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 too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
James compares the farmer waiting for the harvest to us waiting for the coming of the Lord which is also connected to the final harvest of souls at the end of the age. This reference to early and latter rains is interesting, reminding us of Peter referencing Joel in his sermon on the day of Pentecost. Reading this I think of the importance of waiting on the Lord. First, I often have to learn the patience of waiting on the harvest of financial seeds that I have sown. Harvest time is totally in the hands of the Lord. The seed will certainly bring a harvest, timing is often quite unpredictable. Secondly, we are waiting on the harvest of souls connected to the final age and the latter rain. We must learn the lesson of the farmer, wait on the rains that bring harvest. The only thing we can do is ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. Here is how Adam Clarke describes this passage.
“The rain of seed time; and the rain of ripening before harvest: the first fell in Judea, about the beginning of November, after the seed was sown; and the second towards the end of April, when the ears were filling, and this prepared for a full harvest. Without these two rains, the earth would have been unfruitful. These God had promised: I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thy oil. But for these they were not only to wait patiently, but also to pray, Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so shall the Lord make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.”
These rains in Israel were certain if….? They were certain when Israel would follow after the Lord. The same can be said of us as we look for harvest in our lives. Are our seeds of giving in the ground? Are our seeds of prayer calling for the latter rain? If we can wait in confidence, the rain always comes followed by the harvest.