We must ASK God for His ‘SHOWERS of BLESSINGS’
October 5 Bible Reading: Zechariah Chapters 10-12
"Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone. For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain." (Zech. 10:1-2a)
This chapter (10) focuses on the blessings that the people of Judah should expect when the Messiah comes. God would then bless His people and punish the wicked leaders who had promoted idolatry among the people. These leaders of Judah had been seeking wisdom and advice from idols instead of Jehovah (v. 2). God would also fulfill His promise to “care for his flock” as He Himself will be their Shepherd and their King (Ezek. 34; Jer. 23:1–8).
The background for God’s command to the people of Judah to ask Him for rain is because there were apparently droughts in Judah after the exile (v. 1), and some of the people were turning to diviners and false gods for help rather than the Lord (v. 2). These people are exhorted to ask the Lord for rain and not to pray to worthless idols that cannot help them at all. In fact, idolatry causes people to wander like sheep without a shepherd!
The latter rain refers to the rain that comes in late spring (late April or early May) and is essential for an abundant grain harvest. This was God’s promise of blessings to the people of Israel during the time of Moses: "And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil." (Deut. 11:13-14)
These showers of blessings will come because the people lift up their eyes only to God for the rain, and that will result in a bountiful increase in their grain fields and vineyards. They are reminded that they have to ask for it to Jehovah God, and He will supply abundant rain as a reply to their believing prayers. It is God and not idols who will give them the rain. The blessings of God’s renewal are expressed in agricultural terms that are appropriate to the God’s covenant promise of land to the people of Israel.
Prophet Zechariah thus reminds the people of Judah that God alone controls the showers of blessings in their lives, and they should specifically pray to God for rain (see also Hosea 6:1–3; Joel 2:23–32). When we apply this promise on a spiritual dimension in our lives, let us understand that only God can send sufficient blessings and power to enable us to mature in Christ. We must ask God for His blessings of God’s new covenant through Jesus Christ (Matt. 26:28; 1 Cor. 11:25) and look forward to the total renewal of God’s covenant blessings in the new heavens and earth (Rev. 21:1–22:5).