The Former Rain And The Latter Rain!
“For He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you - the former rain and the latter rain in the first month” (Joel 2:23).
Rain is one of the great blessings given by God. The rain provides the drinking water and it runs as rivers to make the trees and the crops to be pleasant. It helps in the rich harvest of grains and thereby the famine is avoided. Subsequently the nation becomes prosperous and the cost of living comes down. God has promised this blessed rain. “I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing” (Ezekiel 34:26).
The ‘Spiritual Rain’ is far greater than the worldly rain. It brings in the spiritual refreshment. It raises the prayer warriors. This rain enables the Gifts of the Spirit to function. The behaviour and the characteristics of the individuals change because of this rain of anointment; the fruits of the Spirit are noticed.
The second type of rain is the ‘former rain.’ When the farmer prepares the wasteland suitable for cultivation and sows the seeds, this rain becomes very useful for the crops to grow. Similar to this, during the time of the Apostles, the former rain of the Holy Spirit poured from the upper room continuously. Wherever Peter preached the Word of God, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who listened to him (Acts 10:44). Numerous souls were saved and the church grew fast.
The third type of rain is known as ‘the latter rain.’ This is a good one which pours prior to the harvest season. This is the time during which the farmers will be keeping their fields ready after providing proper fertilisers to the crops. Then there will be the rain of anointment which will enable the spiritual crops to yield benefits in thirtyfold, sixtyfold and hundredfold. Once upon a time, the missionaries who visited India sowed the seeds of verses here and those seeds continue to harvest souls even today. The time of harvest is the end of the world and those who harvest are the angels of God. So, “Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain (Zechariah 10:1).
The fourth rain is the testing one. Jesus said, “But everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house and it fell. And great was its fall” (Mathew 7:26-27).
There is another rain which comes as fifth. That is the cleansing one. Prior to this rain, the fields will be dry due to the hot sun. The dust will be plenty in the air. Even the leaves of the plants will be covered by the dust. Once the rain falls, the trees and other plants give a fresh look as though they have been washed thoroughly. The hot conditions of the summer come to an end. May God command these five types of rain in the nation.
To meditate: “As fire burns brushwood, as fire causes water to boil - To make your name known to your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at your presence” (Isaiah 64:2).