Copyright © 2010 1
- O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
- Take with you words, and turn to the Lord : say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the fruit of our lips.
- Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
- I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
- I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
- His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
- They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
- Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
- Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.
- Hosea 14:1-9 KJV
We have considered several subjects having to do with that most blessed and glorious Person, the Holy Spirit, who indwells God’s children. We have looked at the Holy Spirit as oil, and as fire. Now we want to understand that wonderful figure of the Holy Spirit as dew.
What a lovely series of poetic figures God gives us about His people in this wonderful chapter of Hosea! God says of Himself, “I will be as the dew unto Israel.” Having spoken of Himself as dew, God then describes Israel in a series of beautiful plant similes: like the lily; casting forth roots as a cedar of Lebanon; spreading branches; beauty as the olive tree; a fragrance like that lovely scent of the cedars of Lebanon (verses 5-6). Israel “shall revive as the corn”; “grow as the vine”; and give off the scent of the wine of Lebanon (verse 7). How many ways God depicts His Israel—a lily, a cedar of Lebanon, an olive tree, corn, and the vine. And then He says His people are “like a green fir tree” (verse 8), that is, they remain green even in the winter. When God tries to describe His people, they have so many beauties that He cannot put them all under one figure. So that is why He has given us all these successive beauties, lest we should say, “Well, He’s spoken about trees, but cedars of Lebanon don’t have fruit.” True, but there’s the vine that does have fruit; and God says, “From Me is thy fruit found” (verse 8).
All of the plants that God mentions are living, growing things. Note how the Lord says they will grow: They “shall grow as the lily” (Hosea 14:5). The Lord Jesus once said about the lily (because the Lord often quotes from the Old Testament), “Consider the lilies; how they grow” (Luke 12:27; Matthew 6:28). The mind of a well-informed Jew would have gone back to our passage in Hosea, where the Lord had said, “He shall grow as the lily.” So we, too, should take Jesus at His word and consider how lilies grow. Lilies and the beauty of all flowers and trees owe a tremendous amount to the dew that God sends. The dew keeps things fresh. Psalm 110, that lovely Messianic Psalm, speaking about Jesus, says:
1The Lord said unto my Lord,
“Sit thou at My right hand,
until I make Thine enemies thy footstool.”
3Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power,
in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning:
Thou hast the dew of thy youth.
When Caleb was eighty-five years old, he came to Joshua, who was judging Israel, and said, “You remember that when you and I went out over forty years ago to spy out the land, God made us a promise that we would come through into Canaan, and here we are. Now, my strength is the same to go out and to come in before the Lord as ever it was.” Joshua assented and gave Caleb a special mountain as his inheritance, and Caleb conquered it (Joshua 14). At eighty-five years of age, Caleb had “the dew of his youth.” It’s wonderful to have the dew of your youth! Young people get rather concerned sometimes, and hope they’ll never grow old. You will! You can’t help it. But with age will come a tremendous advantage; if you are sensible, the older you get, the wiser you will get. Young people cannot have experience. You can learn a lot from books, but you cannot gain experience from books, and wisdom is always associated with experience. But isn’t it delightful, when, instead of finding a crusty old man or a nervous, garrulous old lady, you find an older person who has the dew of youth? They are still fresh and young in their minds. You must pray, brothers and sisters, that as you grow older, which is inevitable, that God will keep you fresh, so that you have the dew of your youth. It’s most attractive to meet one who has grown old with Jesus, who has the dew of his youth, the freshness and the anointing of the Holy Spirit added to the wisdom that he or she has accumulated down through the years. Similarly, every tree owes a very special debt to dew, this most blessed cause of the tree’s freshness and beauty.
In the very beginning, and for centuries after the creation, it did not rain. There was only dew. It’s often overlooked by people that in the beginning it was not God’s order that there should be rain on the earth; but there was a very plentiful dew. Let me remind you of it. It says in Genesis 2:4-6:
- These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
- And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
- But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
So, originally, there was no rain, but there was dew. Have you seen God’s wonderful provision in that? Rain continually leaches the goodness out of the ground and washes it into the brooks, into the creeks, into the rivers, and into the sea. So as the earth gets older and older, the ground gets more and more impoverished, while the sea gets richer and richer. That’s why some people take kelp in tablet form, because they feel that kelp is very nourishing. And I guess it, is for it is always being enriched by the richness of the land, whereas the land is getting poorer and poorer as time goes on. God’s early provision kept all the goodness in the ground because it wasn’t leached by heavy rain. Wasn’t that intelligent and sensible of God? Our God is beyond intelligent and sensible—He is omniscient (that is, knowing everything) and all wise.
