Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: rain (10/17/05)
TITLE: REPLENISH THE PROMISED LAND, LORD
By sandra logan
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In the bible God gave two distinct symbolic gestures using rain. Rain represented both His punishment, and His blessing. In this study, we will look at God’s use of rain as a blessing.
Let’s take a look at rain in the bible. In I Kings chapter 8 Solomon is praying for the future of Israel. You can get a true feel for his compassion towards Israel. Solomon knows there will be times when they turn against God, and he expects that God will afflict them with punishment. Take a look at I Kings 8:35-36 [KJV].
“When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:
Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.”
The rain replenished the soil which was then able to provide an abundance of crops to the people. Having no rain isn’t an instant punishment. I imagine that the people of Israel had some time to see the red flags of punishment. First the rain stopped, which slowly depleted the crops. It would actually take a while for the water supply to dwindle, but if someone was paying attention, perhaps the full drought could’ve been avoided. Finally, with no crops, and livestock depleting, the people squander to save enough water to survive on. What are the areas of your life that need more ‘rain’ from God? What phase of drought are you in concerning this area of interest? Maybe you are in Stage one, and see the first signs of a problem. Here are some examples:
• Your child has become distant, and disobedient. You have been choosing to set that issue aside until you can deal with it. But now it’s been a couple months.
• You’re disappointed in your marriage, but when the flyer for the class at church was presented, you declined. You feel as though the ‘problem’ isn’t yours, it’s his.
• You feel generally depressed, and want God to fix it. You’ve also danced very close, maybe even crossed the line, to intimate relationships as a single adult, but haven’t taken the time to study the bible and understand why God condemns sex before marriage.
The society we live in comes up with excuses for every possible sin. “You had a reason to do that!” is what Satan whispers in our ear. Once we pass the first phase the rest is a slippery slope. Here are the possible ‘final phase of drought’ outcomes from our ‘phase one’ examples:
• You discover drugs in your teenager’s room, and feel totally at a loss. You might even feel as though the last few years have been miserable, and are jealous of the families you see enjoying their children through the teenage years.
• The freedom to talk with your husband is just a memory. Now every conversation is loaded with ammo from the last fight. You find yourself seriously considering what life would be like without him.
• You decide that mood altering / antidepressant prescriptions are your answer. Now you have numbed yourself to the conviction that could turn you around and provide God given joy.
We must do as Solomon prayed for the people, and confess and turn from our actions. The presence of excuses is the existence of a door left open to Satan. Fortunately, the God we turn to is the inventor of Love and Mercy. David said it best in Psalms 56:8 [KJV]
Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
God is so merciful, and loves us so much that he has caught our tears in a bottle. He knows that you are but dust, and he loves you. God is worthy of following, even when selfishness calls to us. Go fully to the God who has caught your tears. Do not settle in mediocrity. Live your lives for the full blessing that God has to offer.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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