Seven days from now I will make the rains pour down on the earth. And it will rain for forty days and forty nights, until I have wiped from the earth all the living things I have created.” – Genesis 7:4 (NLT, my emphasis)
It has been raining a lot in various parts of the United States. Some places are having flooding. When that happens, homes and other property are often seriously damaged, even destroyed and insurance rarely pays for repairs or replacement. Do we pray for God’s mercy? Why does God allow something like rain, certainly necessary to the growth of of so much that He has given us, come in such a deluge as to make it destructive?
I went back to read the Old Testament account of Noah and the flood. This verse in Chapter 7 struck me. God had created this beautiful world, all that was in it, every flower & deer, every beautiful waterway, every woman, man and child – and now He was going to destroy everything! That would make me weep with a heart that was broken. Noah and his family would be the remnant in this known world.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving,
and compose music to our God with the lyre.
He shields the heavens with clouds,
preparing rain for the earth and making grass grow on the hills.
He gives wild animals their food,
including the young ravens when they cry.
He takes no delight in the strength of a horse,
and gains no pleasure in the runner’s swiftness.[a]
But theLord is pleased with those who fear him,
with those who depend on his gracious love.
Glorify the Lord, Jerusalem!
Praise your God, Zion!
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates,
blessing your children within you. – Psalm 147:7-13 (ISV)
And so we thank God for when the rain comes in a dry season. God’s encouragement, His love, His healing and forgiveness are what is needed when we are parched.
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 5, in His sermon on that mountain, that God sends rain on the “just and the unjust,” the good and the bad. Whether the rain falls and brings destruction or it brings growth and life, the rain will come to all.
When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.
Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. – Hebrews 6:7-11 (NLT, my emphasis)
The book of Hebrews is not an easy book to study. It is stuffed with God’s wisdom. So let’s take some time and let five verses marinate in our spirits.
When rain comes, does it bring growth and life to my faith and relationship with Jesus? Give thanks! It may not be an easy season but does the trial make me rely on Jesus more? Then there is thanksgiving that I was not alone but had my Best Friend, who will also help me to get rid of the thorns and thistles in my field!
God sees everything in my life, including what I am thinking! If I am faithful to the “call” on my life, do the job I have been gifted to do, then I am to be assured that God is watching and making a record of what I have done in His Kingdom. There may be persecution but as I stand with Christ in persecution, so I will also be with Him in His glory (1 Peter 4-5).
I hope I will stand in the same place with Jesus, not in the afterlife, but in my real life. What am I to do to make that a realized promise? The writer of Hebrews says its a simple task on my part – keep on loving others as long as my life lasts.