Friday, February 12, 2016

The Former Rain and the Latter Rain

UV 1673/10000 The Former Rain and the Latter Rain
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.
Hosea 6 v 3

The Lord shines on us as the morning sun in all His brightness and glory. He comes to us as the compassion and mercy of the morning dew and as the blessings of the spring rain and the winter rain. The spring rain are the promises, blessings and His presence in our good times while the winter rain are the promises, blessings and His presence during our difficult times. The dew will soften our hearts, the spring rain will cause us to rejoice and the latter rain or the winter rain will cause us to be comforted. Jesus said, “ Blessed are those who grieve and mourn for they shall be comforted.” We are not created only for good weather but for all weather. We will be comforted, encouraged and guided by the Holy Spirit. The sun and the rain metaphor in this uni-verse is a parallel pointing out the Son and His reign in our lives. If the sun’s heat is excessive or if the rain is excessive, the seed and the crop will be affected adversely. Similarly, the Lord shines and wets us just as much as we need and just when we need it.

All the above is ours if we acknowledge the Lord, increase in our knowledge of Him. Scripture describes the path of the sun across the sky: first it rises in all its crimson glory, it shines brightly with mild heat initially. It then travels like a bridegroom across the sky to take a position right above at noon. Thereafter, it begins its descent. During this time it causes the water in various water bodies to evaporate and form clouds. It sends light across the planet to places where it is nightfall to cause the moon and other planets to shine. It provides warmth to creatures and light to form food to plants. It causes the seed to grow upward towards it. It ends its daily path as it had begun in crimson glory. The sun causes the clouds to be seeded and to shed by precipitation its gathered moisture. Similarly, the Lord goes forth in our lives. He sends His Word to give us inner hope and strength. The more love, faith and hope we gather in our lives like moisture of the clouds, the more will be the rain or the blessing on ourselves and others. The Lord delights in doing new things in our lives. The latter rain is also a metaphor for the new turns, twists and happenings in our lives that will cause us to walk even closer to Him, to have a deeper insight and greater intimacy. The former rain is also the grace of the Lord upon our lives during the time of sowing while the latter rain is the grace of the Lord upon us during the time of harvest. Whatever we have sown in faith and laboured over will come to fruition and we will experience the joy of harvest or the fulfilment of hope.

We need to be thankful for the former rain- all the great promises and blessings of the Lord we enjoyed in former days, or in the past. We need to be hopeful of the latter rain- the promises and blessings for our future. Just as the sun shines brighter as the day proceeds, so also our knowledge, understanding and love for the Lord will increase with time. For every problem we face, there is a promise of the Lord. We need to hold the promise for some time in our hearts and minds like the clouds hold water. As we hold the promise true and dear, it will seed the spring rain as well as the latter rain. The spring rain might sometimes seem scarce and inadequate in order to test our faith but once tested and triumphant, the Lord does not hesitate to send us the abundant latter rain.

Prateep V Philip

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