Summary: I believe that the God who has brought Great Awakenings in the past will bring Great Awakenings in the future if His people understand 3 things: • What prevents a Great Awakening • What precedes a Great Awakening • What is the produced by a Great Awak
In September 1857, in New York City, Jeremiah Lanphier, a 48-year old businessman began passing out handbills that read: "A day Prayer-Meeting is held every Wednesday from 12 to 1 o’clock in the ... North Dutch Church! Only one man showed up for the beginning of the meeting -- Lanphier! At 12:30, he heard the footsteps of one man climbing the stairs. Within a few minutes, a total of six men had joined Lanphier to pray. The next Wednesday brought 20; the third week was attended by between 30 and 40 men.
The meetings were so encouraging that it was decided that they should meet daily. Within six months time 10,000 businessmen daily were "confessing sin, getting saved, [and] praying for revival." (157) A chain reaction of church after church began to hold morning, afternoon, and evening meetings.
A visiting merchant to New York City who was selecting goods when noon came. "He requested the city wholesaler to work through the noon hour" so that he would be able to return to Albany by the evening riverboat. "He was resolutely told, ’No! I can’t help that. I have something to attend that is of more importance than the selling of goods. I must attend the noon-day prayer meeting. It will close at one o’clock, and I will then fill out your order.’" They both attended the meeting and the visitor was converted. When he returned to Albany, the new convert immediately began a noonday prayer meeting in the state’s capital. (55-56)
At its peak, there was an estimate 50,000 converts per week. During a two year period, 10,000 were joining churches weekly, and Sunday schools flourished. (Orr 7)
The Awakening of 1857-1858 brought over one million new converts into the American Church, and revived the over four million members present before the Revival. For the world to be converted, the church of God must be transformed.
I believe that the God who has brought Great Awakenings in the past will bring Great Awakenings in the future if His people understand 3 things:
• What prevents a Great Awakening
• What precedes a Great Awakening
• What is the produced by a Great Awakening
During the days of the prophet Samuel, the people had gone through a difficult time. The Ark of the Covenant had been captured by the Philistines. It was a crushing blow by their bitter enemy. While the Philistines held the Ark, God poured out His wrath upon them, by afflicting them with a plague of tumors.
The Philistines were so plagued by these tumors that they called the wicked priests and diviners and asked, “What shall we do with the ark.” The detestable diviners designed a plan to appease the wrath of God.
5 "Therefore you shall make images of your tumors and images of your rats that ravage the land, and you shall give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps He will lighten His hand from you, from your gods, and from your land. (1 Sam 6:5 (NKJV))
The diviners thought that this offering would appease the wrath of God. But this brings us to our first point. There are things that prevent a Great Awakening.
I. What Prevents a Great Awakening
A. The people ignore the Ways of God: Look at the solution offered by the diviners
1. Let us make an image...
a. This image was more than just a statue or a form, it was an item of worship. But listen to Exodus 20:4, "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God Ex 20:4-5 (NKJV)
b. The diviners did not understand that God is a jealous God who will not share His glory with another.
c. What a far cry this is from the Creation account which says, “Let us make man in our image.”
d. Instead of recognizing that humanity was fashioned in the image of Divinity, the detestable diviners sought to fashion divinity by the hands of humanity.
e. Although we do not have golden idols in America today we can call a teenager popstar an American idol but our Supreme Court must decide if our school children can say, “one nation under God.”
f. Our courts are being asked to decide criminal law and civil law but cannot post God’s original written law the 10 commandments, in their court. No wonder so much of our nation is in a spiritual slumber.
2. Let us make images of a rat...
a. Not only did the people not understand that God is a jealous God, they did not understand that He is a Holy God.