Now dew is condensed water vapor. Water vapor that is in the air will condense on cool surfaces, and there it collects. Dew, also, is a mixture of the breath of the plants and the flowers. That’s why dew is so healthful. There is a process called guttation3 whereby the flowers breathe out. When the Bible says, “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord,” you may think only of human beings; but God says, “Every thing that hath breath.” All living things breathe, such as trees, and plants, and herbs, as well as animal life. They praise God in their way. And that lovely dew, which is so sweet on an early summer’s morning, is not only coming from atmospheric moisture; it’s the very essence of those flowers and herbs. (I’m sure we’d be a far healthier people if, instead of spending billions of dollars in foisting cancers on rats and monkeys and dogs, we studied the herbs that God has given to us, for the Bible says in Psalm 104:14 that God gave the “herb for the service of man.” I am certain that God has enriched herbs with health, and we are great losers because we prefer man-made medicines to God-given ones.) These lovely, glorious plants that God has made, even the trees, are constantly giving out this wonderful breath which congeals and condenses. Perhaps that’s why the old nature healers used to tell people to walk barefoot in the dew of a morning, because they believed the feet would absorb the healthfulness of the dew and it would be of tremendous benefit to people.
Now some substances collect dew more than others. What are they? Well, there are two factors that have to be considered, without getting too scientific. Those substances which are poor conductors of heat, but good radiators of heat, collect dew more than others.
What do we mean by good and poor conductors of heat? Let me give you an example: Suppose you were making jam, which can be exceedingly hot because of its syrupy nature. Would you be so foolish as to stir it with a copper spoon? If you did, you’d immediately drop the copper spoon because it would be too hot. Copper is such a rapid conductor of heat that the heat would be conducted up the copper spoon into your hand, and it would burn you. Why do you use a wooden spoon? It’s because wood is a poor conductor of heat. So the heat of the jam you are stirring does not come up the handle of the wooden spoon into your hand and burn you. (You never dreamed I’d give you a hint on jam making, did you? And it’s all free!) So there are your examples of a good conductor of heat (copper) and a poor conductor (wood).
What about radiation? Radiation of heat refers to heat being given off. Wood is a good heat radiator. Whatever heat it has it freely gives away. Wood is an example of a substance that is a poor conductor, but a good radiator. It doesn’t convey heat along itself, but what heat it has it gives away. The substances which have these characteristics are the ones which collect the dew. Animal substances like wool, hair, and vegetation rapidly give away their heat, but are very poor conductors of heat; so they collect the dew. Isn’t that a wonderful provision of God? This is another instance of the great wisdom of the Most High.
Let’s think about sheep. Sheep are covered with wool on their backs. I have told you that wool is a poor conductor, but a good radiator. If you were a sheep, you’d appreciate that. Sheep have to be out under the hot sun in the summertime. The sun shines upon them, and if their wool were a good conductor, it would take the heat of the sun rapidly to their bodies and the poor little things would become fried mutton! But because their wool is a poor conductor, it doesn’t take the heat of the sun to their bodies; and since the wool is a good radiator, it gives off the heat of their bodies. This is the handiwork of our great Creator God, whose ways are past finding out. We’re all the time finding sweetly wonderful things about Him. If you love Him, He will open to you some of the secrets of nature. Scientists generally have thrown away the key to nature, which is the recognition of God being Creator; they think everything comes by chance, so they miss it all. Foolish men! But if you believe that God is the great Creator, you will always be looking at nature and finding some wonderful truth of God.
With what we understand about wool and dew, let’s reconsider the story of Gideon and the fleece. Do you remember, in Judges 6, how Gideon posed God with a problem? God had told him he would deliver Israel (Judges 6:11-16), but Gideon couldn’t believe it. So because he was a doubter, and not a believer, he challenged God to do something that would prove to him that God was sending him. Now I know that some of you say, “I put a fleece out,” and I fear that some of you do so because you think it sounds scriptural and “spiritual.” But Gideon put this fleece of wool out before God because of unbelief! If God has told you to do something, what do you want to put a fleece out for, please? If God has told you to do it, go and do it! Don’t put a fleece out and test God like Gideon did.
Remember what Gideon said? “Gideon said unto God, ‘If Thou wilt save Israel by mine hand,’”—if, if, if! “If” is the very mark of doubt.
