“Ask rain from the Lord in the season of the spring rain.” The God who made the heavens and the earth was able to give necessary gifts for the life of His people, yet they turned to other spiritual hopes rather than approach Jehovah in prayer. False religion would yield only confusion and hunger, “for the household gods utter nonsense, and the diviners see lies.”
Israel needed a servant of God who would take them home, but their pastors had failed them. The Lord said, “My anger is hot against the shepherds.” He would punish those who had led His loved ones astray, but He would provide a far better Guide in a future Messiah. “The Cornerstone” of a holy temple would come from the tribe of Judah, and He would be with His chosen ones and teach them how to prosper in the fight of faith.
The blessing of the coming King would not only be for Judeans, but would extend to the other tribes of Israel who had wandered from their God for so many years. “I will bring them back because I have compassion on them, and they shall be as though I had not rejected them.” The bounty of the Almighty would be extended to future generations, for “their children shall see it and be glad; their hearts shall rejoice in the Lord.”
How could sinful people ever find a way back to God after years of bondage? The Lord proclaimed that He would pay the price for their freedom, for “I have redeemed them.” What would their fellowship with God and each other be like after their rebellion and death? “They shall remember me, and with their children they shall live and return.”
A promise as great as this one could never be achieved without the resurrection of those who had long rested in the grave. God insisted that He would do what seemed entirely impossible. Not only would those who had long ago departed this world exist again in the land of the living, but even their foreign oppressors would be humbled and included among those who would be “strong in the Lord” and “walk in His Name.”
We are filled with gratitude for the work of our Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus, who is the King and Head of His church. His resurrection gives us hope for the fulfillment of all of God’s marvelous decrees. Because of His power and love, we are emboldened even now to turn to Him in prayer, knowing that whatever we ask according to His will, we shall receive.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God, You send rain and sunshine even upon those who worship false gods, but You care especially for Your own flock. You have sent us the great Cornerstone of our salvation. He has saved us and strengthened us. He will bring us back to a safe and bountiful land, and we shall rejoice and be glad in You. We shall live there with our children and with all Your chosen people. You will strike down anyone or anything that could threaten us, and we shall walk in Your Name forever.