All the farm work has stopped.
Not a drop of rain has fallen.
The farmers don’t know what to do.
They wring their hands, they shake their heads.
Jeremiah 14:4 (MSG)
Growing up in Iowa, even when you grow up in the city, you can’t help but feel the effects of agriculture. It becomes a part of you. I remember summers of intense drought, when farmers and small communities gather to pray for rain. I remember during one harsh summer a small Iowa community held a prayer service and a small rain cloud appeared on the horizon and dropped a small amount of rain on the fields. Our local television station reported the event in a crawling message across the bottom of the television screen.
I also remember years of flooding, when entire sections of farm land were washed out. In 1993, virtually every able bodied citizen pitched in somewhere along the endless number of sand bag dikes to try and hold back the torrential flood waters of the flood that our generation will always remember as “the big one.”
When your livelihood is linked to the land, I believe there is a greater appreciation for the forces of nature that lie completely outside your control. Because of that, there is a more keen sense that everything you have and everything you hope for lies in the hands of God. In that way, I have to believe that the farmers of Jeremiah’s day were no different than the farmers of today.
Jeremiah’s prophecy carefully chronicles the effects of God’s wrath on every level of society. He records not only the reactions of the powerful temple priests and officials in Jerusalem, but also the farmers in the fields.
Every one is welcome to partake of God’s gracious salvation. No one is excused from God’s judgment.
- From drought to flood, Queensland’s woes go on (cnn.com)
- “Sleet and snow prompt winter weather advisory” and related posts (radioiowa.com)
- Envisioning the Reign of God — Lectionary Meditation (pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com)