between furrow and furrow seem to be meant, which being watered with rain become lower, and are made fruitful: these may denote such as are lifted up with their own imaginary purity and righteousness; and who, when the grace of God takes hold upon them, are humbled, and confess themselves the chief of sinners and the least of saints, renounce their own righteousness, and submit to Christ's;
thou settlest the furrows thereof; or "thou causest the rain to descend into the furrows thereof" (p); which fills them, and makes them fruitful; and may design humble souls, whom the Lord fills with his good things, and makes them fruitful in every good work;
thou makest it soft with showers; which through drought is become like iron and brass, and, without large and heavy showers, as the word (q) used signifies, and these repeated, it is so hard, that no impressions can be made upon it, nor anything spring out of it; and such is the hard heart of man, which God only can make soft by the means of his word, through the energy of his Spirit, and the efficacy of his grace; which coming in great abundance, like large showers of rain, removes the hardness of the heart, makes it susceptible of divine impressions, and of receiving the seed of the word, whereby it becomes fruitful;
thou blessest the springing thereof; the tender blade, when it first peeps out of the earth; this the Lord nourishes and cherishes; he preserves it from the nipping frosts, by covering it with snow; he waters it with the dews of heaven, and warms it with the beams of the sun; he causes it to grow, and brings it to perfection: so the Lord takes great notice of the springing and buddings forth of grace, of the first acts and exercises of it in young converts, and takes care of them; and as he will not hurt them himself, nor break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax; so he takes care that others should not; see Sol 6:11; he gives them more grace, and strengthens what they have; causes it to grow, and brings it on to perfection. The word here used is the same by which Christ, the branch, is expressed, Zechariah 3:8; and as the Lord has blessed him with the blessings of goodness, so he blesses all the branches which are in him, John 15:4, Ephesians 1:3.
(p) "descendere facis pluviam in sulcos ejus", Vatablus. (q) "guttis grandioribus", Piscator.
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