Abundance of Rain – 6/23/19 AM

Watch this message here

Abundance of Rain

1 Kings 18:41

“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.”

A. The Absence of Rain – 17:1 – see vs. 7

Notice in I Kings 18:17 – Elijah was blamed for troubling Israel. Notice his reply in verse 18:

  • I have not troubled Israel, but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baal.

In the Scriptures, rain is a type of God’s blessings.

Of course, during the Flood, God used it for judgment and destruction. But he promised never to do that again.

The rain being withheld in this story was God’s judgment for God’s people turning their back on Him.

 

B. The Announcement of Rain – vs. 18:1

God has a desire to bless His people.

He wants us to experience all that He has for us.

Because of the remnant, God’s blessings can still be poured out.

We know that in the last days, things will wax worse and worse.

We know that in the last days, there will be a great falling away.

We are living in perilous times.

We are living in a time of spiritual famine and spiritual drought.

In spite of the sinful, abominable state of our country, God wants to send the rain.

  • Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

God promised that there would be a “latter rain.”

I don’t know exactly when that will occur, but I’m hoping and praying for rain now!

 

C. The Anticipation of Rain – 18:41

ILLUSTRATION: When we lived in the Samoan Islands in the mid 80’s, we lived in the village of Pago Pago right in the center of the island of Tutuila. The houses there had corrugated tin roofs. It rained every day in Samoa. On the edge of the bay was a mountain called Rainmaker Mountain. It would catch the clouds coming in and it would dump rain on the island for about an hour or so every single afternoon. We could hear the rain coming five minutes before it got to our house. We would have time to go outside, take the laundry off the clothesline, close the windows on the truck, get our bicycles in under the shelter before it started raining.

BUT: In this story, Elijah heard the sound of abundance of rain, long before it ever started raining.

His hearing was based on his believing.

His senses were tuned to God’s promises.

 

D. The Abundance of Rain – 18:45

Elijah heard the sound of abundance of rain.

In verse 45, there was a great rain.

 

Let’s notice several things about this abundance of rain.

I. The Search for Rain – vs. 43

It was a group effort.

Not just one looking for rain.

  • Didn’t stop after just one search.
  • Didn’t stop looking for rain after one time out soulwinning.
  • Didn’t stop looking for rain after one Sunday.
  • Didn’t stop looking for rain after one Sunday school lesson.
  • Didn’t stop looking for rain after one message.
  • Didn’t stop looking for rain after one counseling session.

They kept looking!

Notice Elijah’s posture vs. 42 …cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees.

  • Romans 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

This revealed several things about Elijah:

  1. He believed God when he said it was going to rain.
  2. He acknowledged that he could do nothing to make it rain.
  3. He had already been told by God it would rain, so there was nothing else to do but wait for it.

 

II. The Source of the Rain – vs. 43 …go look toward the sea; vs. 44…out of the sea

THE HYDROLOGIC CYCLE: The hydrologic cycle begins with the evaporation of water from the surface of the ocean. As moist air is lifted, it cools and water vapor condenses to form clouds. Moisture is transported around the globe until it returns to the surface as precipitation. Once the water reaches the ground, one of two processes may occur; 1) some of the water may evaporate back into the atmosphere or 2) the water may penetrate the surface and become groundwater. Groundwater either seeps its way to into the oceans, rivers, and streams, or is released back into the atmosphere through transpiration. The balance of water that remains on the earth’s surface is runoff, which empties into lakes, rivers and streams and is carried back to the oceans, where the cycle begins again.

  • Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
  • Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

A picture of division, death, destruction, fear, difficulties

We don’t like the “seas” in our lives, but that is where the rain comes from.

Many times, God will allow a church to go through times of difficulty before He can send the rain.

Notice verse 45:

  • …the heaven was black with clouds, and wind.

Most people want the rain, but they don’t want the sea, the black clouds and the wind that goes along with it!

You can’t have blue skies and sunshine and rain all at the same time!

 

III. The Setbacks of the Rain – vs. 44 …prepare…that the rain stop thee not

Bad things can happen when it rains, if you’re not prepared.

ILLUSTRATION: I bought an old 1980 Ford courier pickup truck from my father in law. That thing had more problems. Once I was coming home from work and it started pouring rain. I was driving down the interstate when it happened. The windshield wipers wasn’t working. They only went one way. They worked from right to left, but that was all. I had to pull over on the side of the road, find a string, tie it to the windshield wipers, run it around the windshield and through the passenger door window. I had to drive home pulling on my windshield wipers. They would work in one direction, and then I had to pull it back and it would work again. Needless to say, I wasn’t ready for the struggles and setbacks that can come when it starts to rain and I was unprepared. That was the last time that ever happened!  I sold that piece of junk back to my father-in-law! That man liked to have got me killed!!

When God sends the rain, if you’re not prepared, it can bog you down!

  • When God sends the rain, that means He will send more new converts. Are you prepared?
  • When God sends the rain, that means He will send more bus kids. Are you prepared?
  • When God sends the rain, that means He will send more missionaries. Are you prepared?
  • When God sends the rain, that means He will send more families. Are you prepared?
  • When God sends the rain, that means He will send more offerings. Are you prepared?
  • When God sends the rain, that means He will send more needs. Are you prepared?
  • When God sends the rain, that means He will send more challenges. Are you prepared?
  • When God sends the rain, that means He will send more opportunities. Are you prepared?
  • When God sends the rain, that means He will send more people with problems. Are you prepared?
  • When God sends the rain, that means He will send work to be done. Are you prepared?
  • When God sends the rain, that means He will send more students for the school. Are you prepared?

Are you ready for an abundance of rain? Or will it sweep you off your feet?

Are you ready for an abundance of rain? Or will it catch you off guard?

Are you ready for an abundance of rain? Or will it stop you?

 

IV. The Strength for the Rain – vs. 46 …and the hand of the Lord was on Elijah

 

To Gird up your loins – vs. 46

So we can be accountable to God:

  • Job 38:3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
  • Job 40:7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

So we can articulate the Word of God:

  • Jeremiah 1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.

So we can anticipate the blessings of God:

  • 1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

To Run

When God sends the rain, you’re going to have to hit another gear.

When God sends the rain, you can’t let Ahab get in front of you!

When God sends an abundance of rain, the people of God have to lead; not the Ahabs!!

You can’t sit during the rain.

You can’t walk during the rain.

You can’t take it easy when it rains.

You’re going to have to gird up your loins, and run like you’ve never run before!

God won’t put his hand on you unless you’ve got plans to run.

When it rains, you’ve gotta run!

Conclusion: James 5

  • 16 The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
  • 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
  • 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

NOTICE James 5:18: The earth brought forth her fruit.

  • James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

Are you ready for a harvest of fruit?

Harvesting fruit is a lot of work.

When it rains, and the earth brings forth her fruit, are you ready?