What does the Bible say about rain?
What do you think about when you see rain fall from the sky? Do you think about God’s design and His gracious provision for the world? When is the last time that you thanked God for rain?
Have you ever thought of rain as being a symbol of the love of God?
Today, we will be discussing the meaning of rain in the Bible.
Christian quotes about rain
“How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God there is rain?”
“In the falling rain; I learned to grow again.”
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”
“Rain, rain, have your way ’cause either way God will reign.”
“Without rain, nothing grows, learn to embrace the storms of your life.”
“Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me. Hallelujah, and all my stains are washed away.”
What does rain symbolize in the Bible?
In the Bible, rain is often used to symbolize a blessing from God, in both conditional blessing for obedience as well as a part of God’s common grace. Not always, but sometimes. Other times, rain is used to punish as in the historical narrative of Noah. There are two main Hebrew words for rain: matar and geshem. In the New Testament, the words used for rain are broche and huetos.
1. Leviticus 26:4 “then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.”
2. Deuteronomy 32:2 “Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”
3. Proverbs 16:15 “When a king’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.”
Rain falls on the just and the unjust
Matthew 5:45 is talking about God’s common grace. God loves all of His creation in a manner called common grace. God even loves those people who set themselves up in enmity against Him by giving them good gifts of rain, sunshine, family, food, water, restraining evil, and other common grace elements. Just as God is generous with his enemies, so should we be.
4. Matthew 5:45 “He makes his sun rise on evil an on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
5. Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”
6. Acts 14:17 “Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
7. Nahum 1:3 “The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.”
8. Genesis 20:5-6 “Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.”
9. Exodus 34:23 “Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel.”
10. Romans 2:14 “For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, these who do not have the law are a law to themselves.”
11. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”
Storms in the Bible
When we see storms mentioned in the Bible, we can see lessons about how we are to trust God amidst the storms. He alone controls the winds and the rain. He alone tells the storms when to start and stop. Jesus is our peace during any of life’s storms that we face.
12. Psalm 107:28-31 “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!”
13. Matthew 8:26 “He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”
14. Mark 4:39 “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”
15. Psalm 89:8-9 “Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. 9 You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.”
16. Psalm 55:6-8 “I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. “Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah. “I would hasten to my place of refuge From the stormy wind and tempest.”
17. Isaiah 25:4-5 “You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall 5 and like the heat of the desert. You silence the uproar of foreigners; as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is stilled.”
God sent droughts as an act of judgment
Several times in Scripture we can see that God sends droughts as an act of judgement upon a group of people. This was done so that the people would repent of their sins and turn back to God.
18. Deuteronomy 28:22-24 “The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. 23 The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. 24 The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.”
19. Genesis 7:4 “Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”
20. Hosea 13:15 “Ephraim was the most fruitful of all his brothers, but the east wind—a blast from the LORD— will arise in the desert. All their flowing springs will run dry, and all their wells will disappear. Every precious thing they own will be plundered and carried away.”
21. 1 Kings 8:35 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them.”
22. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
23. 1 Kings 17:1 “Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
Elijah prays for rain
Elijah told the wicked king Ahab that God was going to stop the rain until Elijah said so. He was doing this as a judgement upon King Ahab. When it was time, Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel to pray for rain. As he started to pray, he told his servant to look towards the sea for any sign of rain. Elijah actively prayed and trusted God to answer. Elijah knew that God was going to keep His promise.
There are several things that we can learn from this story. No matter what situation that you are in, remember that God is faithful. Like Elijah, let’s listen to what God is telling us to do. Not only should we listen like Elijah, but we should also follow God’s commands like Elijah did. Also, do not lose hope. Let’s fully trust and lean upon our great God and believe that He will act. Let’s persevere in prayer until He answers.
24. Isaiah 45:8 “Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the Lord, have created it.”
25. 1 Kings 18:41 “Now Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.”
26. James 5:17-18 “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
27. 1 Kings 18:36-38 “At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.”
The water of the flood washed away sin
Over and over in Scripture we are told that our sin contaminates us. Sin has contaminated the world and our flesh and our souls. We are utterly wicked because of the fall and we need the blood of Christ to wash us clean. God demands purity and holiness because He is so completely Holy. We can see this reflected in the historical narrative of Noah and the Ark. God purified the land by drowning its inhabitants with the flood waters, so that Noah and his family could be saved.
28. 1 Peter 3:18-22 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”
29. Genesis 7:17-23 “For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.”
30. 2 Peter 2:5 “and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.”
31. 2 Peter 3:6 “through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.”
32. Psalm 51:2 “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
33. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
34. Psalm 51:7 “Purify me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.”
35. Leviticus 16:30 “for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be lean from all your sins before the Lord.”
36. Ezekial 36:25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness from all your idols.”
37. Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
38. 1 Corinthians 6:11 “Such were some of you but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
Waiting on God
One of the hardest things in the world for us to do is to wait on God. We think that we know what God should do and when it needs to be done. But the truth of the matter is – we only have a small glimpse into what is going on. God knows all things that are an will be. We can faithfully wait on God because He has promised to do what is best for us.
39. James 5:7-8 “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
40. Hosea 6:3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
41. Jeremiah 14:22 “Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.”
42. Hebrews 6:7 “For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God.”
43. Acts 28:2 “The natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for because of the rain that had set in and because of the cold, they kindled a fire and received us all.”
44. 1 Kings 18:1 “Now it happened after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth.”
45. Jeremiah 51:16 “When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain And brings forth the wind from His storehouses.”
46. Job 5:10 “He gives rain on the earth and sends water on the fields.”
47. Deuteronomy 28:12 “The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.”
48. Jeremiah 10:13 “When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, And brings out the wind from His storehouses.”
Examples of rain in the Bible
Here a couple examples of rain in the Bible.
49. 2 Samuel 21:10 “And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until it rained on them from the sky; and she allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field by night.”
50. Ezra 10:9 “So all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month on the twentieth of the month, and all the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and the heavy rain.”
Hosea 10:12 “Break new ground. Plant righteousness, and harvest the fruit that your loyalty will produce for me.” It’s time to seek the Lord! When he comes, he will rain righteousness on you.”
Praise the Lord for His mercies endure forever! He is so kind and generous that He allows the rain to come as a blessing to us.
- What does rain reveal to us about the character of God?
- How can we honor God when we see rain?
- Are you allowing God to speak to you in the rain?
- Are you focusing on Christ in the storm?