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Only Repentance Will Break Drought, 9/3/14

I want to address something that is on the hearts and minds of many people now, increasingly. DROUGHT!! Some believers are beginning to try to pray for rain and this is well intended but will avail nothing. In fact it displays ignorance of some fundamental principles of how God governs his people. God is holy and his people are called to be holy and when we stray form him he corrects us for our sin. His first efforts come with words of correction for his prophets but if the people do not repent he will send small slap-on-the-wrist wake-up calls like the Oklahoma City bombing. If that doesn't work he will send harder wake up calls like 9/11. When that doesn't work because the people are so rebellious, like America has been, he will act with what we call judgments from God. That is what is beginning to happen now. In judgement he is always as merciful as he can be depending on the gravity of the sin. He does this out of love to correct his children and teach us the right way to live:

Isaiah 26:9
... For when Your judgments are in the earth, The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

God uses judgments to correct his people when they are refusing to listen to the prophets and stay on track with God's plan for them. Different judgments come as a result of different kinds of sin. The drought we are having is a judgment from God resulting from the sin of idolatry:

Deuteronomy 11:16-17New King James Version (NKJV)
16 “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, 17 lest the Lord’s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you.

The scripture tells of this kind of thing happening from worshiping false Gods before. We in America have a covenant with God so he corrects us as his own children just like he corrects Israel in the scriptures. There is a beautiful account of this kind of judgment teaching righteousness in the scripture when God used the prophet Elijah to stop the rain for three years because the people had turned their backs on God and were worshiping Baal:

1 Kings 17:1New King James Version (NKJV)
Elijah Proclaims a Drought
17 And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”

So God judged Israel for those three years with drought to teach them righteousness and bring them back to him. At the end other three years the people were ready to repent so God sent Elijah to demonstrate God's power and lead the people to repent. This repentance brought the rain back:

1 Kings 18:36-46New King James Version (NKJV)

36 And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”

38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”

40 And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there.

The Drought Ends

41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, 43 and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.”

So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”

44 Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’”

45 Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. 46 Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Notice how the rain returned when the people repented and came back to God. Only when the people had repented was the prophet released to pray for the rain to return. So don't listen to anyone who is trying to get you to pray for rain to return but not prioritizing repentance as the way to accomplish it. They obviously mean well but do not understand the basic truths of where the problem comes from or how to fix it. Only adequate repentance will break the drought, not just praying for rain.

So what do we do?

REPENT!!

Cry out to God for your own repentance, especially form idolatry, and cry out more for the spirit of repentance to fall on the people so that they will repent and turn back to God so he can lift his hand of judgment and the rain can return. That is the only thing that will work. Idolatry doesn't have to be physically bowing to a statue, it is a sin of the heart. When we love something inordinately and that love leaves us out of balance within, not loving God adequately, this is idolatry. America is rife with it: idolatry of self, romance, money, status, power, sex, entertainment, food, alcohol, religion, etc.

When the people of an area of land repent enough of all these things and truly turn back to God with sincere hearts , the rain will normalize, but not until then.


-Steve Pursell, 9/3/14

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