In the temperate regions of the world,
autumn is a time of transition. As the air chills, the leaves turn to gold and
fall from the trees. Animals begin to store food, or fatten themselves up,
ready for hibernation. In times past, many cultures would store provisions to
see them through the lean winter months, so a bountiful autumn harvest was crucial
to their preparations.
In Palestine, autumn is the time of the
early rain—showers which soften the ground after the dry and arid summer. This
prepares the soil so that farmers can plough and sow their fields. If there is
no early rain, the ground would be unable to absorb any heavy deluges. Once the
seed is planted, the farmer only has to wait patiently for springtime, when the
crops will grow. Rather than a darkening time of approaching hardship, autumn
is in fact a time of hope and preparation for the future.
be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. (Jas 5:7)
The writers of the Bible saw the giving of
rain as a sign of God’s faithfulness and providence. In spiritual terms, the autumn
showers point to the depth of God’s love and grace in that He has already prepared
the ground for the salvation of His elect.
The roots of God’s salvation plan, planted
before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4), is seeded throughout the history and
prophecies of the Old Testament. Without fail, many of these promises have blossomed
and borne fruit in the events of the New Testament and in the end time. The
rest will surely come to pass—all we
need to do is trust God’s word, and ensure that our faith is built on the
foundation laid by Christ.