Summary: On several occasions we have studied about revival, and a genuine revival is something that this world desperately needs. However, the reality is that this world will never experience a revival, unless the revival first takes place in each of us, that is
On several occasions we have studied about revival, and a genuine revival is something that this world desperately needs. However, the reality is that this world will never experience a revival, unless the revival first takes place in each of us, that is to say the church (the Body of Christ).
Although there are several factors that can produce a revival, I would say that the three predominant factors are: the preaching of the unadulterated Word of God, people need to accept the conviction that the Holy Spirit gives us, and people must allow themselves to be filled with God’s presence. In other words, it’s like the analogy that one of the brethren of our congregation always uses when he talks about revival; he always says that for a revival to take place, it has to happen like a volcanic eruption.
I say this because the three factors that I mentioned are pretty similar to the precursors of a volcanic eruption. What are the precursors of a volcanic eruption? The three predominant factors that exist before a volcanic eruption are, number one: the rise of the magma (molten rock material within the earth. [The preaching of the unadulterated Word of God; He is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:29]). Number two; the pressure from the exsolved (Mineral. [of two minerals in solid solution] to separate from one another at a critical point in temperature) magma gases [People need to accept the conviction that the Holy Spirit gives us; the Holy Spirit will guide us away from sin. John 16:13-14]). Number three; the injection of a new batch of magma into an already filled magma chamber. [People must allow themselves to be filled with God’s presence at all times; build upon the foundation that has been laid down (Jude 1:20-21), so that we can fulfill the Great Commission]). Let’s now turn to the Word of God to find out how to produce a volcanic revival eruption in our life, and the world.
Psalm 85:7-13 – Show us Your mercy, LORD, And grant us Your salvation. 8I will hear what God the LORD will speak, For He will speak peace To His people and to His saints; But let them not turn back to folly. 9Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. 10Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed. 11Truth shall spring out of the earth, And righteousness shall look down from heaven. 12Yes, the LORD will give what is good; And our land will yield its increase. 13Righteousness will go before Him, And shall make His footsteps our pathway.
Like I always say, to have a better understanding of the message that God has for us today, we will need to conduct a brief review of history. Around 586 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar invaded and conquered Jerusalem. The city was sacked, and the Temple was completely destroyed. God’s people were taken captive to Babylon, and they endured captivity for a period of seventy years. This exile was God’s punishment due to their rebellion and idolatry. Some fifty years after the fall of Jerusalem, Cyrus of Persia conquered Babylon, and the Babylonian empire ceased to exist. Around 538 BC, King Cyrus issued a formal decree that allowed the Israelites to leave their exile and return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. This is something that is well summarized in Ezra 1:2 when we read: “…Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah…”
In the book of Ezra we also find that their return was under the guidance of Zerubbabel, and that in the year 536 BC, the work of rebuilding the Temple began with enthusiasm, but that is was stopped due to the Samarian threat. This is something that is found in Ezra 4:23-24 when we read: “…Now when the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum, Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem against the Jews, and by force of arms made them cease. 24Thus the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem ceased, and it was discontinued until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia…” According to the consensus of a good portion of students and scholars of the Word, the Psalm that we are exploring today was written during this time in history; that is to say, around the year 520 BC. Why I have mentioned these details?
The main reason that I have mentioned these details is to make us realize that although the rebuilding of the Temple had begun in 536 BC with excitement, this enthusiasm was stopped in 534 BC, and now in 520 BC, the Temple was still not completed. This means that about sixteen years after start of the reconstruction process, the people had failed to complete the project. Why hadn’t they finished? They hadn’t finished because they allowed worldly influence to stop God's work. Keeping these details in mind, let's now continue with our study today, and find what the psalmist tells us are the precursors of a revival.