I struck you and all the products of your toil with blight and with mildew and with hail.
How destructive is the hail to the standing crops, beating out the precious grain upon the ground! How grateful we should be when the corn is spared so terrible a ruin! Let us offer to the Lord thanksgiving. Even more to be dreaded are those mysterious destroyers—fungus, rust, and mildew. They turn the ear into a mass of soot or render it putrid or dry up the grain, and all in a manner so beyond all human control that the farmer is compelled to cry, "This is the finger of God." Innumerable, minute fungi cause the mischief, and if it weren't for the goodness of God, the rider on the black horse would soon scatter famine over the land. Infinite mercy spares the food of men, but in view of the active agents that are ready to destroy the harvest, wisdom teaches us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." The curse is everywhere, and we are in constant need of the blessing. When blight and mildew come, they are chastisements from heaven, and men must learn to deal with them accordingly.
Spiritually, mildew is not an uncommon evil. When our work is most promising, this blight appears. We hoped for many conversions, and instead we find a general apathy, an abounding worldliness, or a cruel hardness of heart! There may be no blatant sin in those for whom we are working, but there is a deficiency of sincerity and decision that is sadly disappointing. We learn from this to depend upon the Lord and the necessity of prayer so that no blight will fall upon our work. Spiritual pride or laziness will soon bring upon us the dreadful evil, and only the Lord of the harvest can remove it. Mildew may even attack our own hearts and shrivel our prayers and dampen our zeal. May it please the great Gardener to avert so serious a calamity. Shine, blessed Sun of Righteousness, and drive the diseases away.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.