If Thou wilt save Israel by mine hand as Thou has said, behold I will put a fleece of wool on the floor. If the dew be on the fleece only and it be dry on all the earth beside, I shall know that Thou wilt save Israel by mine hand.
So Gideon put a fleece out on the threshing floor which was completely bare (that is, dry earth), and of course in the morning he found that the fleece was full of water and there was no dew on the ground beside it. You say, “How wonderful!” No, not so wonderful! That’s where you’d expect the dew to be, on the wool. Dew doesn’t go on bare earth. God wants His dew, so refreshing and sweet, to be on the plants, on the animals, not on bare earth. So, then Gideon had a thought. I guess the devil came to him and said, “Gideon, don’t you see it would have happened normally? Haven’t you ever noticed that sheep always have dew on their wool? And haven’t you noticed that the bare ground doesn’t have dew on it? Oh, Gideon, what a fool you’ve made of yourself. It’s only the ordinary course of nature; God didn’t do it.” Perhaps that’s what the devil said to Gideon. Therefore Gideon went to God again.
And Gideon said unto God, “Let not Thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.
“Upon all the ground let there be dew”—oh, that would be something! “Let it be dry only upon the fleece”—oh, that would be a miracle! And God consented. So the next morning the fleece was completely dry; and the ground was wet—both most unnatural. God performed the miracle, and Gideon couldn’t argue any more. He obeyed and delivered Israel. And now you can better appreciate how God worked so wonderfully in this story, because of what you understand about dew.
Oh, the blessings of dew! The plants that need the most, get the most. And plants are always giving out to form dew. This illustrates God’s great principle: “Give, and it shall be given unto you” (Luke 6:38). How wonderfully God teaches us in what He has created! Dew is like the incense of praise from the earth ascending up to God. And we are like the plants of God’s creation, joining our breaths with all the praise going up to God from all His creation heavenward in blessing.
Now to have dew, there must a clear sky for good radiation. Dew never collects in stormy weather. Dew won’t collect if there’s wind; it has to be calm. God is telling us by this that the Holy Spirit is quiet, beautiful, dove-like, and gentle. People who are usually loud, noisy, and outwardly emotional won’t have the blessing of the dew of God upon them, which is most precious. That sweet, quiet, gentle sensitivity is gone from them. In their insensitivity, they often hurt others, so you can’t go to them for counsel and comfort. It’s to those quiet, anointed brothers or sisters that you go, because you sense that the Holy Ghost is upon them.
There are many churches which believe in the true baptism in the Holy Ghost. They believe that the gifts of the Spirit are to operate in the worship services. Yet how many of them consistently miss God’s greatest anointing because they never have a quiet time in their services! With too many it has to be noise, noise, noise all the time. I have been present when “tongues” has driven the Holy Spirit away when the Holy Spirit wanted to minister to the people. I remember preaching some time ago in England at a Pentecostal convention; I knew the history of the church because that brokenhearted pastor had confided it to me—the church secretary had been going out in secret with the wife of the church treasurer. The pastor had confronted the man and woman with their sin and they each had confessed it. The woman begged the pastor not to tell her husband, because her husband would have half murdered her if he had found out. Now this woman had a lovely voice. At that convention the pastor asked her to sing, and she sang her testimony. Just before I spoke she sang her testimony:
Burn and wear out for Thee.
Don’t let me rust nor my life be
A failure, my God to Thee.
Use me and all I have, dear Lord.
Get me so close to Thee
That I feel the throb
Of the great heart of God
Until I burn out for Thee.
[From Bessie F. Hatcher’s classic
Let Me Burn Out for Thee]
As she sang in repentance the Holy Ghost came down. I was standing there to speak. I couldn’t do anything else but weep, and I’m not that kind of character. If an Englishman weeps, or a Dutchman weeps, it’s because they’re moved by the Holy Ghost. We are not an emotional people. And God moved me with Holy Ghost tears as I inwardly knew by the Spirit that that woman was singing her repentance to God and dedicating herself to Him. And, oh, the glory! I felt the Holy Ghost coming down upon the assembly. Down and down He came as she sang. That’s why I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t open my mouth for the awe of the blessing of God upon the meeting. Revival was coming! A break! And then some foolish person, some foolish Pentecostal brother, bawled a so-called message in tongues. You see, unfortunately, the only moving of the Spirit some Pentecostals know is tongues. They are rightly called “the tongues-people.” God wanted to speak to us. We’d have broken down in tears, all of us. And God would have come down. The pastor, who was absolutely, fully Pentecostal, immediately came forward. Under normal circumstances he welcomed tongues. But he begged there would not be an attempt to interpret. “God is here,” he said. “The Holy Ghost is come. Don’t try to interpret it.” But some other foolish Pentecostal ignored the pastor’s admonition, and bawled a so-called interpretation in tongues. Sadly, when the tongues began, I felt the Holy Ghost begin to hover like a dove and ascend; but He paused when the pastor spoke. Then, when the so-called interpretation was given out, the Holy Spirit ascended and left. At the time I knew He’d gone, and my eyes were as dry as though I’d never wept. And I had to preach in that meeting after the Spirit departed. That assembly lost the moving of the Holy Ghost.
