The rain sounds were playing on app on my phone as I read the words of the devotional. My mind and spirit were on fire as I desperately searched for some word to hold onto, some respite from a tumultuous and chaotic season. My heart was burning and racing and I longed for a downpour, but God answered me with dew.
“I will be like the dew for Israel.” Hosea 14:5
Dew seems small and quiet, even inconsequential. The word itself is tiny. You couldn’t fill a glass with dew, let alone use it to put out a fire. Still the thought of dew from God was a comfort to me as I drifted off to sleep that night, evoking memories of the dark green clover of my childhood backyard. I remember summer mornings as a kid when the dew covered the grass and soaked my sneakers as I ran through. Dew is quiet and mysterious and slow. It appears without a lot of fanfare, no thunderclaps or deluge, but dew adds up, and dew changes everything.
In the passage from Hosea, God references dew as a fresh start with Israel, personifying the nation in the evocative language of nature. Once wayward, Israel is healed by God, and he is loved lavishly and will burst into bloom like a lily or a crocus in the spring. Then He’ll put down deep roots, send out shoots, and eventually become a strong tree. Some translations of this passage call it an oak, or a sequoia, or cedar, and still others reference a forest. The quiet introduction of grace to a wayward, troubled nation enables not only its healing, but the fulfillment of its purpose. People who live nearby will be blessed by his shade and they will prosper and flourish because of him, giving glory to God. All from dew. Dew adds up.
I will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
he will send down his roots;
his young shoots will grow.
His splendor will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
People will dwell again in his shade;
they will flourish like the grain,
they will blossom like the vine—
Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.
We can’t go to the store and get a can or bottle of dew, unless you’re thinking of the sticky-sweet soda variety. No, dew is the picture of grace, slowly and freely given, and it’s something man could never make. We see the impact of dew as it transforms dry, fiery grass to deep-green magic, almost holy ground. And though its been in process during the darkest part of the day, we behold its beauty as we wake and open our eyes, when the night comes to a close and the morning begins.
No, you can’t hear dew, but there are lots of good rain sounds out there. This is one of my favorites…