(April 21) Biblical Lessons from a Much Needed Spring Rain
The state of Oklahoma has been in desperate need of rain. Twenty percent of our state is currently in the "exceptional drought" category (the driest classification). Another sixteen percent is in the "extreme drought" category (second driest classification). In recent weeks wildfires have devoured large portions of western Oklahoma. More than 350,000 acres have been burned with some flames reaching as high as 70 feet.
Today, however, is a day of relief. Rain is marching through the entire state. From west to east, a line of showers is slowly marching across the land. As it does, conditions are improving. Fires are being put out, dust is being washed away, pollen in the air gets knocked down, and soon enough things will turn from brown to green.
Rain not only has many benefits for the earth, it can also help point our minds to Scripture and learn valuable lessons.
Lesson #1 -- The Lord Reigns
Jeremiah 14:22 asks, "Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are You not He, O Lord our God? We set our hope on You, for You do all these things."
The prophet not only is saying that false gods are useless and cannot provide what we need. He is also making clear that the rain does not simply fall on its own. The falling rain is evidence of God's goodness, but also of His power. For He alone can do such things. As you watch the rain fall today, let it remind you that you serve a God who rules and reigns over all things.
Lesson #2 -- The Lord Brings Hope
Psalm 72:6 says, "May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth."
Psalm 72 is the final psalm of Book 2 of the psalms. It is a prayer that David's heirs will have spiritual success. This chapter looks forward to a time when righteousness flourishes and the King of David's throne brings light to the world. This will ultimately be fulfilled by Messiah.
Rain has a way of bringing new life. Today my grass has been freshly mowed and fertilized. I have done all I can do to get the grass to begin to grow and turn green. What it really needs is rain. As the rain comes, so does the promise of new life and growth. The psalmist says in chapter 72 that the rule of God's Messiah will also be a time of hope -- as when the rain showers the earth.
Perhaps today your life feels like a drought-beaten land. Your heart may seem to be as dry as a desert. Put your hope in God. Trust in the Lord and remember the promise that Christ is coming again, and as He does, He will establish truth and righteousness, and do away with sin.
Lesson #3 -- The Lord is Showing Patience...and So Should We
Matthew 5:45 "...For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust."
Do you ever wonder what it would be like if rain only fell on the lawns of the godly? What if those who refuse to worship Christ and live for His glory had the rain skip over their property? One lawn is dead, another is lush.
Well, Matthew 5 reminds us that God gives common grace. He sends some blessings to all people on the earth. Everyone gets warmed by the sun, regardless of their spiritual condition. All lands receive rain, no matter their response to the gospel. There will come a day when those who have rejected the gospel will be completely cut off from God's blessings...but not yet. There is still time for repentance because the Lord is being patient.
And notice the verse right before. Verse 44 says, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." This leads directly into verse 45 saying, "so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust." In other words, if God can send rain to those who hate Him, you can show mercy to those who oppose you. If the Lord allows the warm sunshine to bless those who curse Him, you can also return evil with kindness to those who are against you.
So, on this day when our entire state is grateful for the rain, let it do more than simply water the earth. May it help focus our spiritual eyes on the Lord and all He does for us. Be comforted in knowing our God reigns. Be encouraged in remembering that the Lord brings hope to His people. And be challenged to be patient with others, just as the Lord has been patient with us. May we live today in such a way that our words, attitudes, and thoughts would be as refreshing as a cool, spring rain.