Summary: Psalm 119 reveals two things that are needed for revival (Material adapted from Paul J. Bucknell at:


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

For instances:

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.

“But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”” Luke 5:30-32, NIV. Person who is desperately sick but refuses to go to the doctor for help. This describes many in our land.

2) The Desire for God’s Word in our Lives (Psalm 119:156)

When we looked at all the ‘revive me’ verses, we were surprised to see someone so strong in their Christian lives to regularly cry out ‘Revive me!’ There is another characteristic of this psalm and therefore the Psalmist. If we read Psalm 119 we will recognize that the psalmist is preoccupied with the Word of God. Psalm 119 has 176 verses. Every verse but a few refers to the Word of God. Being a poet, he uses all sorts of words to describe God’s Word.

If we want revival, if we want to be a strong Christian, we need a great love for the Word of God. We can easily take our spiritual temperature by asking ourselves this question, “How much do I want to read God’s Word today?” If we do not believe it is that important, then we will read without reading or not read at all.

Revival is shaped by God’s Word. The psalmist repeatedly affirms that revival comes through God’s Word. Did we notice how many times he said this? Revive me according to Your Word (uses many words to describe the Bible but means the same thing). The question of revival comes back to how much we really are exposed to God’s Word. We see two main problems.

· I fall because I do not know God’s Word.

· I fall because I do not allow God’s Word to sufficiently challenge my thoughts and ways.

They are both solvable. They both stem with the root problem that we do not think God’s Word is so important to our lives.

(1) The first one is an issue of priority. If we want revival, spend more time in His Word. Plan right now when to do this. Tell someone close and keep us accountable. The Bible reading plan in the Lookout. But reading God’s Word is not necessarily the same as getting God’s Word in us.

(2) Secondly we do not allow God’s Word to really touch our lives. We spend more time pondering our favorite sports team than we do the Word. We read it and then go on. Need to meditate on the Word. One could say that meditation is to the Word of God what digestion is to food. Food is of little use if we fail to digest it well. Doctors tell us that the digestion process that takes place after swallowing is not enough to process our food completely. If we want to maximize the nutritional benefit, we must first chew it well. Likewise, we must ponder the scripture, attempting to expand our understanding of it and consider how it applies to our own experience in order for it to provide us with the highest benefit.

So what?

Let’s look at this verse Psalm 119:156 together in our closing moments. “Great are Your mercies, O LORD; Revive me according to Your ordinances.” Psalms 119:156, NAS95.

[1] “Great are Your mercies, O Lord.” The psalmist is humbling himself before God. Mercies are a picture of how God pitied us in our poor situation and rescued us. We need to start going through our lives and recounting how many ways we have seen God’s mercy actively at work.

Then comes our time to respond. Ask the Lord to teach us how He has been merciful to us. Be prepared. God is serious about such a conversation. The degree of mercy that we show to others is dependent on the amount of mercy that we have perceived ourselves to have received from Him. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7, NIV. I do not know God sufficiently in this area. “Oh Lord, revive me according to Your Word. Awake me to your mercy. We do not get what we deserve”

[2] “Revive me.”

The psalmist realizes how spiritually impoverished he is. ““Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3, NIV. We must be humble in our spirits. If we put the word “humble” in place of the word “poor,” we will understand what He meant.

In other words, when we come to God, we must realize our own sin and our spiritual emptiness and poverty. We must not be self-satisfied or proud in our hearts, thinking we don’t really need God. Pride can take all kinds of forms, but the worst is spiritual pride. Many Christians think they are fine and have no need of God and his Word. Blessed are those who realize that they are spiritually bankrupt.

[3] “According to Your ordinances (judgments- KVJ).”

This is the last phrase we are to discuss. Revival comes through the way God’s Word shapes our hearts. This is what we are doing now in a very practical way. But we need to ask ourselves, “How devoted are we to His Word?” Do I really believe that my greatest joys and problems are founded in times with the Lord in His Word? If I examine my week’s schedule, how much time is spent in His Word? Is there a way, I can put aside some time away from distractions and make the study of God’s Word a priority? Need to know the Word so well that when we disobey the Word this bothers us. “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.” Psalms 51:4, NIV.