Verse 18. He sendeth out his word, and melteth them. When the frost is sharpest, and the ice is hardest, the Lord intervenes; and though he doth no more than send his word, yet the rocks of ice are dissolved at once, and the huge bergs begin to float into the southern seas. The phenomena of winter are not so abundant in Palestine as with us, yet they are witnessed sufficiently to cause the devout to bless God for the return of spring. At the will of God snow, hoarfrost, and ice disappear, and the time of the opening bud and the singing of birds has come. For this let us praise the Lord as we sun ourselves amici the spring flowers. He causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow. The Lord is the great first cause of everything; even the fickle, wandering winds are caused by him. Natural laws are in themselves mere inoperative rules, but the power emanates directly from the Ever present and Ever potent One. The soft gales from the south, which bring a general thaw, are from the Lord, as were those wintry blasts which bound the streams in icy bonds. Simple but effectual are the methods of Jehovah in the natural world; equally so are those which he employs in the spiritual kingdom; for the breath of his Holy Spirit breathes upon frozen hearts, and streams of penitence and love gush forth at once.
Observe how in these two sentences the word and the wind go together in nature. They attend each other in grace; the gospel and the Holy Spirit cooperate in salvation. The truth which the Spirit breathed into prophets and apostles he breathes into dead souls, and they are quickened into spiritual life.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 18. He sendeth out his word, and melteth them. Israel in the captivity had been icebound, like ships of Arctic voyagers in the Polar Sea; but God sent forth the vernal breeze of his love, and the water flowed, the ice melted, and they were released. God turned their captivity, and, their icy chains being melted by the solar beams of God's mercy, they flowed in fresh and buoyant streams, like "rivers of the south", shining in the sun. See Psalms 126:4 .
So it was on the day of Pentecost. The winter of spiritual captivity was thawed and dissolved by the soft breath of the Holy Ghost, and the earth laughed and bloomed with spring tide flowers of faith, love, and joy. --Christopher Wordsworth.