They shall be abundantly satisfied - ירוין yirveyun, they shall be saturated, as a thirsty field is by showers from heaven. Inebriaduntur, they shall be inebriated - Vulgate. That sal be drunken of the plenteuoste of thi house. - Old Psalter. This refers to the joyous expectation they had of being restored to their own land, and to the ordinances of the temple.
Of the river of thy pleasures - אדניך נחל nachal adaneycha, (or עדנך edencha, as in four MSS)., the river of thy Eden. They shall be restored to their paradisaical estate; for here is a reference to the river that ran through the garden of Eden, and watered it; Genesis 2:10. Or the temple, and under it the Christian Church, may be compared to this Eden; and the gracious influences of God to be had in his ordinances, to the streams by which that garden was watered, and its fertility promoted.
They shall be abundantly satisfied - Margin, “watered.” That is, all who thus put their trust in the mercy of God. The Hebrew word - רוה râvâh - means to drink to the full; to be satisfied, or sated with drink; or to be satisfied or filled with water, as the earth or fields after an abundant rain: Isaiah 34:7; Psalm 65:10. The state referred to by the word is that of one who was thirsty, but who has drunk to the full; who feels that his desire is satisfied:
(a) He has found that which is adapted to his wants, or which meets his needs, as water does the wants of one who is a thirst;
(b) He has found this “in abundance.”
There is no lack, and he partakes of it in as large measure as he chooses. So the weary and thirsty traveler, when he finds in the desert a “new and untasted spring,” finds that which he needs, and drinks freely; and so the sinner - the dying man - the man who feels that there is nothing in the world that can satisfy him:
(1) finds in the provisions of the gospel that which exactly meets the needs of his nature, and
(2) he finds it in abundance.
With the fatness - The word used here means properly “fatness” or “fat:” Judges 9:9. Then it means “fat food,” or “sumptuous food,” Job 36:16; Isaiah 55:2; Jeremiah 31:14. It is connected here with the word “drink,” or “drink in,” because this kind of food was “sucked” in at the mouth, and the mode of partaking of it resembled the act of drinking. Gesenius. The allusion is the same as that which so often occurs in the Scriptures, where the provisions of salvation are represented as a “feast,” or where the illustration is drawn from the act of eating or drinking.
Of thy house - Furnished by thy house, or in the place of public worship. God is represented as the Head or Father of a family, and as providing for the wants of his children. Compare Psalm 23:6; Psalm 27:4.
And thou shalt make them drink - In allusion to the provisions of salvation considered as adapted to satisfy the needs of the thirsty soul.
Of the river - The abundance. Not a running fountain; not a gentle bubbling rivulet; not a stream that would soon dry up; but a “river,” large; full; overflowing; inexhaustible.
Of thy pleasures - Furnishing happiness or pleasure such as “thine” is. The pious man has happiness of the same “kind” or “nature” as that of God. It is happiness in holiness or purity; happiness in doing good; happiness in the happiness of others. It is in this sense that the friend of God partakes of His pleasure or happiness. Compare 2 Peter 1:4. The following things, therefore, are taught by this verse:
(1) that God is happy;
(2) that religion makes man happy;
(3) that his happiness is of the same “kind” or “nature” as that of God;
(4) that this happiness is “satisfying” in its nature, or that it meets the real needs of the soul;
(5) that it is abundant, and leaves no want of the soul unsupplied; and
(6) that this happiness is to be found in an eminent degree in the “house of God,” or is closely connected with the public worship of God.
It is there that God has made provision for the wants of His people; and advancement in religion, and in the comforts of religion, will always be closely connected with the fidelity with which we attend on public worship.
“Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work:
I will triumph in the works of Thy hands.”
“Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens;
And Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
Thy righteousness is like the great mountains;
Thy judgments are a great deep.... MH 463.1
“How excellent is Thy loving-kindness, O God!”
“The children of men take refuge under the
shadow of Thy wings....
And Thou wilt make them drink of the river of
For with Thee is the fountain of life:
In Thy light shall we see light.” MH 463.2
“Blessed are they that are upright in way,
Who walk in the law of Jehovah.
