|Written by Ben Winslett|
|Wednesday, 11 July 2012 08:45|
Thank the Good Lord for rain!
Locally, we have been in a drought for a month. This affects us all in different ways. Unless you have a sprinkler system in your yard, your grass is probably brown. We have all been asked to conserve water. My garden is sickly and will not produce this year as it did last year. Many of the corn fields I pass driving through town have turned brown. This impacts the food supply resulting in either shortages or higher prices for consumers. It also impacts the income of farmers, hurting many in our community financially. While many things have changed over the 6000 years of Human history, the dangers of a drought have remained the same.
Yesterday afternoon I was at a friend's home and it happened. Water began falling from the sky. Yet, instead of a passing shower or two as we received last week, this rain "set in" and has been falling since. There is still a bit of drizzle and more clouds on the radar. God has blessed us! Our land will be nourished again.
This has prompted a couple of "morning coffee" thoughts I will share with you.
First, this shows our dependence on the Lord for His providence. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was instructing His disciples to bless even their enemies and thereby emulate the behavior of their Heavenly Father (Matthew 5:44-45). As Jesus said, "for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." God is gracious to His creation, despite their own sinfulness!
In the days of King Ahab, a wicked king who married a pagan woman named Jezebel who would ultimately lead the children of Israel into idolatry and judgement, Elijah the prophet prayed that it would not rain by the space of three years. This drought caused a great dearth in the whole land and the nation of Israel suffered (1 Kings 17:1). Elijah prayed again and rain came, reviving the land and ending the drought, God's judgement on Israel. Without rain, we suffer.
The point? As powerful and advanced as we *think* we are as Americans, we are still just as dependent on God's blessings as mankind throughout history.
Second, consider this as a picture of gospel preaching. Preaching nourishes the child of Grace as rain nourishes the ground. Paul said of his gospel labors in Corinth, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase" (1 Corinthians 3:6). While Paul "planted" the church at Corinth, Apollos "watered" it. Paul left Corinth in the pastoral care of Apollos, whose preaching worked to nourish and grow the believers in that location.
So what am I getting at? Simple - preaching is important. Just as crops wilt under the sun's heat without rain, so do we without preaching. It is salvation to the believer! Preaching saves us again and again as we live in this sinful world. Thinking of skipping Church Sunday for the lake or perhaps sleeping in? That would be tantamount to a corn field shielding itself from the rain, eventually to it's own destruction.
"For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof..." Job 36:27