Verse 10. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof. Ridge and furrow are drenched. The ridges beaten down and settled, and the furrows made to stand like gutters flooded to the full.
Thou makest it soft with showers. The drought turned the clods into iron, but the plenteous showers dissolve and loosen the soil.
Thou blessest the springing thereof. Vegetation enlivened by the moisture leaps into vigour, the seed germinates and sends forth its green shoot, and the smell is that as of a field which the Lord has blessed. All this may furnish us with a figure of the operations of the Holy Spirit in beating down high thoughts, filling our lowly desires, softening the soul, and causing every holy thing to increase and spread.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 9-13. See Psalms on "Psalms 65:9" for further information.
Verse 10. The rain hath a mollifying nature. When the earth is like iron under our feet by long droughts or hard frosts, a few good showers supple it, and make it tender. David, speaking of the earth, saith, Thou makest it soft with showers. Jesus Christ hath a softening virtue. Sometimes the heart is hardened by the deceitfulness of sin... If Christ would but now drop a few drops from heaven, the veriest fling in the congregation would be turned into a fountain of water... The rain hath a fructifying virtue. All the labour of the husbandman comes to nothing if either the former or the latter rain be denied. The psalmist sets out this virtue of the rain in Psalms 65:9-13 . Want of rain brings a famine upon the earth... If Christ do not rain, there will be no fruits; but if Christ will drop down his dew, the pastures will be green. All the labour and pains of the spiritual husbandman will come to nothing if the rain come not down from Christ; and, if he please to pour down showers, let not the eunuch say, "I am a dry tree." Though your heart be as dry and withered as the rod of Aaron was, yet if Christ will rain upon it, it shall both bud, and blossom, and bring forth almonds...
The rain hath a recreating virtue. It causeth a gladness and cheerfulness in the hearts of men, and it begets a kind of briskness in the sensitive creatures: the birds chirp, the beasts of the field rejoice in their kind; yea, there is a kind of joy in the very inanimate creatures. The psalmist speaks of this: The pastures are clothed with flocks, the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing. When rain comes after a long drought, there is melody made by all creatures in this lower world. Jesus Christ hath a cheering virtue; he doth fill the soul with joy when he comes down into the soul; the heart that was dead, and dull, and heavy is made pleasant and joyful when these showers fall upon it. When Jesus Christ comes to the soul, he brings joy to the soul: "They joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil." Isaiah 9:3 . Ralph Robinson.
Verse 10. Thou art the right Master cultivator, who cultivates the land much more and much better than the farmer does. He does nothing more to it than break up the ground, and plough, and sow, and then lets it lie. But God must be always attending to it with rain and heat, and must do everything to make it grow and prosper, while the farmer lies at home and sleeps. Martin Luther.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 9-13. A Harvest Sermon.
- The general goodness of God, Visiting the earth
in rotation of seasons: "Seed time and harvest," etc.
- The greatness of his resources: The river of
God, which is full of water; not like Elijah's
brook, which dried up.
The variety of his benefactions: Corn; Water;
Blessest the springing thereof, etc.
IV. The perpetuity of his blessings; Crownest the
year. E. G. G.
Verse 10. Divine grace like rain.
- In itself.
- In its abundance.
- In its effects on the heart and entire nature;
falling on ridge and furrow; softening, etc.
- In its fruitful results. See the extract from Ralph
Robinson in loc.
Verse 10. (last clause). See "Spurgeon's Sermons," No. 675: "Spring in the Heart."