Oh, brothers and sisters, the blessing of dew! The blessings of quietness! The blessings of listening to the Holy Ghost! I’ve heard messages in tongues that have been right from heaven, coming at the right time, and God has given the interpretation. I’ve also heard messages in tongues and the usual “interpreter” has given the so-called interpretation, which we all know by heart: “Thus saith the Lord, ‘O my people, I will surely bless you.’” You’ve heard it many times, haven’t you? But in circumstances in which a mis-interpretation was given, and God had given me the true interpretation, would I be so foolish as to say, “Now, that’s the wrong interpretation”? Not at all! God showed me what to do under all these circumstances where there was a true message in tongues and the usual interpreter had given the mechanical so-called interpretation. If God gave me the true interpretation, I would wait and give the message out as prophecy. No one would know any different, but they would have received the word of the Lord. Oh, for wisdom!
Oh, that we might know that God wants us to be quiet before Him! Why do these dear young people carry about little transistor radios with them all the time?4 Why is it that when they’re doing their homework, they have to be listening to rock ‘n’ roll? It’s lest they should hear God. Lest God should speak. That’s why the devil’s done it; he knows that the glorious Lord is the quiet One. Those voluble, emotional people who must be doing and saying and shouting all the time do not have the freshness of their youth; they don’t know the blessing of dew.
Over a hundred years ago, John Greenleaf Whittier penned a poem called The Brewing of Soma. Now soma is an herb grown in India that is dedicated to the worship of Soma, a moon goddess. This herb has a milky juice which is brewed with barley, producing an intoxicating drink. And the brewed soma in this alcohol produces a wild passion, an unholy ecstasy. This is how the poem goes:5
As in that child-world’s early year,
Each after age has striven
By music, incense, vigils drear,
And trance, to bring the skies more near,
Or lift men up to heaven!
And yet the past comes round again,
And new doth old fulfill;
In sensual transports wild as vain
We brew in many a Christian fane6
The heathen Soma still!
Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.
In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.
O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!
With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
[From Whittier’s The Brewing of Soma]
“Drop Thy still dews of quietness.” You see, there has to be stillness, else the dew will not collect. God will not speak in the earthquake and the wind and the fire. Recall the account in 1 Kings 19 of Elijah running away from the wrath of Jezebel. God had used Elijah to confront and confound the priests of Baal, and God had proven His acceptance of Elijah’s sacrifice by sending fire from heaven. Yet a day later, Elijah ran scared, starting a long journey which brought him to a meeting with God on the mount. There came a great wind which rent the mountain. It was like a bomb blast that shattered the very rocks, so fierce was the wind; but God was not in the wind. Then there was an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake. There followed a fire that came raging by, but God was not in the fire. Finally, after the fire, came a still, small voice; and Elijah knew that it was the voice of God. There is a lovely hymn that we delight to sing:
Speak, Lord, in the stillness
While I wait on Thee;
Hushed my heart to listen,
Speak, O blessèd Master,
In this quiet hour,
Let me see Thy face, Lord,
Feel Thy touch of power.
Fill me with the knowledge
Of Thy glorious will;
All Thine own good pleasure
In my life fulfill.
Like “a watered garden”
Full of fragrance rare
Ling’ring in Thy presence
Let my life appear.
[From Speak, Lord, in the Stillness
by E. May Grimes]
“Speak, Lord, in Thy stillness.” Amen!
So, stillness is required for dew to form. What other condition is necessary? There must also be an open sky for the dew to come. Under an open spiritual sky, when there is nothing between us and our Savior, we get the blessed assurance that our God has accepted us. Oh, the blessing of assurance, to know my sins are forgiven, to know I have peace with God, to know that God is my Father. As one writer put it,
To know Thou tak’st me for Thine own,
O what a happiness is this!
