Rain of righteousness

water-209901_640Hosea 10:12: Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

God wants to rain righteousness. His plan is that righteousness flows like a mighty river (Amos 5:24). But for that to happen we need to operate in the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord, we are told, is the foundation of wisdom and wisdom is doing the right thing to get the right result (Proverbs 9:10). The fear of God is to consider that doing the right thing, according to God’s definition of what is right, is the wise thing.

The bible says: there is a way that seems the best to man, but the end is destruction (Proverbs 14:12). Because God sees the end from the beginning, we will do well to submit to his perspective.

There is power in doing the right thing. Doing right is not for nothing, it establishes the rule of God around us, empowers the angels to act on our behalf since they act on the word of God (Psalm 103:20). And doing the right thing is acting on the word of God. When your life lines up with the word, angels line up with you.

When our life is marked by the will of God, we become living sacrifices, living proclamations of the will and word of God, we create the atmosphere for the operations of angels, for the operation of the supernatural around us.

The rain of righteousness allows us to flourish. Following the example of the man described in Psalm 1, we become like a tree planted by rivers of living water. We flourish because we make the word of God our guiding light and are able to do the right thing at the right time for the right results.

God told Joshua: this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, and the result will be great success (Joshua 1:8). So for Joshua, success was not automatic, it was not the default mode, it will be by a rain of righteousness powered by the life plugged to the word of God.

When you do the right thing you attract the presence of God. Jesus said that if we obey him, he and the father will have their dwelling with us (John 14:21-23).

We are called to bear fruit and for our fruit to abide (John 15:1-5). Bearing fruit is about the lifestyle that is linked to the will of God. Jesus said without him we can do nothing significant, nothing worthwhile, nothing of ultimate relevance i.e. of eternal relevance, something that we will be rewarded for at the end of time.

And it is when we allow God to work in us, that we are primed to do his will in every way. Paul says: God is at work in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). His good pleasure is about righteousness, about holiness with Peter writing that we should be holy as the Lord our God is holy (1Peter 1:15-16). The word of God represents him. As we dwell in the word we dwell in God. Paul said we need to have the word of God dwelling in us richly, then we can speak right (Colossians 3:16).

Rain in the natural is something beyond us, it is not something that we generate ourselves. After a time of siege in the land of Samaria, famine was rife, there was a “drought” of provision, and what they needed was a “rain (2Kings 6:24-7:20).” The one who does not believe will perish like the king’s aide in the time of famine in Samaria did (John 3:16).

Two women decided to kill their children one after the other, because of the severity of the need for food. They ate one child the first day but the next day the other woman was not forthcoming, and she reported to the king, who tore his cloth in utter helplessness.

If he could do something about it, he would have done something. Soon after, God spoke through Elisha addressing the situation. He said within twenty-four hours, there will be a total transformation, there will be a “rain” of provision, and the drought will be no more. And it came about by a supernatural supply from outside of the city.

Similarly for righteousness. We do not have the ability to produce righteousness in ourselves. We are helpless in that regard. We have a drought of it. Paul puts it this way: the good I want to do I cannot do and the bad I do not want to do that is what I do (Romans 7:14-25).

Isaiah said that our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). For example, if oranges represent righteousness, there is no getting oranges from an apple tree. But within a moment when we believe the gospel and are born again (John 5:24), instantly we come from the drought of righteousness to the surplus of righteousness, having the righteousness of Jesus Christ invested in us as a gift, and there is no greater supply of righteousness than the righteousness of Jesus.

Through Jesus we become new creatures (2Corinthians 5:17), enabled to live right by the power of God. Jesus is the gate to the full realisation of the plans and purposes of God for humanity, which starts with being righteous, and “being” righteous is the gateway to “living” righteous.

The number one question we should ask is: what does God say? Living in alignment with that is living based on truth. Before Jesus came we were lost, we had lost the essence of God, lost the word and the presence of God. Though God is everywhere, we were in a spiritual sense disconnected from him.

God told the children of Israel: you have committed two evils; you have forsaken me the fountain of living waters and hewed for yourself broken cistern that can hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13). Leaving God landed us in the parched places of the earth, in a state of drought.

David wrote that he thirsts for God, for the living God as the deer longs for the water-brooks (Psalm 42:1-2). Jesus agrees with him saying those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled (Matthew 5:6). We thirst for what we lack, for what we believe our life depends on, which true righteousness, being right with God.

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