Zechariah 10:1 Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime;
it is the Lord who makes the storm clouds.
He gives showers of rain to men,
and plants of the field to everyone.
There are various points in the Bible that we miss because we only read it in translation. The NIV translators rendered the covenant name of God, YHWH, as LORD, but Japanese doesn’t have case in the lettering, so those translators couldn’t do that. The latest edition of the Japanese translation I use renders it as [Lord], with somewhat more distinctive brackets, but in either case those reading have to know what’s going on to understand the distinction. Why that’s important here is that in the nations surrounding Israel and Judah, Baal was seen as “the storm god,” and by extension, the god of agriculture. Many times in the Old Testament, as here, it specifies that it is Yahweh who sends the rain, and everything else. We don’t have much active, formalized idolatry today, but many people put “Science” into that position in their thinking. The irony is that genuine science is a system of inquiry, so people who insist that “the science is settled” are dealing with total illogic. Properly understood, science is an investigation of what God has done, and sometimes how He has done it. There have been scientists who have recognized that over the years, and have indeed been people of great faith. We currently know the mechanisms involved in weather and storms, so nobody worships a “storm god,” but we still try to find substitutes for the actual Creator of everything. The only reason I can come up with for that is that we try to avoid accountability, and that is an inescapable factor when we acknowledge a Creator. The Bible is a record of that Creator’s revelation of Himself to mankind, and we do well to pay attention.
I will never forget the time that a doctor who was attending an English Bible class I taught came in and said he wanted to be baptized. I was very pleased, but I asked him why. His response was one I have quoted many times since: “This Bible was not written just by people, and if that’s the case, I’d better believe it.” Wow. What magnificent insight! Since then he has indeed governed his life by the Bible, and has actively shared the Gospel with his doctor friends (though I am not aware of any having become Christians). He gathered all the idolatrous things in his house (related to Shinto and Buddhism) and made a pile of them in his parking lot and struck a match to them. That was a glorious moment for me, as I assisted and prayed over the proceedings. It was entirely his idea, and he requested my presence. I think few America Christians have such clear-cut experiences of rejecting idolatry to cling to Christ alone, and as a result the devil has an easier time of insinuating all sorts of lies and compromises into their lives. It is widely recognized that America needs a genuine revival of faith, but that requires an equal purification of the faith of individual believers. That applies to me, too! Even as I pray and work for revival in both Japan and America, I’ve got to allow the Holy Spirit to shine His light into all the dark corners of my soul, so that I may be the clean vessel my Creator intends.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for yesterday and everything it held. Thank You that we have a concrete release date for my wife from the hospital. I pray that You would continue to work Your healing in her body, and that everything would flow on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!