During last Sunday’s Bible study, we happened to go through the book of Genesis in the Bible. I led the Bible study to discuss and deliberate on the floods during Noah’s time and what they meant for us. I was amazed at the nuggets I gathered from my Bible study mates, but one question kept lingering: what does rain symbolize in the Bible?
Rain in the Bible carries both positive and negative meanings. Rain could mean blessings, abundance, revival, good luck, fertility, purification, and answered prayer, while on the other hand, rain could mean judgment, God’s fury, and punishment. The Bible is full of many Bible verses that indicate blessing as a result of rain, like in Deuteronomy 28:12. It is also filled with verses that show rain as a symbol of God’s wrath and punishment, as in Genesis 6:17. God also portrays his common grace through rain, and it is evident from scripture that he holds the power to control rain and other elements. It shows that God is sovereign and above everything else.
Keep reading this article to learn more about Bible verses that speak about rain, different meanings attached to rain by various cultures, what rain signifies in the Bible, and much more information.
What is the significance of rain in the Bible?
Rain is a sign of God’s common grace and mercy
The Bible in Matthew 5:45 demonstrates that God, in His generosity, allows rain to fall on both the just and the unjust. Rain represents that God is just and does not discriminate. This Bible verse demonstrates that God loves everyone and that only our sin separates us from Him. If God were not a loving, caring God, He would make rain fall only for a select individual because He can control rain, but He is gracious enough to allow everyone, sinful and righteous, to have the experience of receiving rain.
Storms as a sign to trust in God
Many storms in the Bible came and went. Rain in the Bible signified God’s strength and power to calm storms. This is an encouragement to Christians to trust in the Lord no matter what they are going through because God can come in and calm the difficult challenges of this life. Jesus calms the storm in Matthew 8:26.
Rain signifies cleansing
When God sent the floods to wipe out all that was not desirable to Him, in the book of Genesis 7:4, the earth was purified and cleansed. Sin was wiped out, although people still sinned. However, God purified the earth by killing all that was not pure in His sight and allowing a revival and rebirth.
Rain signifies waiting on God
Rain is implied to represent a season of waiting in the Bible because it does not rain all year. Rain falls in various seasons, which are supposed to represent seasons of abundance for the Christian who obeys the Lord. Waiting is one of the hardest things to accomplish, but we are encouraged to do so because God keeps His promises. In our reality, just as He faithfully enables rain to fall on the ground at the proper time, He may cause things to happen for us at the right moment according to His perfect will.
Rain to signify transition and change
Rain is also suggested to represent a changing of seasons in the Bible. Rain indicates that the drought season has ended and that a season of fruitfulness and abundance is on its way. It reminds Christians that no season is permanent and that God can move us from one level to the next with His might.
6 symbolic meanings of rain in the Bible?
In the book of Genesis 7:12, the Lord was angered by the deeds of the humans on earth, and He allowed rain to fall on the land consistently as punishment for wrongdoing; for forty days and nights, it rained, and water filled the surface of the earth, wiping out everything and only sparing those that were sheltered in the Ark. This shows us that rain could carry both positive and negative meanings.
Rain in the Bible could also mean that God is angry at His people, especially when they go against His commands. This is recorded in 1 Kings 17:1, where God answered Elijah’s prayer and stopped the rain for 31/2 years.
Answer To Prayer
Rain is also believed to mean answered prayer by many Christians. In Matthew 5:45, rain falls on, bothering the righteous and the wicked. God does not hold back on answering when people ask Him for rain; He ensures it pours on all without discrimination, showing God’s mercy to answer everyone.
In Genesis 6–9, rain is believed to mean judgment. God used rain as a tool to judge the wickedness of people at the time of Noah. Rain fell on the earth and wiped out all who were sinning and mocking God.
Rain is also thought to mean blessings, abundance, fertility, good luck, and good things to happen shortly or in one’s reality as the season of great produce and abundance.
Our Dependency On God
The Bible shows that rain falls from the heavens. We look up to God in the heavens when praying to show that from God comes our help. God made the rain to purposely come from the sky so that we could always look up to Him. God is delighted in us when we trust in Him fully and are dependent on Him for provision and assurance and as our only source of hope.
