Yesterday, in our devotional I spoke of the two rains in Israel, the early rain and the latter rain. The prophet Joel speaks prophetically of these two rainy seasons in connection with the outpouring of God’s spirit:
“Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month;” [Joel 2:23]
Then Joel continues: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit;” [Joel 2:28-29]
Following the Lord’s command to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high, the disciples could not have comprehended what God was about to do. Then, when the Holy Spirit descended upon them, astounding both themselves and all the Jews who had come to Jerusalem for Shavuot (Pentecost), the Apostle Peter explained it, quoting directly from Joel’s prophecy [Acts 2:17-18] which speaks specifically in this context of an early rain… and a latter rain.
The Hebrew scriptures often reflect the cyclical/repetitive nature of God’s creation. The cycle of the 7 day week, the monthly lunar cycle, the yearly passage of the sun through the heavens, etc. Psalm 23 also describes a cyclical pattern in the Lord’s shepherding of His sheep, saying literally, “He leads me in circles of righteousness; the word normally translated as “paths” in verse 3 is literally “circles” (“ma’aglei”) in the Hebrew. There are numerous prophetic scriptures which have multiple fulfillments, as well. All of this exemplifies a cyclical or repetitive element in the very fabric of God’s story.
In light of this observation, I am anticipating a great move of God similar, or perhaps even eclipsing the events of Pentecost. While this has been a much-debated subject, there are scriptures supporting such a move of God, and complementing my expectation of a repeating cycle of outpouring. “Harvest” (a cyclical event) is one of the main metaphors describing the end of the age and I am believing the Lord’s love and power will bring a “latter rain” harvest to this world, culminating what He began nearly 2000 years ago. [see Daniel 12:3].
Anticipating an event inspires us to prepare for it. If indeed, a “latter rain flood/harvest” is impending and the Holy Spirit is seeking wise vessels through whom to pour Himself, our expectation will lead to preparation, purification, and passionate prayer. So be a vessel ready to shine in this world of darkness. We’re surely entering a season which we barely understand, just as the Apostles in the 1st century; nevertheless, in faith, we can be expectant and prepared for it.