For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud…
These words suggest several ideas concerning Christianity.
I. VARIETY. It is compared to the rain and the snow.
1. How varied in form. The rain comes down softly and gently, and sometimes in torrents; and the snow, too, has a variety of form.
2. How varied in distribution! How much falls on oceans, how much on sands and desert wastes and rocks, as well as on fertile soils! It is so with Christianity. As the Word of God, its forms are varied, it comes in history, poetry, philosophy, precept, example, menaces, and promises. How varied in distribution! It falls on every class of mankind, the literate and the illiterate, the hardened, the tender, the rich, the poor, etc.
II. PRECIOUSNESS. How inestimably valuable the rain and snow to nature. How precious Christianity! It is the "water of life," etc.
III. DIVINITY. "The rain cometh down and the snow from heaven." It is manifestly from above. So is Christianity. "It is," says God, "My Word that goeth forth out of My mouth." The Divinity of Christianity is clear from its congruity with the facts of universal history, the soul's a priori notions of a God, the spiritual intuitions and longings of mankind, and the deep moral wants of the world. It is, indeed, the Word of God.
IV. INEVITABLENESS. It shall not return unto Me void." Not a drop of rain or a flake of snow is wasted. It may be swallowed up in the desert, but it is not lost. Every drop has a mission, and its mission will be fulfilled.
1. God in giving Christianity to the world had a purpose.
2. That purpose will be inevitably accomplished. If God has made a promise to the world and that purpose is not accomplished, it must be for one of three reasons: either —
(1) He was insincere when He made it; or
(2) He subsequently changed His mind; or
(3) difficulties arose in the future, that baffled Him, which He never anticipated. All these are inadmissible, so that His Word shall not return unto Him void.
Parallel VersesKJV: For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: