Winter in Israel differs from the drab,
depressing and frosty months in some places. After autumn seeding at the
beginning of the rainy season, the showers increase into heavy winter rains,
causing the crops to grow. The rain should continue into spring, when the
latter rain matures the grain for harvest. However, weather in the holy land is
as unpredictable as the hearts of the children of Israel, so when rainfall
becomes sporadic or when there is no latter rain, many of the crops fail to
ripen, resulting in a poor harvest. In biblical times, this was a reflection of
God’s displeasure with His people (Jer 3:3).
So on one hand, winter is the
gateway to fruitfulness and vitality; on the other hand, it can be a time of
trepidation. Hence, winter is a time of waiting—either in joyful expectation of
renewal or with repentant prayer for restoration. In either case, it is a time
of looking to God to fulfill His promises when spring arrives.