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Righteous Rain – By Pastor/Elder Brian Gates

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Righteous Rain

One of the blessings of living in this upper midwestern part of the world is having distinct seasons. Sure, the winters are long and snowy and cold. But we experience patterns of change as one season moves to the next. After Winter, we look forward to the arrival of Spring- the warmer weather and the rains calling the trees to leaf, flowers to grow, seeds to germinate. New life. Fresh hope.

“Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the Lord have created it” Isaiah 45:8.

We all understand just how vital rain is to life. Most plant life cannot go long without water. If the rain is withheld, existing life languishes and dies. New life does not emerge. In ancient times, whether a year was bountiful or lean was directly related to the amount of rainfall. No crops, you starved. Isaiah’s early readers would have understood this very, very well.

Isaiah 45:8 uses rain as an amazing illustration of deliverance. The Lord describes righteousness coming as rain showers from the heavens. Just as the earth is refreshed and nourished by the rains, so our hearts, nourished by His righteous rain, become fertile soil that bears the fruit of salvation and righteousness. Incredible.

And lest there be any doubt, the Lord emphatically declares that He created it so. He is sovereign over all of Creation; He is the One bringing salvation and causing life. Creation displays His handiwork, proclaims His glory (Psalm 19). It is good for us to observe the beauty and the intricacy of the natural world and to marvel at His work.

It gets richer: “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth” Hosea 6:3 (emphasis mine).

The Lord Himself came to us. Just as the rains, Jesus descended. So as the showers, He pours living water on the arid soul. He is the very salvation that renews the hard soil of our hearts and brings forth new life in Him. In His grace, He will continue to grow us until He brings us home or He returns.

As we take time to notice the amazing work of Creation and the surrounding newness of this Spring season, let us be even more reminded that Jesus came for our sake. Even the testimony of Creation points to the glory of Christ.

In keeping with the agriculture and rain theme, it seems appropriate to close with this encouragement: “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. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” James 5:7-8.

He is coming again. In this we have great hope.


Brian Gates


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