January brought record-setting summer weather to New Zealand. In the eastern parts of the country, extreme drought is causing problems. Yet, in the west of the South Island, rainfall has been more than double what is typical, and the flooding rains are causing problems for farmers and leaving damaged and water-logged pastures. Dry conditions in the east are rivaling or breaking records that have stood for 100 years (New Zealand Herald, January 31, 2017).
From an agricultural perspective, predictable and stable rains are a key to successful farming. God told ancient Israel and its modern descendants today (like New Zealand) that if they would obey Him, He would open the treasure of the heavens “to give the rain to your land in its season” (Deuteronomy 28:12). Yet God also warned that if they disobeyed Him, He would curse them “with scorching, and with mildew” (v. 22). God also prophesied through Amos that He would allow it to rain on one city in the land, while He caused another city to wither—just as New Zealand is experiencing today (Amos 4:7). God wants to bless all peoples made in His image and He gives an incredible vision of a future time when peoples and nations obey Him and reap the abundant blessings of rain in due season and no more drought. To learn more about this future time of agricultural abundance due to obedience to God’s laws, read The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?