For the earth which drinks in the rain that comes oft on it, and brings forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed…
What solemn admonition does this latter part of the representation, and what sweet encouragement does the former part of it afford I Are we bringing forth the appropriate " herbs," or are we yielding the "thorns and briers" — we who have been so favourably tended — we among whom the seed has been so liberally cast, and on whom the rain hat so copiously fallen? In answering this question, let us not be deceived by mere superficial appearances. Natural kindliness and outward decency are no sure evidences of" a field which the Lord hath blessed," and which the Lord approves. A pretty plant may spring beneath the shadow of the "brier." A pleasant flower may even blossom on the branches of the "thorn." Yet still, the thorn is but a thorn, the brier is but a brier, and the soil which they cover has run to waste, is lost to its higher uses, and is marked out for clearance and con. flagration by the wise and cautious husbandman.
(A. S. Patterson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: