Right now, the entire southeast United States is experiencing an extreme drought with places like north Georgia having been without any rain at all for almost three months. I live in North Carolina where we are seeing forest fires in the western part of the state. I have lived in or near western North Carolina for more than 50 years and have never heard about a single forest fire until this year. For reasons that I will explain in this series of blogs, I believe that the drought is a judgment from God because of the sins and disobedience of this nation, and I want to urge all believers to pray and ask the Lord to be merciful and to send rain on the parched ground of the south.
So before I begin this study on drought and on how to pray for rain, I appeal to all my brothers and sisters in Christ, and especially those in the southeast United States, to pray using 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 that the Lord would hear from heaven, would forgive our sin and would send rain on our land.
How Adam’s sin has affected the earth and has given us drought – The Fall
In the Garden of Eden, the LORD God provided everything that Adam and Eve needed to flourish. Everything was given in abundance and there was no lack of anything. This was a consequence of what may be called “the Adamic covenant” or “the Adamic probation.” God had promised the first man Adam that He would provide everything he needed, but this promised provision was conditioned on Adam’s obedience. When man rebelled and sinned against the LORD God by eating the forbidden fruit, the arrangement between God and man changed. Instead of providing all that the man needed, the earth was cursed (Genesis 3:17-19) and, from that point on, anything that man received from the earth was solely the result of God’s gracious provision. In fact, from the point of the Fall onward, the earth became a means of expressing the LORD God’s favor or, more evidently, God’s judgment. In this present study, we will see that God will withhold rain from the earth as an expression of His judgment on a people or on a nation. The point is that, because of his sin, man has forfeited God’s initial covenant and thus has no legitimate claim on any of God’s blessings which were promised to him in the beginning. After the Fall, all mankind in all places on the face of the earth is dependent on God’s grace for whatever blessings He gives.
The implication of this brief look at this aspect of redemptive history is that God is perfectly justified in withholding His rain from a geographic region when the people’s sin and rebellion has exceeded God’s grace. What we will see in this study is that there are several places in the Old Testament (in the Law, in the history of Israel and in the prophets) where the LORD warns that He will withhold His rain from disobedient Israel, and there is nothing in the contexts of these Old Testament warnings that would suggest they have been abrogated.
To sum up, here is what we have learned from this study so far.
- In Adam’s sin, man has forfeited his right to God’s blessings as a promise and now receives those blessings solely as a result of God’s grace. Thus rain is now a result of God’s common grace.
- In the Old Testament, the LORD warned that He would shut up the heavens and send no rain if the people did not obey Him and did not observe the LORD’s commandments and statutes (references verses will be given later)
- There is nothing in the context of these Old Testament warnings that would indicate they are no longer in effect today, so we can assume that God’s threatening about withholding rain as judgment for sin still holds.
- MY CONCLUSION is that our sin and rebellion in the USA has exceeded the LORD’s patience extended to us in His common grace and, as a result, God is judging us by withholding rain. Our disobedience has led to drought
The next blog will discuss the Scriptures which support the statements that I have made in this blog and will cover many of the verses which present the instances when God warned of the consequences of disobedience or tell of His withholding rain.
There will also be a blog on how to pray for rain biblically so that the LORD will hear our prayers, including how to prepare our heart as we present our requests to God.
In the meantime . . .
“If I, the LORD, shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, and My people, who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chron. 7:13-14
SDG rmb 11/23/2016