Yesterday was exhibited the senselessness of those who were not induced by God's blessings to serve him. The Prophet indeed mentioned the benefits which God usually bestows on the good and the bad without distinction, -- that he gives rain and spring and autumn, and so regulates all the year as to ripen all the fruit; for by the appointed weeks he only means, that God so arranges the different parts of the year, that what men sow comes to maturity; and the word reserve, or keep, is intended to shew the same thing. For it is the same as though he had said, |The seasons through the whole year are so changed, that there is a regular succession of suitable weather preserved.|
We now then understand the Prophet's object: He shews that the Jews had been extremely thoughtless; for they did not regard the paternal favor of God as to their daily food, so as to be thereby moved to worship and serve Him. Paul, also, when addressing heathens, adduced this reason,
|God,| he says, |never left himself amarturon, without a testimony; for he gave rain and fruitful seasons,|
that is, he so arranged the seasons, that the care he takes of mankind may be thus seen as in a mirror. But it was the Prophet's object here to condemn the Jews for their ingratitude, because they did not consider how bountifully God had ever dealt with them and beyond what was common. For he had not only in an ordinary way allured them to himself by his benefits; but his object had been to attach them to himself by singular and unusual means. Since then he had shewn to them singular favors, the more base was their ingratitude; for they did not consider, that the many benefits which God conferred on them, were so many motives or allurements, by which he bound them as it were to himself.
We now then see the Prophet's meaning, when he says, They have not said, |Let us fear Jehovah, who gives us rain; that is, the vernal rain and the rain that precedes the harvest, and that also in its season For hence God's providence shines forth, because the rain follows when the husbandmen have sown; and it supplies the earth with moisture; and then before the fruit ripens, God renders it plump by latter rain. And for the same purpose is added this, Who reserves the appointed weeks, (literally, the weeks of ordinances;) and he says, that they are the weeks of the harvest It now follows --