Zechariah 10: 1-12
Friday, 17 March 2023
Ask the LORD for rain In the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, Grass in the field for everyone. -Zechariah 10:1
During the time of Noah, the first time when it rained on the earth it was for the punishment of humanity’s sin. After Noah’s time, many a time the Bible depicts rain as a means of blessing and withholding of rain as a means of punishment by God. Leviticus 26:3-4 says, “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.”
In the key verse while we see a “latter rain”, the Bible mentions a “former rain” also, one instance of which we can see in Deuteronomy 11:13-14. Here also we see both the former and latter rain as the results of blessing by God in return for obeying His commandments and serving Him with all of their heart and with all of their soul, so that the Lord will give them the rain of their land in His due season- the first rain and the latter rain, that they may gather in their corn, and their wine, and their oil.
As Barnes’ Bible commentary explains: in Israel the rainy season is from October to May and the former rain fell at the seed-time- in autumn; the latter rain fell in the spring, between March and May, which brought the corn to ear and filled it. If either of these rains failed, it used to affect them badly. To avoid this(as did the other prophets and men of God in the past), here Prophet Zachariah exhorts Israel to ask the LORD for blessings and latter rain rather than to idols and diviners, as many of their fathers did, because of which they went into captivity.
God has given us His marvellous blessings through the promises in His Word. One such promise is about the latter rain which started on the Day of Pentecost for the New Testament Church and still the time of the latter rain continues. In Israel the latter rain was given just before the harvest. Similarly God here promises to bless His church with the outpouring of Holy Spirit in these times before the final harvest. Let's prayerfully seek God to fulfil His promise.
Anyone who asks for the rain in the days of these latter rain will receive it to his/ her heart’s content, provided he/ she asks the Lord who promised it - the presence of the Comforter with us - as it is written very similar to today’s key verse, in Luke 11:13; “… how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
Unlike in the Old Testament times, this Comforter is with us all the time because of the unmerited grace our Lord Jesus Christ extended towards us. This was made possible by our Lord’s supreme sacrifice on the cross of Calvary and now we have the responsibility to keep this Comforter without grieving, with whom we are sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30) so that we will be blessed. The famous hymn by D.W. Whittle ‘There Shall Be Showers of Blessing’ sums it all up especially the last lines:
There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.