You sent abundant rain, O God; You refreshed Your weary inheritance.
Psalm 68:9Psalm 68:9. These words may be taken as symbolizing
God's love gifts to his people. What he did to Israel in the wilderness, he will do to his Church to the end of the world. He is the great Sender, the Giver of every good and perfect gift, and evermore the thought of his love awakens gratitude and praise. His gifts are characterized by -
I. SWEETNESS. They are sweet in themselves as the "rain," but they are sweeter still as sent from God. They have the impress of his hand. They are the tokens of his love (Acts 14:17; Deuteronomy 32:2).
II. COPIOUSNESS. Rain may be slight, partial, or temporary. Here it is "plentiful." It is like that which came on Carmel at the prophet's call - "abundance of rain" (1 Kings 18:41). It is a "rain of gifts" - large, generous, widespread, meeting the needs of all, reaching to the furthest part of the dry and parched land.
III. TIMELINESS. God does nothing in an arbitrary way. It is when his people are "weary" that he visits them with "times of refreshing." They are "weary" from toil, or conflict, or suffering, or long and anxious waiting; and their hearts are like the "parched ground" crying for "rain." God hears. When "rain" is most needed it is best appreciated. God promises "to pour water on the thirsty" (Isaiah 44:3).
IV. REFRESHMENT. "Confirm." This implies renewal of strength, invigoration of faith and hope and love. As the "rain" quickens and calls forth the life in the earth, so that the grass flourisheth and the corn ripens, so it is with God's people when he visits them with the outpouring of the Spirit. It is as if Pentecost were come again. Let us pray and wait. Let us turn new vigour to right use.
"As torrents in summer, half dried in their channels,
I. THE PEOPLE OF GOD ARE HIS INHERITANCE. This implies that He peculiarly loves, delights in, and cultivates His inheritance; and receives from them, in return, those fruits of righteousness, of worship, and of praise, in which the revenue of His glory consists.
Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby Thou didst confirm Thine inheritance when it was weary
I. IN THEIR ABUNDANCE. It is a plentiful rain. So is it with God's grace
II. IN THEIR REFRESHING, REVIVING NATURE. See it in the fields; so is it in human hearts.
III. IN THEIR SEASONABLENESS — when God's inheritance "was weary." They have been weary times which have preceded the outpouring of the grace of God. See this in history; in homes and Churches; in individual hearts.
(E. W. Shalders, B. A.)
Homiletic Magazine.I. GOD HAS A POSSESSION IN THIS WORLD WHICH MAY BE PRE-EMINENTLY CALLED HIS OWN. "Thine inheritance." The Church is His —
1. By special choice.
2. By right of conquest.
3. By voluntary self-surrender of His believing people.
II. THIS HERITAGE UPON EARTH IS OFTEN EXPOSED TO THE EXHAUSTING INFLUENCE OF TRIAL AND DISCOURAGEMENT.
1. The length of the way.
2. Open enemies.
3. False friends.
4. Delay of harvest, and fear of final loss.
III. GOD IS AT NO LOSS FOR MEANS AND INSTRUMENTS TO REFRESH AND REPLENISH HIS CHURCH IN CRITICAL SEASONS.
1. These promised influences are timely and seasonable.
2. They are copious and abundant
3. They are fertilizing and vitally influential.
II. THIS INHERITANCE, FROM A VARIETY OF CAUSES, IS SOMETIMES WEARY, .By too much intercourse with the world; by too close an attention to business; by too free an indulgence in the enjoyments of life; the people of God become barren and unfruitful. And when they are brought to a sense of their condition, no land parched with drought ever thirsted more for the refreshing rain of heaven than they long for the renewing grace of God.
III. WHEN IT IS WEARY, GOD, IN GREAT COMPASSION, SENDS A GRACIOUS RAIN UPON HIS INHERITANCE, AND REFRESHES IT. There is not a more perceptible effect produced upon the face of nature, by the rain which descends from heaven, than in the soul of man, by the rain of heavenly grace. What a verdure; what a freshness, in the one case; and in the other, what a serenity of soul; what a kindness of temper; what a humbleness of mind; what a sanctity of heart; what a blessed hope; what an unspeakable peace; what a reviving like the corn; what a growing like the lily; what a casting forth of roots as Lebanon; what a spreading of the branches of the tree of life; what an olive-like beauty — are the fruits of this gracious rain, this heavenly refreshing! The refreshing of which we speak does not produce feelings and affections merely grateful. The beauty which is imparted is the beauty of holiness. It is a beautifying of the meek with salvation. Ask yourselves, then, this question: Am I refreshed by the Word of God? Does it come to me not in word only, but in power, in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance?
I. CLEANSING. No rain in March, no rain in April, and no rain till the middle of May; the grass, the flower, the shrub, the bush, and the tree were covered with malarial excrescences, parasites, blight and dust. How long would it take the women of England, with brush and duster in hand, to dust the hedges, the gardens, the forests and the fields? They sadly needed it — months without a wash, their beauty was gone. But the rain came, washed away the dust, drowned the parasites, and removed all hindrances to growth. This is the present need of the Church of God: "showers of blessings"; the washing of regeneration. Conformity to the habits of society, worldliness, talebearing, scandalizing, pride, selfishness, envy, strife, hypocrisy, uncharitableness, assumption of holiness — these are the dust, the excrescences, the parasites, which mar the beauty and retard the growth of the Church of Christ in our day. We need a downpour of the Holy Ghost to wash all away.
II. FERTILIZING (Psalm 72:6). The mown field suggests the condition of those who are exhausting themselves in the service of Christ, or, at least, those who are throwing off crop after crop of work and experience for the benefit of others. These Christians are the pillars of the truth; towards them our hearts go forth. They are so busy at work that they cannot find fault with others; and so sensible are they of their own unworthiness that they never sit in judgment upon their fellow-Christians. Their motto is, To spend and be spent for Christ. But human energy is inexhaustible, and it needs replenishing — "rain upon the mown grass." The rain fills the fibres of the tree, and penetrates the ground to water the roots, so does the influence of prayer water the soul.
III. RIPENING. You see the husbandman looking at the cornfield when about ripe. A good shower ripens and fills the grain. The ripeness of the soul is like a shock of corn. God is looking out, and pours His Spirit upon it.
(T. Davies, D. D.)
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