Let us know. Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth. Hosea 6:3 (NKJV)
The phrase ‘former and latter’ rain occurs multiple times in the scriptures. God, His word, allows us to look closely at nature, and the analogy between nature and grace is very familiar. Israel has plentiful rainfall twice a year, from March to April and about October – November. The farmers looked forward to this rain. True to its nature, the former rain fertilized the region, it made the parched land soft to ensure the right environment for growth – altogether bringing character and meaning to the soil. The latter rain is for the crops to ripen.
Let’s look at the spiritual mean – Rain usually represents the Holy Spirit. The early rains began when Jesus Christ our Lord and his disciples went about preaching and sharing the Gospel to the people. The latter rain is the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out on those who in faith waited and believed. This began the plentiful harvest of the souls in the past and present.
The former rain, the work of our Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection, reminds us constantly that ‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)’. The latter rain is in effect even today, bringing to fruition its purpose of spiritual growth. For us to mature in our walk with Him, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to nurture us every day. This means we spend time with the Lord by praying and seeking His word to dwell richly in us. God empowers us through the Holy Spirit to live a Christ-directed life. As we continue to enjoy the downpour of the Holy Spirit, we will experience a deepening fellowship with God which will lead to the consistent growth in Christ.