Pray: The latter rain is on the way

Joel_2-23

 

The Verse of the Day for September 20, 2014, taken from Joel 2:23, reminds us that God is a God of order and planning. He never simply causes it to rain randomly, but He sends rain in due season. God instructed the Children of Israel to walk in His precepts and follow His guidance. They would then be fruitful, as God showered them with His blessings. God expresses His desires for His children in terms of rain.

Deuteronomy 28:11-18

And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.

Leviticus 26:4 reminds us of God’s promise:

Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

Rain is the life source for an agricultural people whose lives are dependent upon crops. In the Land of Israel God, indeed, sends rain in due season in two specific forms: the former rain and latter rain. In the Middle East, the former rain occurs in October or November, accompanying the planting of crops, while the latter rain occurs in the Spring, around March or April, just before the harvest. In addition to Joel, Jeremiah and Hosea also speak of both of the seasons of rain:

Jeremiah 5:24

Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.

Hosea 6:1-3

Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will  raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

The same message is spoken in Acts 2, on the Day of Pentecost, when Peter addresses the multitude in referring to the Prophet Joel:

Acts 2:16-18

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

To appreciate the promise of God who will send the latter rain when He pours out of His spirit upon all flesh, think of what happened when God opened the windows of heaven and “poured” out the rain. Genesis 7 gives the account of Noah and the ark when the heavens opened and it rained for forty days and nights. In the last days when God opens the windows of heaven to pour out of His spirit on all flesh, do you think the outpouring will be any less great than the first time God poured out? God predates Morton salt whose motto is “When it rains, it pours.”

Anyone who is spiritually observant can sense that a great outpouring of the Spirit of God is about to take place. In a similar way, one can tell when a torrential downpour is about to occur. The essence of what is about to take place spiritually is seen in the lyrics to a popular ballad from bygone days, “Soon It’s Gonna Rain”:

See how the wind begins to whisper.

See how the leaves go streaming by.

Smell how the velvet rain is falling

Out where the fields are warm and dry.

 

Soon it’s gonna rain, I can see it

Soon it’s gonna rain, I can tell

Soon it’s gonna rain, what are we gonna do?

To answer the question posed at the end of the song, here is my advice: “Pray and get ready for rain!” Poetically expressed: “Pray–The latter rain is on the way!”

Alvin Slaughter sings with power of “The Latter Rain”

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