come again another day… Yes, that’s the old rhyme we have heard since our earliest childhood memories. I remember when I was growing up, my Grandma would recite that poem every time it rained. And how appropriate that I thought of it today. After all, we have had snow, ice, high winds and then, for the last several days, rain… I just don’t mean little drizzles – I mean RAIN. The kind of rain that floods the backyard and causes the neighborhood lake to rise to within an inch or so of its maximum depth.
Thankfully, there is an overflow system that will release water from the lake into another pond about half a mile away – it happens to be located on our property and runs far under our yard, the driveway, the street, a playground, across a roundabout and eventually into a smaller pond. So it is easy to see when the lake level is such that the overflow system is needed to keep the lake from backing up into our yards. And the way that the drainage systems are constructed, rain water from the entire neighborhood enters the lake and while it is great to look at, it’s sometimes amazing to see how much water is moving! And that’s only the groundwater from our community of about 400 homes.
But I don’t want to get too far off the topic tonight. The point is that we are all used to seeing rain – and at times, real storms that cause flooding for days. Currently, we are under a flood watch and with the temperatures dropping almost 50 degrees overnight, the forecast is for fog in the morning. Let’s face it, it’s better than snow.
It’s interesting to note that while we are very familiar with rain and it is a very fundamental part of our lives, that wasn’t always the case. In fact, when God created the earth (with Jesus and the Holy Spirit), the Garden of Eden was created as the perfect “nest” for mankind to commune with God. God had created Man in His image and created the earth as the perfect place for Adam and Eve to live and walk with God in harmony. However, as we all know, after Eve, and then Adam, ate the forbidden fruit, sin entered humanity and the rest, as they say, is history.
Jesus became the conduit through which Christians are able to be reunited with God for all eternity. Since the Garden was the perfect creation, God did not need to introduce rain into the equation. Many theologians believe that the Garden of Eden more closely resembled a humid forest – the ideal temperature, moist air and the trees, as well as the vegetation, watered from springs below. Most people don’t realize that this was most likely the case. In fact, as we read about the creation of Adam from the dust of the ground, we are told in Gen. 2:4-7, “…When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens – and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground – the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
It was a rather long time before the rains finally came. It is generally accepted that the first rains came during the time of Noah and the ark. After God had commanded Noah and his family to build the ark in anticipation of the flood, God sequestered Noah’s family for seven days before the rain started. And for the first time, we are told that it rained – and that is our verse for this evening.
Moses, the author of Genesis, tells us in Genesis 7:11-12, “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.” It must have been startling for the people of the time to experience the floodgates of heaven open up. With the springs of the earth and the rain, water was coming at them from every direction. We are all familiar with the story of the Flood – the entire earth was eventually covered with water.
In fact, when the Flood was over, the ark came to rest. Noah and his family disembarked and they built an alter, with a sacrifice, to God. God promised that He would never again destroy the earth entirely with water and this important covenant, now referred to as the Noahic Covenant – is studied by seminary students throughout the world in their classes.
My encouragement this evening is that God created the earth with us in mind and we are to be stewards of what has been entrusted to our care. My prayer is that we will all continue to be amazed by God’s handiwork and His forethought in creating rain and all the other types of weather that we experience. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…