Salvation is also found in God, as we see when we look up to the cross, where our salvation is. God was intentional in allowing rain to come from the sky to always remind us that it is in Him that we can find refuge. He could have easily let rain spring forth from the ground, but God always wants us to look up.
Bible verses about rain
Numerous verses in the Bible mention rain. Rain is a unique element that many Christians have interpreted differently depending on the season. Some popular rain verses are as follows:
The Bible records in Genesis 2:5 that the rain had not fallen on the ground at this time in creation; instead, streams emerged from the ground’s surface and irrigated the entire surface. The text demonstrates that God can give rain or prevent it from falling on the earth. It also brings to light a new knowledge that God could have decided for the rain to come from the ground, but he opted for the skies.
1 Kings 18:1
King Ahab’s depravity and wickedness in 1 Kings 18:1 enraged the prophet, Elijah. He was stubborn and refused to listen to Elijah. Elijah was also dissatisfied with how the Israelites were not worshiping God but Baal, so he asked God that it not rain, and it did not rain for 31/2 years until God Himself allowed rain.
This verse captured in Leviticus 26:4 refers to God’s blessing on the Israelites if they followed His commands. The rain was a promise, and with it, the ground could now yield fruit, and the Israelites would have a plentiful harvest. This came at a time when the Israelite children were deep in sin and were being called to repentance to enjoy God’s blessings. So many rules were laid out for them in the book of Leviticus to guide their conduct and teach them how to lead lives that pleased God.
This verse was provided during a time of despair when Job was experiencing a lot of adversity, yet it reminds him of God’s goodness, might, and providence by His capacity to send rain to the world. God had allowed Satan to Sift Job. Job lost everything he ever owned or worked for.
Being a righteous man who had not displeased God, this happened to be a very difficult season for Him, His wife even told him to go ahead and curse God because his suffering was too much. However, Job 5:10 reminds us that God can change and transform difficult situations into beautiful things. That God has the power to restore what we have lost in double measure.
The Bible in the book of Deuteronomy 28:12 advises us to prioritize God and involve him in all that we do to be rewarded and enjoy the fruits of our existence and experience on earth. We are called to give God the fruits of our labor since He is the one who increases and leads us to have a surplus to share with others.
Does the Bible say God controls all the elements?
The Bible suggests in quite a few verses that God controls all elements and that He is the one who created all of nature’s elements. God is shown as being sovereign and having the ability to control all elements influencing them. In the Bible, Jesus calmed the storm, as recorded in the book of Matthew 8:23–27.
In 1 Kings 17–18, we also see Elijah praying fervently to God to stop rain from falling due to King Ahab’s stubbornness and encouragement of worshiping idols instead of the true God, and God answered by stopping the rain for a period of 31/2 years until God Himself decided that He would allow rain to fall again.
In Genesis 6:17, God shows His prowess and ability to control elements when it consistently rained for forty days and nights, and water filled the surface of the earth, and it wiped out everything that was not sheltered in the ark. And again, God Himself stops the rains and causes the water to subside.
Exodus 9:23–27 This verse shows that God has control over the elements, and He sent them and also stopped them at His convenience when the pharaoh failed to allow the children of Israel to go.
Additionally, God portrays His sovereignty and control over elements when He divides the Red Sea in two, allowing the Children of Israel to cross in Exodus 14. Jesus also walks on water in Matthew 14:22–33, showing God’s control over water as an element by being able to walk on it without drowning or sinking.
What is the spiritual meaning of rain?
Rain has long been associated with numerous meanings and interpretations. People tend to attach meanings to things based on prejudices and observances learned from their cultures or simply their general outlook on life.
Rain to mean re-growth and revival
When rain falls on the earth, seeds that had been planted sprout, and we begin to see small plantations arise from the ground. This has often been associated with rebirth, a new beginning with much more strength and vigor, and is what is implied by rain; rain is suggested to mean rejuvenation and second chances in our lives so that even after a terrible season, one can be refreshed and energized to begin again.
