Psalm 147:8

Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.

Who covereth the heaven with clouds,.... Which are exhalations of vapours out of the earth, and of waters out of the sea, by the sun, and formed into clouds; which are carried about in the air, and let down in showers of rain upon the earth, in proper places, for the good of the inhabitants; and sometimes, when necessary, the heavens are covered and become black with them, as in the times of Ahab,

2 Kings 18:35; and though they look dark, dull, and melancholy, yet are for great usefulness: hereby, as it follows, rain is prepared for the earth, to make it fruitful, to bring forth an increase for men and beasts; and is a wonderful display of the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, for which he is to be praised. This may be either an emblem of afflictive dispensations of Providence, which sometimes make a dark and cloudy day, a day of clouds and thick darkness; especially when the Lord covers himself with a cloud, or hides his face from his people; their sins, as clouds interposing between him and them; and yet these afflictions and desertions, though not joyous, but grievous, tend to make the saints more holy, humble, and fruitful: or else of the churches being supplied with Gospel ministers; the "heaven", and so the "kingdom of heaven", often signifies the church of God or Christ; consisting of men, partakers of the heavenly calling, being born from above; and in which the Gospel and ordinances, that come from heaven, are ministered; and which, for the communion had with God, and the privileges of it, is as it were the suburbs and gate of heaven. Ministers of the word are "clouds" full of the rain of heavenly and evangelic doctrine, which they drop and distil as the rain and dew upon the mown grass; and the covering the heavens with them may denote the plenty of them, or a sufficient number of them, as in the first times of the Gospel: all which are of God, who gives to his churches pastors after his own heart; and commands and directs those where to drop the rain of doctrine, and where not, for which he is to be praised; see Isaiah 5:6;

who prepareth rain for the earth; which is purely his preparation, production, and gift, to water the earth and make it fruitful, and is what none of the vanities or idols of the Gentiles could give; and what he prepares in the clouds, the heavens are covered with: to this the word of God and the evangelic doctrine is compared, because of its original; it is of God, and from heaven; it is dispensed and falls by divine direction, and sometimes in one place, and sometimes in another; and often in great plenty, as at the first, so in the last times of the Gospel dispensation; and brings many blessings of grace and goodness with it; and, like rain, is cooling, softening, refreshing, and fructifying; and this is prepared of God, and ordained by him before the world was, for the good of his people; see Deuteronomy 32:2 1 Corinthians 2:6;

who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains; which would be otherwise dry and barren; but, by the clouds letting down rain upon them, grass grows on them for the cattle on a thousand hills. "Mountains", in a figurative sense, signify churches, high, strong, well-rounded, visible, and where God makes a feast of fat things for his people,

Isaiah 25:6; "grass" denotes true believers, they of the city which flourish like grass; to which they are like, for their weakness in themselves, their number, verdure, and fruitfulness, and for their growth in the church; which is greatly owing to the Gospel and ordinances as means, the ram of Gospel doctrine, the pure, sincere, and unadulterated word of God; by which souls grow in grace, and in the knowledge of divine things; see Psalms 72:16.