The Former And Latter Rains

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Good morning D____,

Thank you for sharing the verses there in Zechariah and Hosea with me. I hope to inculcate them into my next talk.
You point out the verses there in Hosea…:

Hos 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
Hos 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
Hos 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

… and you ask:

In Palestine and even here in the U. S. there are former rains in the spring and summer, there are also latter rains in the fall. The former rains of the spring benefit the early crops like the barley and the former rains of the summer benefit the wheat. But again “at the end of the year, at the feast of ingatherings,” the latter rains benefit the later crops like the grapes, which are harvested in the fall. Both the wheat and the grapes are benefited by the former and the latter rains. The wheat, which was harvested at Pentecost, is a summer crop and is intended, spiritually to be thought of more in connection with the former rains and the former harvest, because it is called in scripture “the feast of firstfruits,” whereas tabernacles is called “the feast of ingatherings, in the end of the year.”

Exo 23:14  Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.
Exo 23:15  Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:)
Exo 23:16  And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, [ which is] in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.
Exo 23:17  Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.

This is all reiterated in the thirty- fourth chapter:

Exo 34:18  The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.
Exo 34:22  And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.
Exo 34:23  Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.

As we are learning that we live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, we come to understand that we experience both the former and the latter rains as we live out the entire plan of God as revealed in the annual holy days as they are scheduled “three times in the year,” throughout the first seven months of the year. All of God’s work is done in our lives through the former and the latter rains. God sustains us and confirms and prepares us through these rains. When we are tried and not given water we get weary and faint. God deliberately gives us these trials and deliberately tries our faith in his promise to prepare and sustain us. But he never fails to come through if we “endure to the end.”

Psa 68:9  Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.

He sustains us throughout the winter months, but there is very little activity during those months of our spiritual lives. His plan begins with the passover and the former rains, in the first month, and it continues through the summer with the summer former rains of the summer period, and it ends on the last great day of the feast of tabernacles and the latter rains in the seventh month.
But God’s plan to bring mankind to Himself is both former and latter in its nature. So while we live by every word, those words actually reveal both a former and a latter harvest. Those who are in that former harvest will be used to bring the rains to the latter harvest. While the passover and the days of unleavened bread typify and foreshadow Christ, who as our captain and our head brings us our rains, so also will those who are part of Pentecost, the feast of firstfruits, be used by Christ to bring the latter rains to the latter harvest, “at the end of the year.” God’s words through Christ, are the water of that rain:

Exo 16:4  Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
Lev 26:4  Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Deu 11:14  That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
1Ki 8:35  When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:

What are these former and latter rains? What is an “open heaven?”

Deu 32:2  My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:

Grass and herbs represent each of us when we begin our walk in Christ:

Eph 2:1  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
1Pe 1:24  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
Rom 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

I hope that helps you to see that our rain, former and latter, is Christ and His doctrine, and that it is given to us “in due season…,” that is the same as an open heaven, and that it “confirms us when we are weary.”

Your brother in Christ,
Mike >

Other related posts