The Word of God calls: “I called for a Drought” (1:11)
Do you ever get struck when you read that the Lord is behind what seems to be terrible things, or hardships in our lives? I have found the Lord behind many natural disasters and trials throughout the Bible. Circumstances we see as nothing short of traumatic! I will never forget some of the places I have first heard words like this…the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar who was coming to take over and bring ruin on Jerusalem is said to be “the servant of God!” As we get to know Jonah, we see that God stirred up the waters to bring the storm. And here again…the word of God calls in this passage. The word of God calls for a drought on everything the ground produces and labor of your hands.
What is this? Is this an actual drought, a no rain, produce no crops drought?
We hear the cries don’t we? Why God? You see, the Israelites knew a sovereign Lord, they knew God is the one from which every circumstance came, do I? Do you? I am afraid I have to answer I do not.
I still question. I still call accidents… “accidents.” I somehow steal the glory of Gods thunder when I doubt His hand behind everything. God couldn’t do that? But God…is God…who knows all. He did call for the drought. The Lord was not punishing the people for not rebuilding the temple, He wanted their attention. I believe this was not a simple result of disobedience as much as a longing to have their attention and be with them. He wants them and unless they see and know that they need Him, He does not have their attention, so He provides a need.
The Temple was the symbol of God’s presence, it was where God met with His people and He was waiting. Waiting to have their full attention, waiting for them to know all of Him. Waiting for them, their devotion, to meet with Him. He calls on His creation, a drought, on everything the ground produces, on people and livestock and labor, in order to bring His people to His presence.
The word drought implies a prolonged absence of something. In this passage, it is clear that there is an absence of not only rain but of everything. An absence, a void, a hunger, and thirst, a need!
“I called for a drought.” God calls for a void in order to fill. His words call on His creation and his people in order to be the One who fills the absence.
When has the drought made you question the presence of God and how did He fill that dryness?
He calls. How can you begin to see the movements of your days, the desires of your heart, and the circumstances you encounter as the Word of God calling? Has He gotten your attention?
He got the attention of this remnant and they began to work on the house of the Lord. It had been a long time and there was so much destruction…much like our own hearts. The Lord’s presence, through Christ, is now within us, not in a temple…have you begun the work on the house of the Lord?