The early rains arrived in Israel this year on November 4, the day following the USA Presidential elections.
Israel’s rainy season lasts from the time of the fall Feast of Tabernacles (SUCCOT), until roughly the time of the Passover Feast in the spring of the year. Since we only receive rainfall during those five months or so, these rains are very precious and important to agriculture, the underground aquafers, the Sea of Galilee, the various rivers and springs, and to the population of the entire region as a whole.
The Bible describes the “Early and the Latter rains” when speaking about the rains that start and finish the rainy season in Israel.
The Apostle James (whose original Hebrew name was Ya’acov, but it was changed by King James in the early English translation of the Bible in honor of himself…) inscribed this exhortation, saying, “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 later rains.” (James 5:7).
These early rains that start our rainy season here in Israel are called “YOREH” in the Hebrew language, and they always carry with them a great sense of joy and excitement as they indicated the end of the hot and dry Israeli summer and the beginning of the cooler, rainy season.
Now, with fresh moisture coming down from above, much of the fieldwork can start in preparation for the winter crops such as garlic, strawberries, lettuce, spinach, pears, citrus, beats, and even artichokes.
The Hebrew word YOREH comes to us from the root word YA-RAH (ירה), which is also the root for other Hebrew words including to TEACH, to CAST, and to SHOOT. The mental picture that appears upon the canvas of our imagination when we analyze the Hebraic foundation of the word YOREH is that of an arrow being shot precisely to its target, or a specific instruction that is delivered from a teacher to a student.
Speaking of a transformational instruction that aims to hit a specific target, the YOREH early rains are likewise sent down from heaven above to soften the ground and prepare it for new seeds that will soon be sown. We pray our hearts are ready.
Could this also be an important season of divine instruction for God’s people; a season of listening and learning? The famous Song of Moses, the epic and prophetic poem that Moses taught Israel before his death, confirms this, saying, “Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as the droplets on the fresh grass and as the showers on the herb…” (Deuteronomy 32:1-2).
God’s Spirit oftentimes is associated with water (see Jeremiah 2:13 and John 7:38 as examples), and some see these early rains in Israel, our YOREH, as a promise for an outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit in preparation for another season of fruitfulness and harvest.
Could this be a time when God’s Word is again illuminated and sent down, as a divine arrow, into the hearts of all who have ears to hear His voice? We pray it is so.
May this YOREH season be rich and full of God’s grace and blessings for all of us. May it bring to pass the reality of Isaiah’s prophecy, saying, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11). Amen!
Blessings from Jerusalem.
Your Sar-El team
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