[From Antoinette Bourignon’s poem
Come, Savior, Jesus, from Above]
One of those great, early, English Methodist preachers, who as a youth knew John Wesley, was a man of God named William Dawson. He loved a great hymn of Isaac Watts:
Begin, my soul, some heavenly theme.
Awake, my heart, and sing
The mighty works, and mightier name
Of our Redeemer King.
Tell of His wondrous faithfulness
And sound His power abroad.
Sing the sweet promise of His grace,
The quickening Word of God.
Because Dawson loved the Word, one verse of the hymn was particularly precious to him:
“Proclaim salvation from the Lord
To wretched, dying men.
His hand hath writ the sacred Word
With an immortal pen.
Engraved as in eternal brass
The sacred promise shines,
Nor can the powers of darkness ’rase
Those everlasting lines.
On one occasion the truth of those words was impressed on his heart in a special way. As Dawson was walking through the town where he lived, he spied “a boy, weak of mind,” doing a strange thing. Using a rag which he clutched in his hand, the boy was rubbing away at the raised brass letters on a nameplate of one of the “worthies” of the town. Dawson stopped to watched the boy, and he finally said to him, “Son, what are you doing?”
“Oh,” said the boy, “I am rubbing out the name.”
Later, Dawson related his reaction. “Little was the poor boy aware, that the more he rubbed, the brighter it shown. So it is with Satan, who wishes to obliterate the word of God from the memory, as well as every impression of its internal evidence from the understanding and from the heart. But
Engraved as in eternal brass
The sacred promise shines,
Nor can the powers of darkness ’rase
Those everlasting lines.”
Walking away from the scene, Dawson exclaimed, “Rub, devil, rub! But all is in vain; the evidence only brightens by the attempt; for of the Lord it may be said,
His hand hath writ the sacred Word
With an immortal pen.”
What a blessing assurance is! How wonderful to have a clear sky. How glorious to have nothing between our souls and God!
All to Thee is yielded,
I am Thine alone.
Blissful, glad surrender,
I am Thine alone.
[Also from Speak, Lord, in the Stillness
by E. May Grimes]
Thank God for a clear sky, for the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin. Thank God for the Holy Ghost who witnesses with our spirit that all is right between our soul and God. Thank God for the greatest witness of all, which is the inner witness, not an external one, whereby the Holy Ghost witnesses that He has come, that He abides. And all the demons of hell and the wisdom and follies of man can’t erase that most blessed and blissful experience from our hearts. If there is something between your soul and God, you won’t have a clear sky and you won’t have that blessed witness of the Spirit.
How silent is dew! How quietly it collects, and then so swiftly vanishes as the sun rises in the sky, drawing the dew up after itself. Through Hosea, God says, “I will be as the dew unto Israel.” So let’s consider how dew comes at different seasons in the land of Israel. Dew always begins to collect and fall before the rains begin, at the end of the dry season. We don’t see the clouds; they aren’t there. But because of the increased water vapor in the air, the dew begins to collect. So a sign of coming, outpoured latter rain is always the dew collecting. Then for a month or two after the rains have ceased, because of the moisture in the earth and air, the dew comes again. Then follows the dry period.
I don’t know, brothers and sisters, in what period we find ourselves in the history of the Church; I only know that dew is a necessity for the poor parched leaves and flowers. Are we living in the time of dew after the rains, or are we living in the time of the dew that comes before the rains? Are we living in the last anointings of the revival that God sent some years ago? Or are we beginning to feel again the freshness of the dew of coming revival? I hope that it is the latter. I have a witness, a feeling in my heart, that God is going to send an abundant revival. But it is going to be on the lines of holiness, not on the lines of extra or more gifts of the Spirit. Wherever the Holy Ghost works, He’ll always do works of wonders and supernatural signs, but that’s not what He comes for. He comes to make us like Jesus. He comes to make us holy. “By their fruit ye shall know them,” not by their gifts. Oh, we thank God that there’s not an either/or decision. God doesn’t ask, “Will you have gifts or fruit?” Where the true fruit is, there the gifts are always manifested. Where the fruit is not present, the gifts are imitation. They are psychic and not spiritual; and only a spiritual man or woman can tell the difference between psychic imitations, that is, humanly worked-up imitations, and true Holy Ghost gifts of the Spirit. What a blessing it is to see the glorious truth that in revival the Holy Ghost comes to perfect the Church.
