“If you carefully obey my commands I am giving you today, to love the Lord your God and worship Him with all your heart and all your soul, I will provide rain for your land in the proper time, the autumn and spring rains, and you will harvest your grain, new wine, and oil. I will provide grass in your fields for your livestock. You will eat and be satisfied” (Deuteronomy 11:13-15 HCSB).
Timing is everything. Farmers especially know this. Rains that come too early or too late do not provide the nourishment needed for crops to grow and produce their fruit. In some cases, rains arriving too early or late can actually destroy the crops and harvest. The agricultural cycle is very delicate, especially in the ancient world where they had to make do without the advantages of modern agricultural technology.
As the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, God promised them that if they would obey, love and serve Him, He would send the rains in their season. This was particularly important because the land God was giving them depended upon the rains from heaven for its agricultural needs. The rains had to come at the right time, or the crops would fail, animals would die, and the people would starve to death.
God called upon the people to trust Him that He would send rain in its season. They plowed their fields and planted them, trusting that God would provide the necessary rains. Can you imagine the anxiety of the farmer who just sowed his field with seed waiting for the rains to come?
But there was a condition: “If you carefully obey my commands I am giving you today, to love the Lord your God and worship Him with all your heart and all your soul.” Failure to do so would have negative consequences, as we go on to read: “Be careful that you are not enticed to turn aside, worship, and bow down to other gods. Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you. He will close the sky, and there will be no rain; the land will not yield its produce” (Deuteronomy 11:16-17 HCSB).
One of the draws the children of Israel experienced in worshipping other gods pertained to the agricultural cycle. Many of these foreign gods, like Ba’al and Asherah, were rain and fertility gods and goddesses. Worshipping them offered insurance in the event God did not come through. It was a way for the Israelites to ensure that the rains would come so they could survive.
We also find ourselves frustrated with God’s timing, wondering if He will truly come through. We even seek, at times, to help Him along. His promise remains: If we obey Him and love and serve Him, He will provide the things we need for our daily survival. We don’t need to seek any other source of provision.
Father, thank You for Your love and care for us. You are the sole source of our provision, and we trust You to send rain in its season. Amen.