DEW OF HEAVEN, a Devotion for 19 September 2018 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Church Worldwide (this devotion was Mrs. Betty Hoffman’s favorite, published about 16 years ago)
“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.”
(Genesis 2:4-6; all scripture quoted is from the Authorized King James Version)
God can stop the dew from falling, as in Haggai 1:10, by sending a famine of water just as the Holy Spirit may be withdrawn by a famine of reading the Word of the Lord. Dew is formed from moisture in the air which cools at night and condenses into pure drops of water to moisten the green plants, but when the air is devoid of water, the dew will not form. God sends famine as a result of disobedience. In the last verse of the Book of Judges we read: “In those days there was no king (Jesus) in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
Disobedient people do not obey God’s Law, but do that which they want to do. When men behave so, God sends famine. See the first verse of the very next Book (the Book of Ruth): “Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was famine in the land….” The Dew of Heaven represents comfort which the Holy Spirit gives to us after the heat of the long day of striving. The Word of God which comes to us in our moments of rest and ease is the ‘Dew of Heaven’.
The Dew of Heaven is God’s Word coming to us, but not in the form of formal preaching and study. It is His Word which has been planted in our hearts and naturally distills in our quiet moments to bear fruit and life. When the fever of life draws to a close, the still and loving voice of God comforts our souls through the agency of the Holy Spirit and re-assures us of His nearness even in physical sleep or the sleep of death.
Let us examine the Dew of Heaven in five particulars:
First: Dew forms quietly and without fanfare. Its forming is invisible to the observer. The evidence thereof is discovered with the coming Light! The effectual working of the Holy Spirit likewise is invisible to our observance. We do feel the Grace and effect of God’s Word, but its working in our hearts is silent and invisible. The Dew of Heaven dampens our visage imperceptibly, gradually by degrees, yet the Light will reveal its presence.
Second: Upon some converts, the Word of God storms and Rains; but in others, known only to the mind of God, it comes gently, silently and sweetly – as the Dew.
Third: Dew comes as a life-giving relief to herbs and plants which have withered throughout the day in the heat of the Sun. It enlivens these plants and its life-water soaks into their beings and into their roots. It makes them green again with vibrant light. So does God’s Word, planted deep in the roots of our hearts, lift our visage and our unbecoming stoop. We wither in the heat of daily battle, but comes the Night and the invigorating Dew of God’s Word. Christ is that Bread which came down from Heaven, as the Dew, in the form of Manna. He is now the Bread and Dew of every committed Christian (Gospel of St. John 6:48). Read in Hosea – “I will be as the dew unto Israel: and he shall grow as the lily,…”(Hosea 14:5)
Fourth: Dew is distilled without our means of preventing it. No one can cancel its falling. Even the ruthless dictators in China, Vietnam and the Sudan cannot prevent the distillation of God’s Word in the hearts of His people. “So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
Fifth: Dew usually falls during the night. The Word of God comes upon men’s hearts during the night of this world; however, in the perfect day, this Dew will not fall – no more preaching, nor means of grace will then be afforded sinners, neither will saints have need of it. “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” (1 Corinthians 13:10)
The Word of God comes not only in the form of Dew, but also as Rain upon a dry, parched ground. It may come gently as Dew, or it may come in fierce anger and torrents as attendant of the Thunder of Heaven.
“Prenez en Gré”
In Christ Alone
in TRINITY SEASON
† Jerry L. Ogles , D.D.
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary
“Metus improbo compescit, non clementia.” – Syrus, MAXIMS: Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked!
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer – HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God’s Word; and if we be uncertain of God’s Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan.”