It’s raining again.
I was thinking about spiritual parallels to “rain” … and I touched on an unexpected “connection.”
An “ah-ha!” moment, of sorts.
Matthew 44:45 records Jesus teaching, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous…”
It’s commonplace for people who apply this Scripture to life-relevance to mentally equate “sun” with “good times” or “blessings,” and “rain” with “tough times” or “adversity.” However, I discovered a little tidbit in Smith’s Bible Dictionary(online) that, I think, has changed my personal viewpoint. In a brief commentary on “rain,” Smith’s documents, “In the Bible, ‘early rain’ signifies the rain of the autumn (Deut. 11:14) and ‘latter rain’ the rain of spring (Prov. 16:1,5) …the autumnal rains are eagerly looked for, to prepare the earth for the reception of the seed…..”
Whoa….that “unexpected connection” started welling up in me, so I jumped into Genesis to help formulate it:
Genesis 8:12-17 states, “God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you (Noah) and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant… and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ And God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I have established…”
Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
Hmmm, It pleased God to set the bow in the heavens as a symbol and reminder of what He said He would do…I wonder if it pleases God for us to look on the rains as a reminder of what Jesus assigned us, who are His Righteous ones, to do. Would He smile if we remembered and reflected on the fact that just as His rain softens the soil for root growth and replenishes rivers in their paths, He is constantly preparing hearts and minds for the reception of the seed that we are to plant as we share, pray, and bring His Light to others?
The word “enemies,” in Matthew 5:44, remains the same word in almost every Bible translation. The Bible in Basic English defines it, “have love for those who are against you, and make prayer for those who are cruel to you…” which is then followed by, “…so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven…”
Grab your seedbags. Talk to the Samaritans at the well…touch the lepers…for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Look at the rain and smile.