Rain means unhappy
Rain is implied to mean unhappiness in many instances, especially in a case where one had plans but had to cancel them because of bad weather due to heavy rainfall. Rain could mean that one is sad and they are depressed and fear showing their emotions or speaking to others to get help.
Rain means purification
Rain is water, and water has been suggested in many instances to denote purity. Thus, rain could mean a season of purification and being made clean. In reality, water is used to wash away dirt when washing our cars, utensils, or even bathing. Thus, the rain is implied to mean cleansing and washing away all that is unpleasant and unwanted in our emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental lives.
Rain means uncertainty
In reality, we are never able to quite predict when the rain will fall, especially with the drastic climate changes. Rain is believed to mean uncertainty; it could mean one is doubting and questioning the decisions they made or those that they are about to make. It could also mean that one is not sure about their life’s path and the direction they want to take in their professional, spiritual, or even romantic lives.
Rain means blessings and good fortune
Rain could also mean good luck and blessings. It is believed to be a sign that good things will happen. In many cultures, children born when it is raining are believed to be blessed and will lead abundant lives. The same is believed for couples who wed on a rainy day; their union is suggested to be one that would be fruitful, and the wife will be very fertile when it comes to childbirth.
Rain means a stumbling block
Rain spiritually could also mean a hindrance. Rain in our reality often stops us from doing many things, like maybe going out with friends, running errands, or even doing basic laundry. We often find ourselves postponing these activities until a more appropriate, weather-friendly day. Rain is implied to mean an obstacle that is preventing us from forging ahead in our actual lives that we must overcome; it might be a fear we have, a relationship we are holding onto, or even a financial constraint that is a challenge to the plans we have to progress.
What does rain mean in different cultures?
In African culture, rain is believed to mean blessing and luck. Rain points to bountiful harvests for farmers and also to survival for living organisms such as animals and plants. It also suggested denoting new life as plantations spring from the ground for the very first time. Additionally, rain is believed to be a gift from God, and when it does not rain, rituals are performed to appease the gods for the rain to fall.
Asian culture is no different from African culture, as rain is also implied to mean good luck and good tidings. Rain is suggested to be a sign of good things that are lined up and will happen in a sequence. Rain could also mean growth and prosperity not only in vegetation but in one’s personal, professional, or love life.
Because American culture is so diverse, many people believe that rain can have both positive and negative connotations. Rain can represent rebirth or regeneration, purification, misery, determination, romance, or dread in American culture. All of these are connotations associated with rain, and people prefer to attach their own based on how heavy or light the rain is or how stormy or windy it is.
In Arabian culture, rain is considered a miracle from Allah. People are often urged to consider how rain is formed to appreciate it. Many people take rain for granted, and Arabs are particularly serious about how rain is interpreted and appreciated.
In European culture, rain could be a sign or symbol of God’s wrath, but it is also implied to mean God’s blessings. Additionally, the dull mood and weather during the rainy season are suggested to mean constant feelings of depression and misery.
What does rain mean in a dream?
Rain in a dream can have a variety of meanings. It is believed to represent life, as evidenced by numerous folklores, folk tales, and novels. This is because rainwater quenches thirst in both animals and humans, and it is also essential for plant growth. Rain is also believed to represent purification and cleansing because it washes away and transports many of the pollutants on the earth’s surface. Dreaming about rain could mean that one needs a spiritual cleanse and to let go of things from the past to make room for new. Rain is also suggested to represent beneficial developments in one’s finances, especially if it is constant rain. Furthermore, rain could also mean a bountiful harvest and success in one’s health, work, romantic, and personal life.
Dreaming of rain and storms, on the other hand, could imply that you are depressed and have a lot of negative sentiments as a result of not attaining your goals. Heavy rain is indicated to represent tensions and fury that you are now experiencing in your life but have not taken the time to address. It is advised in your romantic life that dreaming about rain in front of you could signify that you will have a lot of troubles in your relationship with your spouse and that you should be prepared with coping skills to keep the relationship alive.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.