Summary: Psalm 119 reveals two things that are needed for revival (Material adapted from Paul J. Bucknell at: http://www.foundationsforfreedom.net/References/OT/Poetical/Psalms/Psalm119/Psalm119.156_Revival_Word-of-God.html)
O Holy Ghost, Revival comes from Thee; Send a revival, Start the work in me. Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need; For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.
Psalm 119 is a psalm that will bring revival if we take it seriously.
We often believe that we need nothing. We are self sufficient.
“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so that you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so that you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so that you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.” Revelation 3:17-19, NIV.
If I have an empty glass, it is easy to take it to the faucet and fill it with water. But if I think that it is full, then I will never go fill it up. This is the way it is with our spiritual lives. Jesus is the River of Life and yet we do not really go to Him for help.
The sign of Christian maturity is not how long one has been a Christian but how much he believes the real truth about himself: that he desperately needs help and Christ is the way that help comes. The less we feel this way, the less we will see revival in our church and in our own lives: I need thee every hour, in joy or pain; come quickly and abide, or life is vain. I need thee, O I need thee; Every hour I need thee! O bless me now, my Savior I come to Thee
Thesis: Psalm 119 reveals two things that are needed for revival
1) The Acceptance of Our Spiritual Needs (Psalm 119)
We need to recognize how empty we are without the Lord filling our lives. Wealth and riches have fooled most of us. We think that if we can buy what we want, then one’s life is successful. But we only need to look around and find out how this is not true at all.
Psalm 119 has always impressed me. As I read it, I always feel like I have a long way to grow. If I would think there was anyone who had a handle on spiritual living, it would be this Psalmist. But then, what do we find throughout this Psalm of 176 verses? We see that he consistently calls out to God to be revived.
The New American Standard uses the word “revive” several times. NIV uses “preserve my life” and KJV uses “quicken me.” I think revive speaks more to us today than these other words. “My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.” “Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Your ways.” “Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me through Your righteousness.” “This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me.” “Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.” “I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have revived me.” “I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.” “Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your ordinances.” “Plead my cause and redeem me; Revive me according to Your word.” “Great are Your mercies, O LORD; Revive me according to Your ordinances.” “Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.” Psalms 119:25, 37, 40, 50, 88, 93, 107, 149, 154, 156, 159, NAS95.
Define the Word Revival
The first thing we need to do is define this word ‘revive.’ Most of us are not new to this word, and yet, it is an easy word to forget what it means. At the root level this word revive here in Psalm 119 means ‘bring to life.’ From the Latin root, ‘re’ means again and ‘vivere’ means life.
Why would this living person ask to be given life? Revival has to do with bringing new life into our souls. Somehow there was a leak. Our fervency, our prayer life, our giving, our service, our love for God’s Word, our willingness to stand up to God’s moral standards have somehow weakened. Instead of being strong and firm, we are like a plant that needs water.
Did you ever walk by a wilted plant? If it could cry out, it would shout, “Water me or I will die!” The cells are not properly functioning and the whole plant is quite limp. Once one gives water to the plant, it is revived. It straightens back up. The cells again are properly functioning. Revival means restoring what needs to be restored so that the person can live. If a person asks for revival, he is essentially saying that he is dying and needs help from another. This is where most of are at but we do not recognize it.