It Falls so Gently

Pat McFall


“Listen, O heavens, and I will speak! Hear, O earth, the words that I say! Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants.” —Deuteronomy 32: 1-2


Moses is passing the baton of leadership at this point in Deuteronomy. In Ch.31 he has let the people know who will follow him in leadership, that Joshua is the man for the job. He publicly affirms Joshua, encourages him to be unafraid and then recites the law of God once more to the people. Even God has a word for Joshua in 31:23 to not be afraid. I can’t imagine being commanded in that way to not fear. But when Joshua is in the manifest presence of God as a pillar of fire maybe there is a reason why He should trust God.

At this point Moses actually writes a song, a prophetic song that recites to the entire nation. He could have just recited more words or a list of bullet points but instead this moment stirred in him a moment of creativity that only came out through a song to be sung over the people of God. Creativity comes in unexpected places, at unexpected times. And the beginning of this song describes the words of God, the teaching of God. God’s instruction falls like rain, His speech settles like dew. While His words come from the center of all that is infinite and Holy, they settle on the ears and hearts of His people so gently and the results are refreshment and growth. While heavy rains may come to wash away and destroy emerging plants, the gentle dew of the skies lays upon them so gently and it seeps into the soil, enabling the grass to grow. What an incredible picture of the God’s words to His people. He even goes as far as to say, ‘Let them” or ‘be captivated’ by my words, almost like He is saying, “You have a choice to be refreshed, it’s up to you.”


God gives His people a choice. Even when He commands them to obey or listen or be refreshed in the most endearing or gentle way possible, He still gives us the ability to choose whether or not we will do it. When I think about that, it feels incredibly important. It makes me realize that sometimes I am not being refreshed by God’s words, by His instruction or teaching simply because I am choosing not to allow His words fall on me like rain. My posture is either demanding or apathetic depending on my week and therefore I am not postured like the grass is. The grass is simply growing where it was planted and it is flourishing where it is watered and to reject the gentle shower, although impossible, would be death. I need to posture myself where I know I can be refreshed by the words of God. I need to literally place myself in the presence of God where I know I will be refreshed, challenged and drawn deeper into who God is. I don’t want to miss out on life because I refused to listen. I don’t want to miss out on peace because I thought it was somewhere more exciting or important.


Father, help me to be like the grass of the fields. To grow where I have been planted and to be completely dependent on your rain for refreshment, life and growth. I am more desperate that I often recognize. Help me because there is no other source for me. Thank you for your love and thank you for your instruction.

Devotions for March 17

Deuteronomy 32,33,34
1 Corinthians 2

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