Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Latter Rain - Part 1

"And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil." - Deuteronomy 11:13-14 ESV

There were to be two rainy seasons in Israel and these two season have different Hebrew words associated with them. Yowreh (Strong's H3138) is the early rain and malqowsh (H4456) is the latter rain. God designed the topography and climate of Israel. It is a unique place in the world and God uses even the climate to speak to us.

Notice that the rains of Israel were linked to the obedience of Israel. The early rain was good for getting crops going and the later rain provided a final watering for things like fruits, grapes and olives. So the wine and oil relied heavily on this later rain.

The two rains speak of two distinct provisions for the completion of a project. One rain gives the resources needed to start the project and the later rain (or Spring rain) provides the things needed to complete the project with a last final push of effort.

"Therefore the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have the forehead of a whore; you refuse to be ashamed." - Jeremiah 3:3 ESV

Israel was disobedient and began to lack this finished energy. They started well going into the promised land but could not take the land that God had given them. Many projects went like that for them. They had energy to start but not to finish. Sound familiar?

"But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." - Mark 4:29 ESV

"So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped." - Revelation 14:16 ESV

It is easy to see the parallels between Pentecost and the early rain. Unlike Israel the Messiah was obedient and we rest in His obedience. A latter rain is coming for the Church before the great harvest of souls in the last days of this age. It won't be just like Pentecost. Pentecost was needed to start the Church. This later rain will be used to hasten the ripening of the grapes and olives. The term 'Corporate Pentecost' is used to describe the church at the time of this great revival.

This later rain will provide a great harvest of souls but it will also water the 'grapes of wrath' that will be crushed in the tribulation period. Those who refused to respond to grace will experience the anger God has for the angelic host that rebelled again Him. There is a point where the lines are drawn and sides have been chosen. Those foolish enough to align themselves with deception instead of truth will experience the opposite of comfort and security. To say it won't be fun is an extreme understatement.

On a personal level we can expect a later rain in our lives also. For those who have believed it will be a great blessing.

"I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 1:3-8 ESV

God completes what He begins in us based on the work Christ has done. He watered us at our salvation and conversion and He will water us again and again until the last season of our life because of what Christ has done.

Perhaps you think that your fruitful days are behind you. If you have life and a risen Savior you can be fruitful again and again if you continue to sow because God sends the April rains to water what we sow by faith.

"Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him." - Psalm 126:4-6 ESV


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