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How to Break the Drought!

Rev. Dr. Peter D. Matthews

 

Image Copyright 2000 CSIRO, Used by Permission.

 

Australia has been hit hard by drought in 2018, and I suspect it will get much worse before it gets better. Farmers across rural Australia have been hand feeding large bales of sorghum, lucerne, millet, rhodes grass and bulka bags of grain by the tonne for months, coupled with molasses and lick blocks trying to keep their cattle in good condition through this drought. Some of their dams have dried up, even spring fed dams, and our seasonal rains have not come. There has been reports of 100 year old fruit trees dying because of the drought, and many farmers are trucking water for their crops day and night. Some have lost stock as  a result of the drought. I weep every time I see one of these beautiful creatures pass, especially when I know farmers are doing their best to save them. Conversely, other regions now are in flood.

Christian pastors are calling their congregations to prayer in the hope of drought-breaking rain to save our farmers from ruin. The Mayor of Darling Downs Regional Council, Paul Antonio, during his monthly meeting with five church pastors set aside “A Day of Prayer for Rain” held on 1 July 2018.[1] Yet, there has not been any significant rainfall since that time. On 10 February 2019, Mayor Dobie of the Southern Downs Regional Council has also called for people to pray for rain, both without consideration of why we are in this situation. I think sometimes we become too busy in our daily schedules for prayer, and even when we do pray, it is a quick prayer asking for something, like rain, or a good season for example. Too often than not, we don’t spend the time pressing in to God asking, “Why hasn’t it rained?” Quite often there is a biblical reason why things happen or don’t happen, but we are too busy to stop and listen to the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) trying to speak into our lives.

I have been pressing-in so to speak in prayer, not only for our own situation, but for the entire country. As a spirit-filled Ordained Minister and Academic Philosopher, I have traveled the world with other Apostolic ministries and evangelists from many different denominations, so know a thing or two about what I talking about. I am also a historian, and have studied the ancient cultures, including the droughts and dearths that have occurred countless times throughout recorded history. It has been suggested that a 300-year drought was the downfall of ancient Greece,[2] the old kingdoms of the Akkadian empire  in Syria and Egypt, and let’s not forget the Mayan civilization which is believed to have been abandoned in the 9th or early 10th century due to drought. Why did these civilizations perish? Why were they in drought? The bible tells us in 2 Chronicles 7:13-15 why droughts occur:

“At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you.  14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.”

Do you not understand? It is God himself who intentionally holds back the rain. Why? Because of our rebellion against him. If we will humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from the wicked things we have been doing, He will hear from heaven and will forgive our sins and restore our land with good rain. Is it that simple? Not quite…

Here is another example in the book of Amos 4:7 specifically for our farmers:

“I kept the rain from falling
when your crops needed it the most.
I sent rain on one town
but withheld it from another.
Rain fell on one field,
while another field withered away.”

Notice Townsville is being flooded and the Southern Downs is in severe drought? This is why! God is in control. Is he punishing us? This brings me to a passage of Scripture Holy Spirit led me to, Psalm 68:1-10

For the choir director: A song. A psalm of David.

Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies.
Let those who hate God run for their lives.
Blow them away like smoke.
Melt them like wax in a fire.
Let the wicked perish in the presence of God.
But let the godly rejoice.
Let them be glad in God’s presence.
Let them be filled with joy.
Sing praises to God and to his name!
Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds.[a]
His name is the Lord—
rejoice in his presence!

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

O God, when you led your people out from Egypt,
when you marched through the dry wasteland, Interlude
the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain
before you, the God of Sinai,
before God, the God of Israel.
9 You sent abundant rain, O God,
to refresh the weary land.
10 There your people finally settled,
and with a bountiful harvest, O God,
you provided for your needy people.

Did you notice verse 6? “He makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land” – drought! He makes the rebellious live in drought! Why are we in drought? The bible clearly tells us that God makes the rebellious people live in drought, therefore we need to examine our hearts and ask ourselves where we went wrong. How did we rebel? There are civil leaders and business owners who have rebelled against God. There are also other business owners out there who have taken advantage of others during this drought. You know who you are. God knows who you are. The entire region is being punished because of your sin.

We need to repent before God as individuals, and on behalf of the region, our state and our nation. I have interceded on behalf of our nation and our politicians. In my opinion, there are issues in their lives that have causes them to rebel against God, maybe intentionally but possibly also unintentionally, that has plunged our nation into drought. Some of these politicians might have simply been swayed by party members into doing something that was in direct rebellion to God without realizing it. Others are just apathetic in the office, collecting their pay cheques, and have ignored the call of God upon their lives. Woe to them, I say, unless they repent!

However, I am here to tell you today that God is faithful to his people. He will bring rain, but it might get a lot worse before it gets better. Instead of bringing together civic leaders and pastors to pray for rain, they should have turned to Scripture and asked God to inspire them and asked the question: where have we rebelled Lord? But no, they cry out for rain without repentance. Sorry you cannot bypass the cross of Calvary. The sin is rebellion against God. We must ask how we sinned and repent and ask for His forgiveness. Then and only then, can we call down for God’s “abundant rain” and “bountiful harvest”. When enough people in the community will turn and cry out to God in repentance of rebellion, then rain will come to this community. Until that happens, we will remain in drought!

Please take the time out of your busy schedule to examine your heart today and repent of rebellion. Pray for your region and our wonderful country of Australia. Pray for our politicians – they need your prayer. Call down God’s “abundant rain” and “bountiful harvest” upon your life today and your community today! If your have a Church group, get together and repent on behalf of the community and stand in faith for rain together. Then wait expectantly in faith. Don’t grumble! Wait expecting a miracle and it will come!

___________________________

© 2019 inclusive Rev Dr Peter D Matthews. All rights reserved. This paper may be freely used for academic purposes or for the pulpit, subject to citing Rev Dr Peter D Matthews as the author. Keep abreast of my website at www.petermatthews.com.au, or you can like my Facebook page for updated material. My academic profile is also available on Academia.com and Google Scholar.

[1] Lim, Annie (28 June 2018), Mayors urge nation to pray for rain, https://www.eternitynews.com.au/australia/mayors-urge-nation-to-pray-for-rain/

[2] Ghose, Tia (2013), 300-Year Drought Was Downfall of Ancient Greece, https://www.livescience.com/38893-drought-caused-ancient-mediterranean-collapse.html

Written by drpeter

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