Recalling God’s people to faithfulness
Published 2:51 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023
In Ezra 9:5-9, we find the prophet falling before God and praying for the congregation of God’s people. Ezra realized that the nation was living in sin; in particular, they had forsaken God’s marriage laws and joined themselves in marriage with neighboring nations. The fact that they were intermingling with the Gentile nations about them greatly disturbed Ezra.
Even today, many Christians leave God and attach themselves to the people of this world that live in sin. Many Christians return to their previous lives of sin. There are many reasons for this reversal of living for God. Perhaps one of the most obvious is the fact that some Christians simply do not remain in the Book. They allow the cares of this world and other people to become such an influence in their lives that they can no longer remain faithful. In Psalms 138:7-8, David said, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth forever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. It is evident that God is willing that His people be revived. The word revived simply means to live.
The point is that God is willing for us His people to be revived again, He wants those that have left Him and are spiritually dead to return to life. There is no doubt that it is easier said than done. But if God desires it then it must be a possibility. We can learn from the Old Testament the formula for such a revival.
For unfaithful children of God to be revived there must be a rediscovery of God’s Word in their lives. For years, the kings of Israel had been unfaithful to God, doing that which was evil in His sight. Then in 2 Kings 22:8, we learn of a child king named Josiah. He so desperately wanted to see a revival in Israel. This was possible when the Book of Law from God was rediscovered, and the people returned to it as a standard of worship and living. This can be possible today in the individual lives of men if they respect the Word of God as Nehemiah reveals in (Nehemiah 8:6). Being a Christian is more than attending worship services, it involves real dedication to the Word of God. This attention to His Word will ensure that we are worshipping properly and living by God’s will. Such a dedication is only possible when we gain knowledge of His word (2 Timothy 2:15, Hosea 4:6). Without a rediscovery of God’s Word (knowledge), we are left with worship that is inadequate and even detrimental to the souls of men. We are left with lives without proper purpose. Also, men must search their own hearts as Ezra did in (Ezra 9:5-9). Searching one’s heart and acknowledging the sin in it is the beginning point of rediscovery and coming to God with a renewed vigor for living the Christian life. In other words, we must realize where we stand with God. Are we alive or are we dead and in need of revival? Then we as God’s people need leaders that will lead. This reminds me of the 40 years of rest that the people of God had when faithful and good Judges ruled them (Judges 5:31). It was a time of revival for God’s people and in part was due because of good and Godly leaders. For revival to be realized there must be a willingness of the people to follow those that righteously lead. Godly Elders should be respected and those that preach and teach the Word of God in truth and sincerity must be valued and their Godly teaching must be followed. As the people were in Nehemiah 4:5, we must today be a people with a mind to work. This will happen when and only when we remember that we as a people will reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7). If we genuinely want a revival in our lives, we must realize that we must contribute towards the change that we want to see in our lives and our congregations.
Are you looking for a revival in your life or for a revival in your congregation? It begins with the individual dedicating themselves to doing their part. If we genuinely care for God and Jesus, if we truly care for ourselves and others, if we truly care for our local congregations, we will make every effort to revive.