Psalms 68:9

Psalms 68:9

Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain
Not of water literally taken, as when the Israelites passed through the sea, ( Psalms 77:17 ) ; or when the thunderings and lightnings were on Mount Sinai, at the giving of the law, which are commonly attended with rain, ( Exodus 19:16 ) ; or in the land of Canaan, which was the land that drank in the water of the rain of heaven, ( Deuteronomy 11:11 ) ; nor the rain of manna and of quails, as Arama, ( Exodus 16:4 ) ( Psalms 78:23 Psalms 78:27 ) ; but either the effusion of the Holy Spirit, ordinary or extraordinary; that, on the day of Pentecost, in consequence of Christ's ascension, prophesied of in this psalm, was a "plentiful" one indeed; when the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost, and baptized with it: yea, the ordinary measure of the Spirit's grace in conversion is abundant, and exceeding abundant; it is shed abundantly through Christ, and superabounds sin, and may be called, as the words here signify, "a rain of liberalities" {s}, or a free and liberal rain; for it comes from the free grace of God, and makes those on whom it descends a willing people in their obedience. The Spirit of God is a free Spirit; and, where he is, there is liberty, in the exercise of grace, and in the discharge of duty. Or else the ministration of the Gospel F20 is meant; which is compared to rain, ( Deuteronomy 32:2 ) ( Isaiah 55:9-11 ) . This, especially in the first times of the Gospel, was a very large and plentiful one; it being sent all over the world, and brought forth fruit in every place: this was also a "liberal" one, flowed from the free grace of God; the subject of it is free grace; and the tendency and effect of it are, to make men free from the bondage of the law, and the spirit of bondage which that induces. The Targum is,

``thou hast let down the dews of quickening, and the rains of good pleasure;''

grace, or free favour;

whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance when it was weary;
that is, the church, as the Targum explains it; the inheritance of Christ, which he has chosen, the Father has given him, and he possesses: the people of God, "weary" with the burdensome rites and ceremonies of the law; with their own sins and corruptions, a burden too heavy for them to bear; with the sins of others, among whom they dwell; with the temptations of Satan, with which they are annoyed; with the persecutions of the men of the world, which make them weary sometimes, and faint in their minds; and with the common afflictions of life, which often make them weary of life itself. Now, by the plentiful ministration of the doctrines of the Gospel, accompanied with the Spirit and grace of God, the hearts of the Lord's people are refreshed, as the weary, dry, and thirsty land, is with a comfortable shower of rain; and by it weary souls have rest, or at least are directed by it to Christ, where they find it: and as the earth is "prepared" F21, as the word used signifies, by rain, for the nourishment of plants; so is the church by the Gospel, whose plants are an orchard of pomegranates, for the reviving and fructifying of those who are planted in it; whereby they appear to be trees of righteousness, and the planting of the Lord; and so are confirmed, settled, and established in the house of God, and in the truths of the Gospel.


FOOTNOTES:

F19 (twbdn Mvg) "pluviam munificentiarum", Montanus; "vel liberalitatum", Vatablus, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth; to the same purpose the Tigurine version, Cocceius, Junius & Tremellius.
F20 "Dicitur de pluvia", Psal. lxviii. 10. "quae effusionem Spiritus sancti, et praeconium evangelii designat". Stockius, p. 660.
F21 (htnnwk) "parasti eam", Michaelis; "praeparas", Gejerus.
Read Psalm 68:9