Nearing the end of 2017, Rabbis in Israel began calling on the nation of Israel to pray and intercede for God’s blessing of rain. Israel has suffered a drought for more than four years now and meteorologists were predicting the possibility of yet another dry winter. Between the months of April/May to September/October, there is no rainfall in Israel. Many times, the first rain falls during the holiday of Succot. It was after Succot 2017 that Chief Rabbi David Lau, stated, “The beginning of the month of Kislev (November/December in the Gregorian calendar) has passed, and the land of Israel has yet to be blessed with rain. Therefore I call on the public to first of all to be exceedingly kind to one another, as well as add the prayer that is said when the rain stops.”
The Sea, or more appropriately the lake of Galilee, which is one of Israel’s main fresh water reservoirs was the lowest it had been in the past decade. It is currently more than five meters below a normal sea level. Israel is desperate for rain.
In response to Rabbi Lau’s statement, thousands of Israelis gathered at the Western Wall in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City to pray.
“Are there any among the idols of the nations who give rain? Or can the heavens grant showers? Is it not You, O LORD our God? Therefore we hope in You, For You are the one who has done all these things.”- Jeremiah 14:22
Since the gathering at the Western Wall, several storms have hit Israel resulting in a rise of the Sea of Galilee. From one storm alone, the water rose over 15 centimeters.
“Then Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go get something to eat and drink, for I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!’ So Ahab went to eat and drink. But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees. Then he said to his servant, ‘Go and look out toward the sea.’ The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, ‘I didn’t see anything.’ Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, ‘I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.’ Then Elijah shouted, ‘Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’” And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel. Then the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel.”- 1 Kings 18:41-46.
Though we have seen God answer prayer for rain, the land is still in need for more. Like Elijah who persisted in prayer to the God of heaven to pour out rain upon the dry and thirsty land of Israel thousands of years ago, so the same, let’s persist in prayer that God, who is rich in mercy, would continue to fill Israel’s lakes, rivers and streams once again! Let’s remind the Lord of His word and proclaim His promises to the inhabitants of Israel:
“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst; You, oh Lord, will answer them Yourself, as the God of Israel You will not forsake them. You open rivers on the bare heights and springs in the midst of the valleys; You make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land fountains of water.”- Isaiah 41:18
“Shed abroad a plentiful rain, O God; Confirm Your inheritance when it was parched.”- Psalm 68:9
” We ask for rain from You LORD at the time of the spring rain– From You, Oh LORD who makes the storm clouds; And You will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man.”- Zechariah 10:1
“LORD, open Your good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to Your land in its season and to bless all the work of our hands;So that Israel shall lend to many nations…”- Deuteronomy 28:12
“You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come.”- Psalm 102:13
“On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; And give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”- Isaiah 62:7