I will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil.
In biblical times there were two seasons of the year in which the rain fell abundantly; the latter part of October and early November (the Hebrew month of Heshwan) came the early rain, and the latter part of March and the first part of April (the Hebrew month of Nisan), came the latter rain.
Good morning friends. Rain is vital for planet earth, as such it can be defined as the nectar of physical life. Without rain human, plant and animal life will cease to exist. In the same vain, the church ceases to exist without the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the life of God, so it provides the nutrients that we need to function effectively. In some of the last words to His very eager disciples, Jesus said;
“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
But stay here until… He knew they will be fighting a loosing battle, He knew their cause was futile without an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The early or former rain poured as recorded by Luke in the book of acts, giving birth to the church. As we draw close to the end of the age, we will witness another great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and this season in known as the late or latter rain. With this in mind, James presciently wrote these encouraging words to us;
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
As we draw into a season of persecution we need the refreshing of the Holy Spirit. Just like how Peter who denied Jesus thrice for fear of his own life, suddenly received faith to stand and preach fearlessly, so also we need the Holy Spirit to be His true and faithful witnesses. Without the Holy Spirit we will make shipwreck of our calling.
In closing this morning, I leave you with words from the prophet Zechariah;
Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime, and he will answer with lightning and showers. Every field will become a lush pasture. How foolish to ask the idols for anything like that! Fortune-tellers’ predictions are all a bunch of silly lies; what comfort is there in promises that don’t come true? Judah and Israel have been led astray and wander like lost sheep; everyone attacks them, for they have no shepherd to protect them.