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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 14 - Verse 17

Verse 17. Nevertheless. Though he gave them no revelation.

He left not himself without witness. He gave demonstration of his existence, and of his moral character.

In that he did good. By doing good. The manner in which he did it he immediately specifies. Idols did not do good, or confer favours, and were therefore unworthy of their confidence.

And gave us rain from heaven. Rain from above, from the clouds, Mr 8:11; Lu 9:54; 17:29; 21:11; Joh 6:31,32.

Rain is one of the evidences of his goodness. Man could not cause it; and without it, regulated at proper intervals of time, and in proper quantities, the earth would soon be one wide scene of desolation. There is scarcely anything that more certainly indicates unceasing care and wisdom than the needful and refreshing showers of rain. The sun and stars move by fixed laws, whose operation we can see and anticipate. The falling of rain and dew is regulated by laws which we cannot trace, and seems therefore to be poured, as it were, directly from God's hollow hand. Ps 147:8, "Who covereth the heaven with clouds; who prepareth rain for the earth."

"He sends his showers of blessings down,

To cheer the plains below;

He makes the grass the mountains crown,

And corn in valleys grow.


"The cheering wind, the flying cloud,

Obey his mighty word:

with songs and honours sounding loud,

Praise ye the sovereign Lord."—WATTS


And fruitful seasons. Seasons when the earth produces abundance. It is remarkable, and a shining proof of the Divine goodness, that so few seasons are unfruitful. The earth yields her increase; and the labours of the husbandman are crowned with success; and the goodness of God demands the expressions of praise. His ancient covenant God does not forget, Ge 8:22, though man forgets it, and disregards his great Benefactor.

Filling our hearts with food. The word hearts is here used as a Hebraism, to denote persons themselves; filling us with food, etc. Comp. Mt 12:40.

Gladness. Joy; comfort—the comfort arising from the supply of our constantly returning wants. This is proof of ever watchful goodness. It is demonstration at once that there is a God, and that he is good. It would be easy for God to withdraw these blessings, and leave us to want. A single word, or a single deviation from the fullness of benevolence, would blast all these comforts, and leave us to lamentation, woe, and death, Ps 145:15,16.

"The eyes of all wait upon thee,

And thou givest them their food in due season.

Thou openest thine hand,

And satisfiest the desire of all the living."


{b} "Nevertheless" Ro 1:20 {c} "rain" Job 5:10; Ps 147:8; Mt 5:45

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