Former and Latter Rain

Hosea 6:3. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Hosea 6:3 | worldchallenge.org

Do you moan and groan sometimes when it’s pouring down rain, and your plans for the day get scuttled?

Or maybe you or your parents/grandparents remember the Dust Bowl Days of western America, when everyone pleaded and begged for a good, soaking rain that would restore the earth, refresh the people, literally settle the dust.

Israel was in its own Dust Bowl, one of their own making. But, through His prophet Hosea, He promises that in His good time there will be showers of blessing.

In Hosea 4:6, God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Because their dedication to God had dried up, so did their knowledge of Him. They lusted after the idolatry of the surrounding nations, and paid the price of a deadly spiritual and physical drought.

The drought can be cured, though, if people return sincerely to seeking knowledge of God.

He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

I was able to go to church yesterday, after weeks of being housebound with pain. It was refreshing just to enter the building and be greeted warmly by so many people. It was refreshing to sit in the adult Sunday school class and drink in the careful study of I Peter. It was refreshing to listen to our pastor open the book of Nehemiah. It felt like rain after a drought. I’ve been a believer since I was five. That’s almost seventy years! You’d think, perhaps, that there’s nothing more I need to learn about the Lord. You’d be totally mistaken. There is no limit to what we can learn, because He is infinite.

Latter and former rain: The success of the crops depended entirely on rain. The latter fell in the autumn, to prepare the earth for seed. The former fell in the spring, to prepare the crops for harvest.

If our search for knowledge of God is honest and sincere, He will soften our hearts to receive the seed. He will send latter “rain” to bring the harvest to full fruition, and we will be blessed and refreshed. This is a promise, but it is conditional on selfless, worshipful seeking for Him.

In my reading today, I came across a reference to the “Latter Rain” movement, and it caught my interest. It was lead by a man named William Branham, and had a huge impact especially in the Pentecostal-type movements that were gaining popularity. Branham’s assistant was Oral Roberts, whose name is probably more familiar to my generation than it is to younger people. Much of the movement’s popularity focused on “signs and wonders” such as healing and powerful spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues. These miracle and gifts were considered the latter rain, and were believed to be the beginning of the last and greatest spiritual revival that precedes the Rapture.

Why should I mention all that? Well, because I wanted you to see how stretching the meaning and intent of a simple phrase in scripture can lead to all sorts of weird interpretations, and we need to remember one of my favorite sayings: If the plain sense makes common sense, then any other sense is nonsense!

We must always interpret God’s Word by God’s Word!

One thought on “Former and Latter Rain

  1. bryan Johnston

    Amen Linda. Thank you. A great reminder about the dangers of deception in these “Perilous times” in which we now live.Christ Himself warned “BEWARE THAT NO ONE DECEIVES YOU” which were the very FIRST Words of His ‘Olivet Discourse’ = Teaching on the Mount of Olives’ (Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.) He NEVER spoke at random, so if that was the FIRST thing He said (in response to His disciples’ question about events immediately preceding His Return) then that surely must be the most important thing to remember. Take care and God bless you BIGtime, Today/ALWAYS!!

    Liked by 1 person

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