Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things. — Jeremiah 14:22
In 2007, due to the lack of rainfall, the southeastern part of the United States was experiencing a severe drought. The water level in lakes and rivers had fallen to record lows in the states of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. Even water restrictions put in place by the various state governments did not do enough to conserve much-needed resources.
On Tuesday, November 13, 2007, hundreds of people from the region came to the Georgia State Capitol to join Governor Sonny Perdue in prayer, asking God to send rain. Although there were many who protested against this public prayer, Governor Perdue and hundreds of others recognized that they needed God’s help in this very desperate situation. There was nothing man could do to produce the necessary rain, and God was their only hope. Following is a portion of Governor Perdue’s prayer that day: “Our Father, as we come before You today, we acknowledge that we are needy people. It is You that we need, and it is Your power and Your miracles that we need. And Father, we call upon You today to meet that need. We do believe that You are the Creator who established the water, and the land, and the air, and even us. God, we need You — we need rain. Father, may we go forth from this place today with bended hearts toward You, acknowledging our total and utter dependence upon You, moment by moment, for Your blessings. Father, forgive us, and lead us to honor You as You honor us with the showers of blessings. Thank You, Lord, for the rain to come. Amen.”
The next day, a cold front extending from Alabama to southern Pennsylvania produced several thunderstorms and desperately needed rain, and by Wednesday night, rain came to the State of Georgia. And it did not stop in a day. The month of December produced above-average rainfall. Although there were some who discounted this answer to prayer, stating that it made a very small dent in the overall drought, those who had prayed and believed for rain knew that God had intervened on their behalf.
In our text, Judah was also suffering from a severe drought. God had ignored the people’s cries for help because they were not sincerely repentant for their sins and their rejection of Him. God was not indifferent to their plight, but the people needed to turn from their idol worship back to God, and seek His will for their lives. In our focus verse, Jeremiah acknowledged that God was the only One who could provide rain, and Judah would continue to wait on Him for deliverance. God was the Creator of all things, including the rain, and if the people would repent, He would answer their prayers and bring the help that they needed.
Do you have a need in your life that only God can provide? As you take it before the Lord, totally submitting your will and your heart to God, you can be confident that God will supply “showers of blessings” and an answer to every need in your Christian walk. He has the solution to any circumstance you may be going through. Look to Him today, and believe that He will hear and answer your prayer!
Because of Judah’s sin and idolatry, God had withheld the necessary rain that was needed to sustain its crops and water supply. Jeremiah’s sixth sermon, related in this chapter and chapter 15, begins with a reference to Judah’s plight of severe drought and famine caused by lack of rainfall. In Jerusalem and the surrounding countryside, water was nonexistent for both the rich and the poor. The ground had become cracked and useless for growing crops, resulting in a shortage of food. The troubles of the animals and their distressed panting for food and water also depicted the severity of the situation. In desperation, the people of Judah covered their heads as a sign of mourning, and frantically cried out to God. They requested that God deliver them for His Name’s sake, indicating that God’s reputation was on the line because of His covenant relationship with Judah.
God saw that the people’s insincere prayers were only meant to alleviate their suffering, and did not include a willingness to turn from their idolatrous ways. God declared that because they persisted in wandering away from Him, He would not accept their prayers and would continue to send judgment for their iniquity. Furthermore, God told Jeremiah not to pray for Judah’s deliverance, because regardless of how much fasting, burnt sacrifices, or praying the people of Judah did, God would not hear their cries, but would continue to “consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.” Jeremiah attempted to place the blame for Judah’s behavior on the false prophets, who had promised the people deliverance and peace. God acknowledged that the false prophets were guilty of prophesying lies, and would face certain judgment, but that did not exonerate the people who were guilty of listening to the false prophets.
The thought of Judah’s impending adversity caused Jeremiah to cry out in intense grief, while at the same time expressing God’s sorrow for His people. In spite of God’s instruction that he not pray for Judah, Jeremiah openly confessed the sins of his people and pleaded with God to not break His covenant with them for His name’s sake. Jeremiah stated that none of the gods of the Gentiles could supply the needed rain, but only God, the Creator of all things. Therefore, Judah’s only hope was to wait on Him.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The pronouncement of judgment against Judah
A. The condemnation of the prophet
6. The sixth sermon: The drought
a. The description of the drought (14:1-6)
b. The intercession of the prophet
(1) The prophet’s first prayer (14:7-12)
(a) The plea (14:7-9)
(b) The reply (14:10-12)
(2) The prophet’s second prayer (14:13-18)
(a) The plea concerning the false prophets (14:13)
(b) The reply concerning the fate of false prophets (14:14-18)
(3) The prophet’s third prayer
(a) The plea for Judah (14:19-22)
God is sensitive to our needs. As we search our hearts and submit ourselves to Him, we can be assured that He hears our cries for help and He is already working on our behalf.