We have had some rain showers this week. Nothing like the severe storms that plague parts of the country at various times of the year. Just showers, maybe some light thunder and a streak of lightning here and there, otherwise just showers.
If you live in an area where the land is flat and there are no mountains to interrupt your view of the surrounding terrain, you can see the rain showers as they head your way. We took this picture as we were traveling through Mississippi. While the cloud covers the entire area, the rain showers are visible as darkened spaces from the cloud. The lighter spaces are the areas where the rain has not yet started.
We look forward to rain showers because they are good for the earth. They water the grass and plants, they reduce the pollen in the air (something great for allergy sufferers), and they provide refreshment to all God’s creatures.
Of course, there are some who don’t like showers. Children who want to play outside; people who work outside in the elements; people who have errands, and the rain makes the task more difficult.
Scripture talks about showers as being both a gift from God and a punishment from God.
In the book of Isaiah, we have a beautiful passage which tells of God’s good pleasure and power as He speaks to King Cyrus, a pagan king who was used by God to rebuild Jerusalem:
“Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: … I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things. Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the LORD have created it.”
Isaiah 45:1, 5-8
In Genesis we see the judgment side of God’s use of rain. Here, God is telling Noah that the world will be destroyed by rain because of the great sin and abomination that the people have committed:
“For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.”
Noah and his family were spared because he had built the ark as God commanded and he took the animals aboard so that there was a remnant spared from the devastation of the flood.
Scripture also tells us that God is capable not only of sending rain in judgment but also of withholding rain as a judgment upon His people.
“Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: ‘I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so tht there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.’”
2 Chronicles 7:12-14
Then, too, we see the prophet Elijah who told Ahab that there would be no rain and, after three years, the prophet prayed for rain.
“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.”
Elijah’s faith was so complete that, after his prayer for rain, when the servant searched the skies for rain clouds six times and saw nothing, he told the servant to look again. That time the response was that he saw: “a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea”. 1 Kings 18:44 Then Elijah told the servant to run to Ahab and tell him to prepare the chariot so that he would be stuck because of the deluge that was coming. Faith in the promises of God. The prayers of a righteous person have great power!
Rain can be a blessing from the Lord or it can reflect judgment on rampant sin. Rain can come in flooding torrents or in gentle showers. However it comes, indeed even whether it comes, remember that rain is always under God’s control.
When I was a child, we sang a hymn in my home church called “Showers of Blessing,” the words taken from Ezekiel 34:26.
“And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing.”
Beloved, look around you and see the showers of blessing that the Lord has already given to you. Look inside you and realize the showers of blessing that the Lord has provided to you through Jesus Christ and His atoning death and resurrection. Look at the evidences of the Holy Spirit, resident within you, when you walk your life as a Christian.
Showers of blessing – they are already here, and the Lord will continue to bless His people as they call upon Him in faith.
Father, I praise Your Name for the blessings You have provided in Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I thank You that You have promised blessings to Your children now and forever more. I bow in reverence and awe at Your love and majesty, Your power and grace, Your judgment and mercy. May I glorify You all the days of my life.