Posts Tagged ‘James 5:7’

Pray: The latter rain is on the way!

September 20, 2020

The Verse of the Day for September 20, 2020, comes from Joel 2:23 in the New Living Translation:

Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the LORD your God! For the rain, he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring

This verse from a prophetic passage from Joel brings to mind a teaching I delivered as the morning message at the church I was attending at that time. In the midst of powerfully energetic teaching the sound of thunder and turbulence poured from the speakers, as the following announcement interrupted my message:

We interrupt this teaching to bring you a world-wide weather advisory. This is not a test! Heavy rains are projected for the coming months. Conditions are favorable for a downpour across the world. According to meteorologists and Bible scholars, the latter rain is on its way. This is not a test! Take precautionary measures and prepare for an abundance of rain. Read your Bible and stay tuned for further developments on the projected worldwide outpouring of the spirit of God.


In actuality, the interruption was planned as it set the stage for my message entitled “Pray: The Latter Rain Is on the Way”

This excerpt from that memorable teaching notes that God’s ways are never hidden, and rain is one of the specific ways by which God reveals Himself. Since He is a God of order and planning, God never simply causes it to rain randomly, but He sends rain in due season. He instructed the Children of Israel to walk in His precepts and follow His guidance. If they obeyed, they would then be fruitful, as God showered them with His blessings. God expresses His desires for His children in terms of rain.

Deuteronomy 28:9-11(NLT):

9 “If you obey the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways, the LORD will establish you as his holy people as he swore he would do.10 Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the LORD, and they will stand in awe of you.
11 “The LORD will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops.12 The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.

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 the 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. Prophets Jeremiah, Hosea, and Joel all speak of both seasons of rain.

In Acts 2, on the Day of Pentecost, Peter addresses the multitude in referring to the Prophet Joel:

Acts 2:16-18

16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.

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 first opened the windows of heaven and “poured” out 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. We see the essence of what is about to take place spiritually in the lyrics to the song

“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!” As Zechariah 10:1 exhorts:

Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so, the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to everyone grass in the field.

Indeed, there is a parallel between the natural and the spiritual. Conditions are favorable for a worldwide outpouring of God’s spirit. The abundant latter rain precedes a correspondingly great harvest. Jesus Christ reminded His disciples in Matthew 9:37-38:

37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

As we enter into the great harvest, following the Latter Rain, we need to follow the exhortation of Jesus Christ and pray.

The Book of James also reminds us of the importance of prayer in conjunction with the harvest.

James 5:7:

Dear brothers and sisters,[c] be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.

James goes on to illustrate what can happen when a man of God prays:

James 5:17-18

17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.

The Old Testament account of reveals that after a three-and-half-year drought, Elijah heard the “sound of abundance of rain.” He sent his servant to investigate, but he saw nothing in the sky. Elijah told him to go check again seven times. After the seventh time, the servant saw a cloud about the size of a man’s hand. Shortly thereafter “that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.”

God still answers prayer. His desire is to bless more than ours is to ask. Let us continue to pray for rain, the latter rain, an abundance of spiritual outpouring, which God promised to send before the abundant harvest toward which we are steadily moving. “Pray, the Latter Rain is on the way!”

Alvin Slaughter and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir offer a musical benediction to our prayer with Holy Spirit Rain Down:

Send the rain

September 20, 2016

Joel_2-23

From the Old Testament prophet Joel comes the Verse of the Day for September 20, 2016:

Joel 2:23 (Message Bible):

[The Trees Are Bearing Fruit Again] Fear not, Earth! Be glad and celebrate! God has done great things. Fear not, wild animals! The fields and meadows are greening up. The trees are bearing fruit again: a bumper crop of fig trees and vines! Children of Zion, celebrate! Be glad in your God. He’s giving you a teacher to train you how to live right— Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul, just as he used to do. And plenty of food for your body—silos full of grain, casks of wine and barrels of olive oil.

The New Living Translation offers this rendering:

Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the LORD your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring.

The time frame of the abundant rain that will be forthcoming and the subsequent abundant harvest has also been described as the former rain and the latter rain.

This passage in Joel reminds us of the importance of rain as a 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. Both of these seasons of rain the Prophets Jeremiah, Hosea, and Joel speak of:

Jeremiah 5:24(NLT):

They do not say from the heart,
‘Let us live in awe of the Lord our God,
for he gives us rain each spring and fall,
assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.

Hosea 6:1-3 (NLT):

“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces;
now he will heal us.
He has injured us;
now he will bandage our wounds.
In just a short time he will restore us,
so that we may live in his presence.
Oh, that we might know the Lord!
Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
or the coming of rains in early spring.”

Amos also prophesies of abundance that shall cover the land, described in this way:

Amos 9:13 (NLT):

“The time will come,” says the LORD, “when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested. Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine

James 5: 7 (NLT) says:

Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.

Some have described the forthcoming abundance to the Church as a series of banner years with bumper crops . . . a constant flow of supply shocks that overwhelm the Body of Christ with God’s goodness and graciousness, as souls are multiplied in magnitude in the Kingdom of God.

William McDowell offer this expression of our heart’s desire at this time: “Send the Rain”

Send the rain: the former and the latter

September 20, 2015

Joel_2-23The Verse of the Day for September 20, 2015 makes reference to the former rain and the latter rain, expressed in Joel 2:23 in the Amplified Bible:

So rejoice, O children of Zion, and delight in the Lord, your God; For He has given you the early [autumn] rain in vindication And He has poured down the rain for you, The early [autumn] rain and the late [spring] rain, as before.

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. Old Testament Prophets Jeremiah, Hosea, and Joel also speak of both seasons of rain:

Jeremiah 5:24

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

Hosea 6:1-3 (NKJV)

Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has 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 from Joel 2:23 is echoed on the Day of Pentecost, when Peter addresses the multitude in referring to the Prophet Joel:

Acts 2:16-18 (NKJV)

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

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says 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 first 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, in truth, already taking 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!” As Zechariah 10:1 exhorts:

Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the  LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

The Book of James also reminds us the importance of prayer in conjunction with the harvest.

James 5:7 (NKJV):

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receives the early and latter rain.

James goes on to illustrate what can happen when a man of God prays:

James 5:17-18 (NKJV)

Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

God still answers prayer. His desire is to bless more than ours is to ask. Let us continue to pray for rain, the latter rain, an abundance of spiritual outpouring, which God promised to send before the abundant harvest toward which we are steadily moving. “Pray, the Latter Rain is on the way!”

We conclude with William Nelson, who offers this passionate plea: “Send the Rain.”