“‘Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew, and the earth has withheld its produce.’”
It’s that time of year again in the U.S. – tax time. Every year about this time, people are preparing to file their federal income tax returns. Most people have tax withheld from their salary during the year to hopefully not have to pay any additional tax. A little at a time is not so painful, but when you have to write that big check on a quarterly basis or at the end of the year, that “withholding” hurts.
The people of Israel were experiencing a different kind of withholding. There was no dew or rain which meant there was no produce, no harvest. God was withholding this from them because of their rebellion and disobedience. It was all to get their attention, to get them to repent and return to Him. When God withholds anything from us, it is for a reason. He always has a purpose behind His actions.
Have you felt like God was withholding something from you? Many of us have felt that way. Maybe you think He is withholding answered prayers. Maybe you have asked for physical healing, but it has not come. Maybe you have prayed for a husband or a wife, but you are still single. Stop right there. Ask the Lord why He is withholding that thing from you. I guarantee He has a reason.
You see, if we are living according to His will, God does not withhold His blessings to punish us. Psalm 40:11 tells us, “You, LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your mercy and Your truth will continually watch over me.” God is not in the withholding business (unlike the U.S. Treasury). God wants to give to us.
I have to admit there have been times when I was disappointed that God withheld something from me. But looking back, I realized He knew exactly what I needed. I saw it as a bad thing, but He knew what was best for me. Look back at your own life and see how He has done the same for you.
Lord, Your way is always the best way. Thank You for withholding what is not good for me.