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Rain, in the Word of God is something God sends or withholds. Written by Bill Bradford
Our weather scientists are able to explain weather patterns that affect our great agricultural industry in Australia. They are able to predict the amount of moisture we will receive from year to year through measurement of ocean temperatures, among other data. Records show that there are regular droughts in Australia where the farmers have experienced terrible losses.
This current drought is beginning to shape up as one which our losses will be considerable. Cattle are being lost and to keep the breeding stock through feeding them grain and getting water to them is becoming more difficult to do and more costly.
Predicting life giving rain leaves out one great factor. Rain, in the Word of God is something God sends or withholds. It is pictured as coming from the heavens and something He is in control of. For His people with whom He is concerned, good rain or lack of it is a measure of His involvement with His national people. It is seen as the means by which God sends His message to His people. It was so important to life that you had to pay attention to God. The object of God giving them the land to become His nation was to be their God, and they would be His people. He promised them the blessing of good rain.
Nothing has really changed. Good rain is still important. It doesn't matter how great your retailing, entertainment, I.T., construction, or manufacturing industries are, if you don't get rain, everything stops. You simply have to survive. Ask King Ahab about that when Elijah said there would be no rain for three and one half years, unless by Elijah's word, which word would be from God. Yes, God uses rain to get people's attention. There have been examples in the past where more God-fearing leaders would call for a day of fasting and prayer to beseech God for rain. If it gets bad enough, you will find, not surprisingly, some people beginning to turn to God. Sadly, the effect of seeking God's help during these times was only momentary. It did not translate into a permanent change.
Solomon, in his prayer dedicating the temple describes God's relationship with His people.
"When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk, and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance" (I Kings 8:35-36). This is a straightforward idea. God sends messages to His people nationally. As indicated in this prayer, there are other ways too in which He communicates, but withholding rain is a major way that God from heaven tells us to think about the direction we are going.
It is true there are natural weather patterns, where "He sends rain on the just and unjust", but God set this in its place too. "When He made a law for the rain, and a path for the thunderbolt, then He saw wisdom and declared it. He prepared it, indeed He searched it out, and to man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding" (Job 28:26-28). The point is this. Since God has set the weather for man's benefit, man ought to rely on God to provide "rain in due season", and learn to truly seek Him who controls everything according to His purpose.
God is involved with His people, the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a lot more than we think. He constantly holds out to His people a chance to "turn to Him". Some will, thankfully, begin to take God seriously. For those who are seeking him now amidst the difficulties of this age, God knows who you are and can and will care for you during this time.
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