Article of the Month

 

September 2007

Drought

 

In much of the world this summer, there seems either to be too much rain or not enough rain.  Lack of rain is used in the Bible as a symbol for the absence of a blessing.

One example is found in Zechariah 14:17.  This text is referring to a time, yet future, when the restored people of Israel will be serving as the instructors for the rest of the world to lead them into the blessings of the in-coming Kingdom of God on earth.  The testimony given by Zechariah is that some nations will be slow at first to trust the arrangement and will, therefore, hesitate to consult the Jews.  The prophet explains that these nations will receive NO RAIN (a drought; a lack of blessings) until they recognize and cooperate with God’s arrangements through Israel.  (Isaiah 2:2-4)

Historically there also are two incidents, one literally without rain, the other (pictured by the first), an extended period without the blessings of understanding (pictured by lack of rain).

The first of these incidents is described in great detail in I Kings.  It did not rain in Israel for 3-1/2 years.  James (5:17, 18) summarizes the long story in only two verses.  However, the important meaning behind this incident is that it pictured (or was a type of, or prophesied) a period of 1,260 literal years when the refreshing blessings which come from a knowledge of God’s Word were nearly absent.

1,260 days are the number of days in 3-1/2 prophetic years.  (360 x 3-1/2 = 1,260)  But, as we have shown elsewhere, in prophecy a day equals a year.  [Ezekiel 4:6]  Thus in the complex symbologies of Revelation 11 and Daniel 12, the “time, times, and half a time,” the 42-months, and the 1,260 days all refer to the historic period during which Papal control over the religious world made it at least difficult, but more usually impossible for men to study and be blessed by the Bible.  This 1,260 years lasted from 539 to 1799 A.D.—after which Papal influence was so greatly restrained that Bible Societies sprang up all over the world.  In other words, “It rained.”  Ever since that time, sincere Christians have been investigating and have been being blessed by the “water” of truth.

During those “Dark Ages” when the light of truth was scarce, the condition is well characterized in the words of the prophet Amos (8:11):

                “Behold, days are coming, declares the Lord God,

                When I will send a famine on the land,

                Not a famine for bread or for a thirst for water,

                But rather for hearing the words of the Lord.”

 THE POINT 

We all have witnessed about us how many people are “thirsty” for answers.  Unfortunately, many seem to turn to sources without answers, or with wrong answers.  Science does not have the answers.  Philosophy does not have the answers.  Politicians do not have answers.  “Common Sense” doesn’t have the answers.  The answers ARE available, and are revealed to those to whom the Lord now chooses:  those who sincerely seek Him if haply they might find Him (Acts 17:27), and who are striving to “worship Him in spirit and in truth.”  (John 4:23, 24)  We now are living in the time when “the mystery of God is finished.”  (Revelation 10:7)  Truth is here now!  However, the prophet explains that the population in general will remain in darkness until that soon-to-come day when God reveals His plans to all THROUGH ISRAEL.  (Isaiah 60)

                “…darkness will cover the earth, and deep

                darkness the peoples.  But the Lord will

                rise upon you (Israel); and His glory will

                appear upon you.  And nations will come

                to your light, and kings to the brightness

                of your rising.”

                (Recall Zechariah 14:17 with which we

                began this article.)

Then (Talk about FLOODS!), “The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea!”  Isaiah 11:9.

* * * * *

If you are the Lord’s (or want to be), don’t go thirsty!  There is too much that is good to drink.  Let us together find some of these cool, refreshing, deep wells, so that we may never thirst.  John 4:14