I will be as the dew to Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.…
I. GOD'S REFRESHING COMMUNICATIONS TO HIS PEOPLE. The communications of God to His people are fitly compared to the influence of dew, which —
1. Distils silently and almost imperceptibly.
2. Yet insinuates itself into plants.
3. And thus maintains vegetative powers.
II. GOD'S REFRESHING COMMUNICATIONS ARE ATTESTED BY GRACIOUS FRUITS AND EFFECTS.
1. Growth. The quickness of the growth of the lily often excites admiration. Its stability defies the assaults of earth and hell. While it spreads its branches and displays its vigor in every good word and work.
2. Beauty. Peculiar grace and beauty in the olive-tree. And such there is in the soul that communes much with God. How is the lively Christian beautified with salvation!
(1) His outward conduct is rendered amiable in every part.
(2) His inward dispositions of humility and love are ornaments which even God Himself admires (1 Peter 3:4). He is transformed into the very image of his God (Ephesians 4:23, 24).
(3) Nor shall his beauty be ever suffered to decay (Psalm 1:3). The olive an evergreen.
3. Fragrancy (twice mentioned in text). Lebanon was no less famous for its odoriferous vines than for its lofty cedars.
(1) And does not the Christian diffuse a "sweet savour of Christ" all around him? See him fresh from the presence of God before the sun has exhaled the dew, or the world abated the fervour of his affections. How refreshing and delightful his conversation (Proverbs 16:24).
(2) How pleasing are his character and life also to his God and Saviour! "The Lord hearkened," etc. (Malachi 3:16). "Awake, O north wind," etc. (Song of Solomon 4:16). "Let your speech," etc. (Colossians 4:6). The nearer you live to God the better will you fulfil that duty.
4. Fruitfulness. The corn and the vine are just emblems of a Christian's fruitfulness.
(1) They often wear s most unpromising appearance.
(2) Yet they are "revived" by the genial influences of sun and rain. Thus the Christian may be reduced to a drooping or desponding state. But the renewed influences of the Holy Spirit will revive him.
(3) They make him "fruitful in every good word and work," he yields the "fruits of righteousness." Note especially the beneficent influences a Christian exerts. They who "dwell under his shadow" are most nearly connected with him, and feel the influences of his character, will participate his blessings. e.g., Master: he is considerate, gentle, wise, in relation to his dependants. Parent: Christianity sweetens family life, and blesses the children. Minister: he sheds a sacred and elevating influence — strengthening, solacing, saving. Infer —
1. How honourable and blessed is the Christian state! Often is he favoured with visits from above. Glorious are the effects produced by God upon him. The whole creation scarcely affords images whereby his blessedness may be adequately represented. Who, then, is so honourable? Who so happy? Let all endeavour to maintain a sense of their high privileges; and to "walk worthily of the calling wherewith they are called."
2. How hopeful is the state of those who wait on God! The promises in the text were given as an answer to prayer. And they are made to all who, like Israel, plead with God.
(1) If the dew" be withheld from others, it shall descend on them. e.g., Gideon (Judges 6:37, 38).
(2) The Spirit's descent shall accomplish the utmost, wishes of their souls.
(3) They shall soon experience the fulfilment of that word: They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31).
Parallel VersesKJV: I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.