Verse 35. He turneth the wilderness into a standing water. With another turn of his hand he more than restores that which in judgment he took away. He does his work of mercy on a royal scale, for a deep lake is seen where before there was only a sandy waste. It is not by natural laws, working by some innate force, that this wonder is wrought, but by himself -- HE TURNETH.
And dry ground into watersprings. Continuance, abundance, and perpetual freshness are all implied in watersprings, and these are created where all was dry. This wonder of mercy is the precise reversal of the deed of judgment, and wrought by the selfsame hand. Even thus in the church, and in each individual saint, the mercy of the Lord soon works wonderful changes where restoring and renewing grace begin their benign work. O that we might see this verse fulfilled in all around us, and within our own hearts: then would these words serve us for an exclamation of grateful astonishment, and a song of well deserved praise.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 35. Dry ground into watersprings. If God afflict, his justice findeth the cause of it in man; but if he do good to any man, it is of his own good pleasure, without any cause in man: therefore no reason is given here of this change, as was of the former, but simply, "He turneth dry ground into watersprings." --David Dickson.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 35. Hope for decayed churches lies in God; he can work a marvellous change, he does do it -- "turneth": he will do it when the cause of barrenness is removed by repentance.
Verse 35-38. Here the scene again changes. The springs again gush forth, calm lakes again repose in the midst of foliage and flowers, the hills are clothed with luxuriant vines, and the fields are covered with corn; plenty abounds both in town and country, and men and cattle increase. This picture, too, has its counterpart in experimental godliness. "Instead of the thorn shall come up", etc., "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them", etc. The one scene precedes prayer, the other follows it. A desolate wilderness before, the garden of Eden behind. --G.R.