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…
I. GOD ATTENDS TO THE PRAYERS OF GOOD MEN. The abundance of corn promised in the last clause of the preceding chapter depends upon rain.
1. God gives rain. A pseudo-science would ascribe "rain" and "clouds" and showers to what they call the laws of nature. The Bible directly connects them with the working of God. "He watereth the hills from His chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Thy works" (Psalm 104:13-15; Psalm 65:9-11).
2. The God who gives rain attends to human prayer. But it is not absurd, because
(1) Man is greater than material nature.
(2) Prayer is a settled law of the Divine government.To cry to the Almighty in distress is an instinct of the soul. Prayer, instead of interfering with the laws of nature, is a law of nature.
II. HE ABOMINATES THE CHARACTER OF RELIGIOUS IMPOSTORS. "For the idols [the household gods] have spoken vanity," etc. "Thus, under such misleading guides, such selfish and unprincipled shepherds, the flock was driven about and 'troubled.' They had 'no shepherd,' no truly faithful shepherd, who took a concern in the well-being of the flock." — Wardlaw. Now, against such impostors, Jehovah says, "Mine anger was kindled." "That the shepherds and the goats," says Hengstenberg, "are the heathen rulers who obtained dominion over Judah when the native government was suppressed, is evident from the contrast so emphatically pointed out in the fourth verse, where particular prominence is given to the fact that the new rulers whom God was about to appoint would be taken from the midst of the nation itself." Are there no religious impostors now, no false teachers, no blind leading the blind, no shepherds fleecing the flocks?
III. HE WORKS IN ALL FOR HIS PEOPLE. From Him comes stability. All stability in moral character, in social order, in political prosperity, is from God. What a sublime view of the Almighty have we here!
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.