Blessed are they that keep His testimonies,
That seek Him with the whole heart.” MH 463.3
The same beautiful and expressive figures are carried throughout the Bible. Centuries before the advent of Christ, Moses pointed to Him as the rock of Israel's salvation (Deuteronomy 32:15); the psalmist sang of Him as “my Redeemer,” “the rock of my strength,” “the rock that is higher than I,” “a rock of habitation,” “rock of my heart,” “rock of my refuge.” In David's song His grace is pictured also as the cool, “still waters,” amid green pastures, beside which the heavenly Shepherd leads His flock. Again, “Thou shalt make them,” he says, “drink of the river of Thy pleasures. For with Thee is the fountain of life.” Psalm 19:14; 62:7; Psalm 61:2; 71:3 (margin); 73:26 (margin); 94:22; 23:2; 36:8, 9. And the wise man declares, “The wellspring of wisdom [is] as a flowing brook.” Proverbs 18:4. To Jeremiah, Christ is “the fountain of living waters;” to Zechariah, “a fountain opened ... for sin and for uncleanness.” Jeremiah 2:13; Zechariah 13:1. PP 413.1
Isaiah describes Him as the “rock of ages,” and “the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isaiah 26:4 (margin); 32:2. And he records the precious promise, bringing vividly to mind the living stream that flowed for Israel: “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.” “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground;” “in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.” The invitation is given, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” Isaiah 41:17; 44:3; Isaiah 35:6; 55:1. And in the closing pages of the Sacred Word this invitation is echoed. The river of the water of life, “clear as crystal,” proceeds from the throne of God and the Lamb; and the gracious call is ringing down through the ages, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. PP 413.2
Just before the Hebrew host reached Kadesh, the living stream ceased that for so many years had gushed out beside their encampment. It was the Lord's purpose again to test His people. He would prove whether they would trust His providence or imitate the unbelief of their fathers. PP 413.3
They were now in sight of the hills of Canaan. A few days’ march would bring them to the borders of the Promised Land. They were but a little distance from Edom, which belonged to the descendants of Esau, and through which lay the appointed route to Canaan. The direction had been given to Moses, “Turn you northward. And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you.... Ye shall buy meat of them for money, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy water of them for money, that ye may drink.” Deuteronomy 2:3-6. These directions should have been sufficient to explain why their supply of water had been cut off; they were about to pass through a well-watered, fertile country, in a direct course to the land of Canaan. God had promised them an unmolested passage through Edom, and an opportunity to purchase food, and also water sufficient to supply the host. The cessation of the miraculous flow of water should therefore have been a cause of rejoicing, a token that the wilderness wandering was ended. Had they not been blinded by their unbelief, they would have understood this. But that which should have been an evidence of the fulfillment of God's promise was made the occasion of doubt and murmuring. The people seemed to have given up all hope that God would bring them into possession of Canaan, and they clamored for the blessings of the wilderness. PP 413.4Read in context »
I have been shown that the false shepherds were drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. The truth of God is sealed up to them; they cannot read it. When they are interrogated as to what the seventh-day Sabbath is, whether or not it is the true Sabbath of the Bible, they lead the mind to fables. I saw that these prophets were like the foxes of the desert. They have not gone up into the gaps, they have not made up the hedge that the people of God may stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. When the minds of any get stirred up, and they begin to inquire of these false shepherds about the truth, they take the easiest and best manner to effect their object and quiet the minds of the inquiring ones, even changing their own position to do it. Light has shone on many of these shepherds, but they would not acknowledge it and have changed their position a number of times to evade the truth and get away from the conclusions that they must come to if they continued in their former position. The power of truth tore up their foundation, but instead of yielding to it they would get up another platform that they were not satisfied with themselves. EW 123.1
I saw that many of these shepherds had denied the past teachings of God; they had denied and rejected the glorious truths which they once zealously advocated and had covered themselves with mesmerism and all kinds of delusions. I saw that they were drunken with error and were leading on their flock to death. Many of the opposers of God's truth devise mischief in their heads upon their beds, and in the day they carry out their wicked devices to put down the truth and to get something new to interest the people and divert their minds from the precious, all-important truth. EW 123.2Read in context »