Fire Before the Rain

fire-and-rain-abstract-2-steve-ohlsenElias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. (Jas 5:17-B8)

And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. (1Ki 18:1)

Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. (1Ki 18:38)

And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. (1Ki 18:41)

Let me give you the truth and then the explanation.

The truth

The people’s felt need was rain, but God’s priority was fire!

Although the drought is severe and we think we need rain is our greatest need, God wants us to see and receive the fire BEFORE we get the rain.

The explanation

Fire and rain are common figures used by God in the Bible to accomplish His work and to expresses and represent great spiritual truths.

  • Fire in the Bible is used to represent;
    • God’s punishment –  Sodom and Gomorrah, hell itself, etc.
    • God’s presence – the burning bush, the fire on the mountain at the giving of the law, the pillar of fire to lead and protect Israel in the wilderness, etc
    • God’s purification
  • Rain in Bible is used to represent;
    • Blessings
    • Fruit producing
    • Refreshing
    • Lack of rain as punishment
    • Restoration of rain as blessings-forgiveness – restoration – provision

In the story of Elijah, Ahab, Israel, the drought, and the consuming fire; God shows us that before He would send the needed rain, He wanted the people to experience the fire and turn their hearts to Him.  After the fire and the people’s revival, Elijah prayed and THEN the rain came.

Again, the people’s felt need was rain, but God’s priority was fire!

Practical examples:

  • Repentance before refreshing
  • Revival before restoration
  • Hearts before relief
  • Worship before blessing and refreshment

Conclusion: While waiting for the much-needed rain in our life, seek the fire.  See if there is another precursor God wants us to experience before He sends the rain.

Watch the entire sermon – Fire Before Rain

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