1 Chronicles 4:40
And they found fat pasture and good, and the land was wide, and quiet, and peaceable; for they of Ham had dwelled there of old.
This passage relates an expedition of certain Simeonite chiefs and their followers, which took place in the days of Hezekiah. The tribe of Simeon was restless and warlike. This exploit was performed, apparently, from selfish, rapacious motives. The Simeonites wanted more pasture for their flocks; and, finding just what suited them in a territory possessed by their neighbours, they invaded their fertile and peaceful valley, slew the inhabitants, and seized their lands for their own use. What circumstances may have justified or extenuated such a proceeding we are not told.
I. PLENTY IS A DIVINE GIFT. The land itself is the gift of God. Its favourable situation, its chemical constituents, the sunshine and the moisture, which make up its fertility, - all are from him, and are proofs of his creative wisdom and goodness. The flocks and herds, and their increase, are his, whose are "the cattle upon a thousand hills." When the valleys are covered over with corn, when the sheep bleat in the pastures, when there is abundant provision for man and beast, then let our hearts ascend in gratitude to him who "openeth his hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing."
II. PLENTY HAS MANY ADVANTAGES. In communities which are abundantly supplied with the necessities and comforts of life, there is opportunity and leisure for the cultivation of arts and learning, there is stimulus for commerce and manufactures, there is capacity for benevolence and for evangelization. If it is well used, plenty is a blessing. Only let all things be received as immediately from God's hand, and be regarded as a sacred trust to be used for his glory and in his service.
III. PLENTY IS NOT WITHOUT ITS DANGERS. It was foreseen that when Israel quitted the wilderness, and entered upon possession of the land flowing with milk and honey, there would be a temptation to forget God, and to take credit for national prosperity and wealth. Against the perils of plenty and prosperity, let the fortunate and happy be ever on their guard. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And they found fat pasture and good, and the land was wide, and quiet, and peaceable; for they of Ham had dwelt there of old.