Ask you of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain…
We have here expressed the connection between prayer and promise on the one hand, and prayer and the processes of nature on the other. The blessing of rain, which, to an agricultural people, was inclusive of all other temporal blessings, and symbolical of all spiritual ones, was promised; but this promise was dependent on its supplication in prayer. Just so the great blessing of the descent of the Spirit on an individual or a Church, though a free gift, must be obtained by prayer. It is this fact that makes the spirit of prayer in the Church at once an index of her piety, and of the spiritual blessings she may expect from God. When the Church pours out a fulness of prayer, God will pour out a fulness of His Spirit. The inspired writers see no difficulty in the connection between prayer and the processes of nature, such as the mole-eyed philosophy of modern times discovers. The inspired writers think that the God who has created the elements may direct them according to His will. We must not suppose that because God has begun to bless us, we may relax our prayers and efforts. The former rain may be given, but we must also ask for the latter rain. We may have the former rain of conversion, but if we would have the latter rain of ripened sanctification, we must continue to ask of God. So, also, in the revival of religion. The former rain may occur, and souls be converted, but if we would have the ripening seed in active Christians, we must ask of God, and He will give growth, greenness, and maturity.
(T. V. Moore, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.