When I was speaking to the Lord one day about revival, He said to me such a simple thing. He always speaks to me in simplicity. He is always plain and clear, because the Lord wants us to understand. The Lord never hides things in mysteries. That’s what the devil does. If the Lord wants to tell you something, He’ll tell you so plainly you won’t miss it. That’s intelligent too, isn’t it? And so the Lord just said to me, “I am coming to My church before I come for My church.” He didn’t have to say any more, because I understood perfectly. When He comes to His church, He never comes in person; it’s always in the Holy Ghost. When He comes for His church, it’s the Second Coming; then He’s coming in person. He has never yet come for His church. That is still in the future. It’s still that blessed hope. And when He comes, He’s coming physically, in like manner as when He ascended. But whenever He comes to His church, He always comes by the Holy Ghost, in Spirit. Oh, thank You, Lord. I understand. The Lord explained to me that the Church is not going home like some poor snuffed-out candle. It’s going home in a blaze of glory. Jesus is coming for a sanctified people! So I’m expecting an outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Yes, there will be signs and wonders, but oh, He’s coming to perfect His people! And the great emphasis will be on holiness, personal holiness, “without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
This revival, this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, will be amongst the lowly, amongst the humble, amongst the people who confess that they don’t have it. Otherwise, the Lord will say, “Well, if you have it, you don’t need it.” That’s what the Pharisees said. “We have no sin. Why do we need to repent? We have no sin.” And the Lord Jesus said, “Because you say you have no sin, therefore your sin remains. I can’t do anything for you.” If you say you are a revived people, then you’re saying that you don’t need revival. I’ve preached at a number of Pentecostal churches that have announced they are the revival center. That’s the last place the Holy Ghost is going to come in revival, because they say they’ve got it. Oh, for humility! How lowly is Jesus, and how gentle, humble, and dew-like He longs for us to be!
Making us dew-like is the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit as dew; and the outworking of that transformation can be seen in a wonderful picture of what comes just before the dawn. An hour before the dawn, all nature is still, and only just one or two early birds are beginning to sing. The light is now only a pearly light. The darkness is gradually giving way. Out toward the east you can see just a few soft, balled clouds, tinted first with pearl, then with gold. Just at the edges the clouds are turning red, and the gold is increasing. Then, right on the horizon there is an increasing glory. At last the lip of the sun appears over the horizon. And, look, now you can see it! All around you are a million, million diamond drops — dew drops waiting, waiting, waiting for the Sun of righteousness to arise with healing in His wings. Now the sun is lifting above the horizon. And look! Every one of those diamond dew drops individually reflects the sun. They’re each a complete reflection of the sun. And they’re all individuals as God wants them to be. They’re not collected yet. They’re all individuals. Some are clustered together on one leaf. So they are a leaf full of individuals, but they are individuals still, and all looking directly and only to the rising sun, not to each other. And all are as precious to the Son as any one of the others. But now the sun is rising, and look! There’s a trembling. The heat of the sun’s coming upon them! The great drawing power of the sun is upon them, and they’re gone! Caught up to be forever with the Lord—blessed dew drops of Jesus! They are anointed, perfected, formed by the Holy Ghost, waiting as perfect images of their Beloved, having nothing of themselves; and then suddenly, just as the sun shines upon and draws up the dew, so they are drawn up.
As the Psalmist says in Psalm 133:3, “As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion,” so the Holy Spirit as dew comes down from the glory and makes us like Him. Then when Jesus appears, the dew all goes up. We “shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).
(Many thanks to Heidi Coley Zochert
for the original transcription.)
- Copyright held by Finest of the Wheat Teaching Fellowship, Inc. Edited and annotated by Jim Kerwin. Co-edited by Denise Kerwin. ↩
- Image of dew is copyright by and used under license from 123RF.com / vencavo78. ↩
- guttation is a botanical term given to the process in which water is given off in liquid form by plants. ↩
- Or, later, a Walkman? Or an iPod or an MP3 player? Or a smartphone transmitting to Bluetooth earbuds stuffed in the ears? The technology changes, but the principle doesn’t. ↩
- Pastor Gutterige does not quote the entire poem here, but it is commended to the reader because of its spiritual insight. Whittier’s verses carry us from fleshly foreign frenzies to our own, more familiar pews; more thoughtful readers will discern the connection and the poet's purpose. See The Brewing of Soma. ↩
- Fane is an old English word meaning church, derived from the Latin fānum (sanctuary, temple). ↩