Revival: Blessing Or
By Wesley Duewel
Our God is the God of revival. Revival
is an essential part of His plan of redemption.
From the time God created Adam and Eve and they fell into sin, Satan has
tried to alienate humanity from God. He
has tried to get us to disobey God and sever our relationship with Him.
Revival Is God Visiting In Love
God is a redeeming, blessing, reviving God.
Why? Because God is love.
"This is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us" (1
John 4:10). "We love because
He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
In the Old Testament period, Israel repeatedly forgot God, turned away
from Him, and backslid into idolatry. But
God did not give up on Israel. His
heart was revealed by His words through Isaiah:
"All day long I have held out My hands to an obstinate people"
(Isa. 65:2). But Israel disregarded
God's outstretched arms of love. God
responded to stubborn, backsliding Israel, "How can I give you up...For I
am God, and not man" (Hos. 11:8-9).
From one viewpoint, revival is the manifestation of God to His people,
convicting by His awesome presence and by His infinite holiness. From another viewpoint, revival is God holding out His arms
of love to us and refusing to give up on us.
Again and again during the Old Testament period God held out His arms to
Israel through prophets, righteous kings, or leaders whom He raised up to call
Israel back to Himself. The
greatest revival visitation in history was Jesus.
"God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son"
God followed up Jesus' ministry with the mighty revival of Pentecost, in
which Christ founded His New Testament church.
The church was born in revival fire.
It is the nature of the church to experience revival through the Holy
The history of the church from Pentecost till today shows the repeated
need for revival. Read the letters
of Christ to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3.
No church, no matter how holy or godly, has not at times needed
refreshing and reviving. Even
Ephesus needed to seek again her first love (Rev. 2:4).
God understands. God loves.
God has provided an answer. Call
it renewal, call it revival, call it refreshing, or call it whatever you will:
God planned the ministry of the Holy Spirit to meet this great need of
ours. We all repeatedly need God's
reviving touch. But there are
special times when the church needs revival in an unusually urgent way.
I believe we need revival desperately today.
Revival Or Judgment?
the long line of kings that followed Saul and David, after the division of the
nation into Israel and Judah, most of the kings were not known as righteous
kings. All of the kings of the
northern and larger nation of Israel are said to have done "evil in the
eyes of the Lord." Such words are found at least forty-six times in Scripture.
The first king of Israel was Jeroboam.
He set up idols in the north and the south, and the people bowed before
golden bull calves. Although they
kept a semblance of worship of Jehovah, the calves were an attempt to combine
Baal worship with the worship of Jehovah.
God sent prophets to Israel and to its kings: Ahijah, Jehu, Elijah,
Micaiah, Elisha, Hosea, Amos, Jonah, and Oded, plus an unnamed prophet.
But neither the kings nor most of the nation truly repented.
There was not one real revival in Israel.
When God calls for repentance and people refuse to repent, how can God
awaken them to their danger? He has
no alternative but to send judgment. Israel
was eventually taken into captivity a century and a half before little Judah
was. The nation as a whole never
returned after captivity. When
people who have had God's light reject revival, judgment is inescapable.
Judah, the tiny nation in the south, centered in Jerusalem, also had
prophets, more than Israel had. Shemaiah,
the son of Oded, Jehu, Jahaziel, Eliezer, Elijah, Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada,
Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Huldah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Uriah--these
were prophets before Judah was taken into Babylonian captivity.
Ezekiel, Obadiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel were prophets during that
captivity. Haggai, Zechariah, and
Malachi were prophets after the remnant of Judah returned from their Babylonian
Many of the kings of Judah were more responsive to spiritual things and
more faithful to Jehovah. Five of
Judah's kings were especially righteous. They
cooperated with and responded to the prophets' call to repentance.
Some degree of national revival or reformation was experienced during
each of these five reigns.
Judgment Can Lead To Revival
Please let me repeat: God is
a God of revival, a God of love. God
desires to visit His people with revival rather than with judgment.
God longs to bless, longs to forgive, and is slow to punish (Ex. 34:6;
Neh. 9:17; Ps. 103:8-12). But when
His people drift away from Him or turn away and refuse to repent, God may need
to send punishment, wake His people up, and bring them back to repentance so He
may be merciful to them.
Backsliding into idolatry was the constant danger and frequent sin of
Israel and Judah until God finally sent them into awesome judgment during the
captivity. Jerusalem and the temple
of Solomon were destroyed. Most of
the remaining Jews were taken into captivity to Babylonia, where they were
forced to remain at least seventy years.
Then through Nehemiah and Ezra, God sent a time of revival, and many went
back to Jerusalem again. God was
able to fulfill His plan as prophesied in Scripture, and in the fullness of time
Jesus Christ became incarnate and provided salvation in His atonement on the
When judgment is humbly accepted and people repent, God is always ready
to forgive and to restore. The Jews
learned their lesson through the judgment of captivity.
Never since that time to this day have any considerable number of Jews
ever gone back into idolatry. The
judgment of God became a blessing to them as a nation.
In the book, Revival Fire, we will look at three times during
Judah's history when God was able to send revival because He had a leader to
whom the people responded. When
they humbled themselves and returned to God, He manifested His grace and mercy.
He is ready to do the same today!
Taken from the book Revival Fire by Wesley Duewel. Copyright C
1995 by Wesley Duewel. Used by
permission of the Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana.
Wesley Duewel's books may be purchased by phoning the Duewel Literature
Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana (317) 881 6751, Ext. 361.