Living in Longview, the last thing you might ever imagine is living without rain for longer than a month or two. Personally, I could stand more sun, but hey, who am I, Elijah? There have been long droughts recorded in the US, including one that is still going on in Texas. Thinking of Texas and droughts, I’m reminded about old westerns I watch on TV, often set in dry, rainless, dusty towns; my favorite being High Plains Drifter. Most westerns end up with a new sheriff coming to town to bring law and order back to a lawless place filled with corrupt lawmen and scared citizens. As near impossible as it is to fathom, the worlds longest recorded drought lasted 400 years from 1571 until 1971 in the Atacama Desert of Chile, the driest place on Earth.
Elijah the prophet prayed that the rain would stop in Israel and it did. In fact, it ceased for three and a half years. We might look at a guy like Elijah and say, “Now, that guy was holy. He was extra spiritual.” James chapter 5 says that Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; in other words, fully human, with fears, failures and weakness. There are reasons he called for a drought. The Jews were in a 7 generation tailspin of evil leadership. Each king following Solomon “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” Each king was corrupt; following the ways of Baal, the god of the storm.
A drought causes people to get thirsty. A spiritual drought can cause people to get thirsty for spiritual things. I believe we are living in such a time. Joel 2:23 “He has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain…” The latter rain is the last days outpouring of the Holy Spirit which will bring spiritual renewal to dry, thirsty souls.
The drought in Israel eventually brought about a showdown between the prophets of Baal and Elijah. Though outnumbered 450-1, Elijah showed them that there was a new sheriff in town.
Let it rain.