“Be glad, O children of Zion,
and rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the latter rain, as before.
“The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.” Joel 2:23-25 ESV
You visit the earth and water it;
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide their grain,
for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy. Psalm 65:9-13 ESV
Rain is very important for crops all over the world. For example, in Southeast Asia and India, they have a dry season and a rainy season. The rainy season is sometimes called the monsoon season. It usually lasts from April to September, while the rest of the year is much drier. The crops that are grown in these areas, especially tea and rice, work very well with this weather, but if the monsoon season doesn’t come, the crops suffer. In the Middle East, God’s people had the early rain and the latter rain. The early rain came in November, and that’s the time farmers used to plant their grain crops such as wheat and barley. Then there was a dry spell while these crops grew. Another rainy time came again in the spring after the harvest of grain. This is the time farmers would especially tend their vineyards of grapes. The early and latter rain were very important to the crops that God’s people grew, and if the rain didn’t come the crops would suffer.
God’s people had seen their crops destroyed by an army of locusts, and they were very upset about this loss. They were anxious and worried when the prophet Joel gave them words of comfort. He said that God would send the early and latter rain again, and that there would be grain growing in the fields and grapes in the vineyards that would be made into wine, and olives on the trees for making olive oil. They had lost all their crops because of the locusts, but the rain would come to restore the trees and vines and fields in such a big way that they would get back everything they had lost.
Rain and water for crops are good blessings from God, and we would die without them. God gives us food to eat because he is our Heavenly Father and he loves us. He wants us to know his love and care and to know that we can trust him to give us the things we need. There’s something we need even more than food, and that’s God’s love and forgiveness. We would be separated from God and die forever without his forgiveness, but God has taken care of that, too. He sent his Son Jesus to die for us so that our sins could be forgiven. In Jesus, our Heavenly Father has given us everything we need, both now and forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us our food and clothing and homes and families and friends, and especially for Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.