Fruitful Labor
Isaiah 32:20
Blessed are you that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the donkey.

Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters. "There will he widespread desolation," says the prophet; "the fields will be untilled, the land will he covered with briars and thorns; but a glorious change shall come over the scene' - the 'wilderness shall become a fruitful field' (ver. 15), the happy scenes of industry will again be witnessed, the arts and industries of agriculture will revive and flourish in all their former fullness. Happy will be the land that shall put forth its whole strength in the field; 'blessed are they that sow beside all waters.' 'Two general truths spring from this passage.

I. THAT THEY ARE BLESSED WHO PUT FORTH ALL THE POWERS WITH WHICH THEY ARE ENDOWED. It should be the happiness of Israel in its time of restoration to leave no soil uncultivated that would yield produce; they would sow beside all waters. All its inhabitants, with all their agricultural implements, would be busy in the open fields; no strength left unexercised in the homes; no weapons left unused in the storehouses. Unhappy indeed is

(1) the country whose population is doomed to enforced idleness, whose looms are still, whose ploughs are rusting in the homestead;

(2) the family where sons and daughters are letting their various faculties lie idle, when they might be put forth to their own great advantage and for the good of others;

(3) the man whose individual powers are slumbering in his soul, unspent and undeveloped. Blessed are they who expend all the resources they possess, who cultivate all their skill of hand, who develop all their strength of mind, who so put out all their talents that the whole energies of their spiritual nature will be employed, increased, perfected. By sowing beside all waters is meant sowing seed in well-watered, and therefore fruitful, soil. The expression consequently contains the idea -

II. THAT THEY ABE BLESSED WHO ARE ENGAGED IN REMUNERATIVE LABOR. This is peculiarly true of the Christian workman.

1. He had the very best seed to sow: truth, which God took centuries to prepare, which is the purchase of a Savior's tears and blood, which is exquisitely adapted to the soil for which it is intended.

2. He has well-watered, i.e. fertile, responsive soil in which to place it. He has, amongst others:

(1) The virgin soil of youth. Youth may often be inattentive, frivolous, unstable; nevertheless it is docile, affectionate, trustful, tender-hearted.

(2) The prepared soil of affliction. When God has chastened the soul with his fatherly hand, there is a softness of spirit, an impressionableness of heart which makes words of comfort, of exhortation, of warning peculiarly welcome.

(3) The productive soil of poverty. From the days when "the common people heard Jesus gladly," and when it was said "to the poor the gospel is preached," to these times in which we live, the poor have been comparatively rich in faith and hope. By those to whom the riches and enjoyments of earth are denied, the treasures of truth and the blessedness of the kingdom of God are likely to be prized and gained (see 1 or i 26 28 Blessed are the who sow such fertile soils, for theirs is not only the blessing which comes to all faithful laborers - the approval of Christ and their own spiritual advancement - but the great "joy of harvest," the joy which fills the husbandman's heart when he "comes again" from the "heavy-fruited" fields, "bringing his sheaves with him." - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.

WEB: Blessed are you who sow beside all waters, who send out the feet of the ox and the donkey.

True Rest in Persons; Specially in God
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