I hope when you read this, the biggest drought in southern Australia for over 100 years, is over, but I cannot yet ask the Lord to send rain because Australia, though a ‘Christian’ country, seems ashamed of God. God created man in His Own image, pronouncing the death penalty on murderers (Genesis 9:6) but our Senate has just approved a bill so that embryos can be created for slaughter on the pleading that we might find a cure for some disease! Many scriptures speak of God withholding rain as a sign of His displeasure. (e.g. Deuteronomy 28:15, 23-24; Zechariah 14:17; Acts 14:17; James 5:17).
A correspondent recently emailed to say ‘it is still up to us (the Australian church) to pray for rain’, quoting When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land or send pestilence among my people, if My People who are called by my Name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive there sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7: 13-14). First, this is addressed to Israel but if we want to apply it to Australia, then it applies to the Nation (By its constitution, Australia is a Christian nation) and I cannot ask God to send rain until there is substantial repentance in our nation. James (5:17-18) reminds us that Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. Notice he first prayed it would not rain.
Reader, you and I must humble themselves, and pray, and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways before we can trust God to restore the rain. Lord, have mercy upon us.
Arthur Gilmour, 2006