God Controls Rain
First Baptist Church
Des Moines, NM
As I write this message, we here in Union County are in the grip of a severe drought. We haven’t had grass-growing rains all spring, everything’s brown and yellow, creeks are dried up, people are selling cattle left and right, and what grass is left is tinder dry thanks to the hot winds we’ve been receiving. All of this because we haven’t received one simple thing- rain. Well, this week, I’d like to talk about rain. A few months ago, I did a series on suffering in the Christian life and I pointed out that God sometimes brings about suffering or chastisement with the express purpose of using it to reclaim hearts that are wandering from him. As we’ll see in this series of messages, that chastisement can come in the form of lack of rain. We’ll also see that this chastisement is well-deserved as we tend to give credit for our blessings to the so-called Mother Nature, to random chance, to the weatherman, really to everyone but God. With that introduction, let’s get started. May God Almighty bless this message, may it give Him glory, may it point out our definite non-Godly nature, and may all this be done in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen!
First, let’s establish the fact that God does indeed control rain, as well as every other aspect of the universe. I’ve going to give you quite a few passages that establish this and we’ll start in the beginning.
(Genesis 2:5) before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground;
Here, early in Genesis we see that the plants have not grown because "…the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth…" I don’t see anything about Mother Nature here. I see that "…the LORD God…" caused the first rain, just as He caused the earth and the entire universe to come into existence by His word. A little further in Genesis, we find this passage:
(Genesis 7:4) For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made."
Again, it is God who causes it to rain on the earth. Also, in this passage we see God using rain for correction. The rain which lasted 40 days and 40 nights was sent for the express purpose of wiping evil men from the face of the earth in what we know as the Great Flood. This is the flood by which only Noah- called by God a "righteous man"- and his immediate family survived. So, before we’ve gone very far in the Bible, we have already seen two critical facts: 1) God causes it to rain, and 2) God sometimes uses that rain for correction. In Leviticus, we see God using rain as a reward:
(Leviticus 26:3-4) 'If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, (4) then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
We have now seen all of the important facts of rain: 1) God creates it, 2) God uses it for His purpose and His purpose may be correction or it may be blessing. Let’s now take a closer look at each of these facts. First, let’s further establish that God creates rain- so far, I’ve only used a couple of passages, and I’m a firm believer in seeing what the whole counsel of God says.
(Exodus 9:18) Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause very heavy hail to rain down, such as has not been in Egypt since its founding until now.
(Leviticus 26:4) then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
(Deuteronomy 11:14) then I will give you 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.
(Deuteronomy 11:17) lest the LORD's anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.
(Deuteronomy 28:12) The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
(1 Samuel 12:18) So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
(Job 5:10) He gives rain on the earth, And sends waters on the fields.
(Job 28:26) When He made a law for the rain, And a path for the thunderbolt,
(Job 36:26-33) "Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; Nor can the number of His years be discovered. (27) For He draws up drops of water, Which distill as rain from the mist, (28) Which the clouds drop down And pour abundantly on man. (29) Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, The thunder from His canopy? (30) Look, He scatters His light upon it, And covers the depths of the sea. (31) For by these He judges the peoples; He gives food in abundance. (32) He covers His hands with lightning, And commands it to strike. (33) His thunder declares it, The cattle also, concerning the rising storm.
(Psalms 135:6-7) Whatever the LORD pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places. (7) He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.
(Isaiah 5:6) I will lay it waste; It shall not be pruned or dug, But there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds That they rain no rain on it."
(Isaiah 30:23) Then He will give the rain for your seed- With which you sow the ground, And bread of the increase of the earth; It will be fat and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed In large pastures.
(Ezekiel 13:13) Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it.
(Joel 2:23) Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.
(Amos 4:7) "I also withheld rain from you, When there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, And where it did not rain the part withered.
(Matthew 5:45) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
(Acts 14:17) Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
(Revelation 11:6) These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
There we have quite a few passages on the fact that God Almighty controls rain. And these are just a sample of passages- I’ve actually held a few back that we’ll look at in more detail later this week. As we read these, you should have also seen places where God used rain for chastisement and places where He uses it for blessing. I think it should be abundantly clear that God controls rain and not only the rain, but the weather in general- notice all the places where it is stated that He controls the wind or heavens or hail. If you can see that, then I think you’ll see the significance of this passage:
Mark 4:35-41 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side." (36) Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. (37) And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. (38) But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" (39) Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. (40) But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" (41) And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!"
Can you see the significance of Jesus’ act here? These Jews had grown up with the knowledge that God Almighty controls the weather and here was Jesus rebuking the wind and the waves. Thus, their comment "Who can this be!?" They were beginning to understand exactly who Jesus Christ was- he was God Almighty incarnate, God in the flesh. And Jesus gave evidence of this, not thru a series of random acts, but through some very precise miracles of which controlling the weather was one. Note also that in spite of this fearsome weather that Jesus was never worried. While the disciples were running about in fear of their lives, Jesus was asleep! Upon calming the weather- which in this case was a storm but might’ve been a drought- Jesus said to them "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" And so, as we examine God’s control of the weather, specifically in our case, rain, let us not lose faith. If you are a Christian, though you may be tossed about and caused discomfort in the body, you ultimately are safe in the hands of God.
I’d like to stop here for today. Tomorrow, we’ll come back to this and we’ll look at how and why God uses rain for chastisement and we’ll continue to see what the role of Jesus is all this.
Let me mention briefly that the Ministerial Alliance 5th Sunday singing will be held June 29 at 1st Baptist Church in Des Moines. If you’ve never been to one of these it’s an open mic gospel singing- anyone who plays an instrument or sings is welcome to show up and play a song or two. There will also be a few congressional songs. If you don’t play or sing, show up and be an audience member. My family will be there to play some bluegrass gospel, Andrea Esquivel will show, and we’ll have other local musicians playing. We will start with a potluck at 4:30 and the music will get rolling about 6 pm. That’s the 5th Sunday Singing at 1st Baptist Church in Des Moines. We’re on the west side of the high school- just take any turn going south into town and you’ll find us. Hope to see you there!
Forward to Rain, Part 2