Children of Zion, rejoice and be glad in the LORD your God, because he gives you the autumn rain for your vindication. He sends showers for you, both autumn and spring rain as before.
The rainy season in the Middle East begins in the autumn and runs until spring. In Hebrew, the term for autumn rains means “early rain,” and the term for spring rains means “latter rain.” These rainy seasons were crucial for the agricultural cycle. Grain was harvested in the spring and processed in the summer.
Seasons of rain were very important in the agricultural life of the Bible. Without them, the grain on which the people were dependent on for food, could not grow. The point of this verse in Joel is that God is faithful and will provide all that you need for life and growth. God can be trusted to provide for his people.
The Hebrew Word “לִצְדָקָ֖ה” or vindication here is usually translated as “righteousness “ in other passages. For instance, another agricultural blessing passage, Hosea 10:12, refers to this Hebrew word as “sow for yourselves righteousness”. Interestingly, it too is followed by the mention of faithful or steadfast love. This verse shows us God’s provision and faithfulness. The rain showers that come with spring should bring you joy! Although Israel had sinned, God declared that they would again be righteous through him. Similarly, we have sinned but are made righteous through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
God gives the rain in it’s season, as it is needed and when it is needed. In the same way, he will not let your heart dry up and fail to produce a fruitful harvest as long as you stay connected to him. Regular spring showers by God refresh and renew.
Yes, rain can be messy and inconvenient. But it is essential for growth. Think of life’s trials in the same way. And thank God for all he brings into your life.
Think of refreshing and renewal the next time you are out in the rain. Take a deep breath and be invigorated by the freshness around you provided by the cleansing rain. Try listening to a recording of rain on an app as you think of God’s blessings.
Three application points for your life this spring:
1) God brings needed rain. The amount and the timing are perfectly given according to God’s wisdom. Trust God in the rainy seasons and when the rain you need seems delayed.
2) The latter rain occurred right before harvest. Be aware that the rainy, stormy days the Lord allows in your life are meant to prepare you for a bountiful harvest and more fruitful living.
3) Rain was important to provide everything needed for sustenance of life in Israel. Trust that God will send his showers so you can prepare to harvest all that you need.
As you study and meditate on today’s verses, rejoice in God’s blessings! Deuteronomy 11:13-15, Psalm 84:5–7