Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out…
The streams are spiritual, and refer to the diffusion of the Gospel and the manifold blessings of salvation over the world.
I. A FEW OF THE BLESSINGS WHICH THESE STREAMS IMPART. They are a source of —
1. Spiritual fertility. No other streams are possessed of the same fertilising power. Modern writers show a tendency to ascribe to the influence of civilisation and knowledge all our social, moral, and religious blessings. But how do they reconcile their theories with the comparatively barren effects of Egyptian science and civilisation, Greek philosophy and art, and Roman law and discipline? Be the influence of these latter what they might, they wrought no radical change on man's moral and spiritual character.
2. Spiritual beauty. Wherever streams flow in such lands as Judaea, there luxuriance waves, but in an endless variety of appearance. Not less diversified is the influence of Divine grace on the character. Religion does not obliterate nature, but works in harmony with it, preserving all its innocent idiosyncrasies, so that as in the natural world are to be seen the cedar, the palm; the fir, and the rose, so in the Church, along the streams of Divine grace, are to be seen a John and a Peter, a Martha and a Mary.
3. Spiritual joy. Every one has experienced the refreshing influence of water. This is an image of the deep satisfaction and joy which true religion is fitted to impart. No other streams convey the same joy.
II. SOME OF THE DISTINGUISHING EXCELLENCES BY WHICH THE STREAMS ARE CHARACTERISED.
1. They are full and abundant.
2. They are free to all. Men have tried to fence round these streams, and to reduce them to the limits of their own selfish hearts and narrow creed; but God's thoughts are not as our thoughts, nor His ways as ours. While this is cheering, it is also a solemnising, thought, laying the responsibility of our own ruin on ourselves.
3. They are near and accessible. If a visit to such rivers as the Ganges or the Nile were requisite to our salvation, how many would be unable to comply with the condition. But these streams flow wherever the Gospel comes.
4. They are ever spreading in their influence. What is the garden of the Lord compared with the desert of this world? It is seen blooming in little oases here and' there. But these streams are destined to spread and multiply, and to cover the whole earth with spiritual verdure and beauty.Conclusion —
1. These streams are at present accessible, but may not be so long. Come to them now.
2. Remember that Jesus is the only channel through which they can reach us.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.