Summary: Study of the revival that occurred during the reign of Hezekiah, focusing in particular on the suddenness with which God moved the hearts of the people and the conditions that preceded that revival.

“Hezekiah said, ‘You have now consecrated yourselves to the LORD. Come near; bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the LORD.’ And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all who were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. The number of the burnt offerings that the assembly brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the LORD. And the consecrated offerings were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. But the priests were too few and could not flay all the burnt offerings, so until other priests had consecrated themselves, their brothers the Levites helped them, until the work was finished—for the Levites were more upright in heart than the priests in consecrating themselves. Besides the great number of burnt offerings, there was the fat of the peace offerings, and there were the drink offerings for the burnt offerings. Thus, the service of the house of the LORD was restored. And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because God had provided for the people, for the thing came about suddenly.” [1]

“My God works in slow motion.” Many years ago, I heard a black brother make this declaration in a sermon. He was urging Christians to learn to wait on the Lord. It is true that God often works in “slow motion.” On the other hand, there are times when God moves suddenly and with surprising speed. However, upon examination, it seems always to turn out that God’s people prepared themselves in the interim—the seemingly interminable period of senescence—when God was giving ample opportunity for sinners to turn to Him and for His people to honour Him. God’s people prepare themselves for revival. We cannot cause revival, but we can prepare for revival.

In order to explore this vital aspect of the times of refreshment that the churches require on an ongoing basis, join me in studying an event recorded in the days of Hezekiah, King of Judah. As we witness the events preceding revival in that day, we will be able to discover what is necessary for revival in this day. The account is recorded in the Chronicles of Israel, and that is where we will begin our study today.

REVIVAL IN AN UNLIKELY TIME — Israel was in a dark place when Hezekiah came to the throne. Preceding his ascent to the throne, we read of conditions in Israel, and they are dark. Ahaz, Hezekiah’s father, sought help from Assyria rather than seeking help from the LORD. Judah had been beaten down by Israel in a brief, though disastrous war. Edom had invaded the land, carrying away captives. Likewise, the Philistines had occupied multiple villages after successful raids.

The key to what was happening is discovered in one verse, which reads, “The LORD humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had made Judah act sinfully and had been very unfaithful to the LORD” [2 CHRONICLES 28:19]. Judah had forgotten the truth declared in the THIRTY-THIRD PSALM:

“The king is not saved by his great army;

a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.

The war horse is a false hope for salvation,

and by its great might it cannot rescue.

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,

on those who hope in his steadfast love,

that he may deliver their soul from death

and keep them alive in famine.”

[PSALM 33:16-19]

Because Ahaz promoted idolatry within Judah, even going so far as to offer his son as a burnt sacrifice, the LORD God punished the land. God delivered the nation into the hand of the king of Syria who took many of the people captive, deporting them to Damascus. Then, Pekah the son of Remaliah invaded, killing 120,000 from Judah in one dark day. Hard on the heels of the invasion by Pekah, the men of Israel invaded, taking captive 200,000 of the men, women and children of Judah, though God would not permit Israel to hold these captives. Speaking through a prophet named Oded, the LORD demanded that these captives be returned to Judah. His message was reinforced by several chiefs from Ephraim. Israel was like a weakened lamb surrounded by ravenous wolves. And, yet, the LORD was not finished with humbling the nation. The vile nation to which Ahaz turned for help, the Assyrians, betrayed the nation. Thus, we read, “So Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came against him and afflicted him instead of strengthening him” [2 CHRONICLES 28:20].

It was a dark time for the nation, and those living in the nation didn’t comprehend the danger in which they stood. They were facing disaster and they were insensible to the sole hope that could possibly assure deliverance; God alone could ensure their survival. Desperate for deliverance, Ahaz invited the Assyrians to ally themselves with Israel; however, the effort would not work out quite as Ahaz had hoped.

The assessment provided by the chronicler details the dismal result of this effort. “In the time of his distress [Ahaz] became yet more faithless to the LORD—this same King Ahaz. For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had defeated him and said, ‘Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.’ But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel. And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and he shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem. In every city of Judah, he made high places to make offerings to other gods, provoking to anger the LORD, the God of his fathers” [2 CHRONICLES 28:22-25].

The passage emphasises the daunting truth that faithless people will become more faithless still during times of their greatest need. Living without regard for the glory of the Living God does not prepare one for the challenges of life. When problems arise, and problems will surely come into each life, because the faithless have neither known the Lord nor drawn on His strength before, they will be incapable of turning to Him in the face of the problems confronting them. And if they should turn to Him out of desperation, they may just discover that this is a futile effort. Have you never read,

“Because I have called and you refused to listen,

have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,

because you have ignored all my counsel

and would have none of my reproof,

I also will laugh at your calamity;

I will mock when terror strikes you,

when terror strikes you like a storm

and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,

when distress and anguish come upon you.

Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;

they will seek me diligently but will not find me.

Because they hated knowledge

and did not choose the fear of the LORD,

would have none of my counsel

and despised all my reproof,

therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,

and have their fill of their own devices.

For the simple are killed by their turning away,

and the complacency of fools destroys them;”

[PROVERBS 1:24-32]

The nation needed reviving; and they were ignorant of their great need. Judah faced the terrifying prospect of conquest by a vile and ruthless enemy—an enemy which the leaders had invited to come into the land. Bereft of hope, at the mercy of a cruel enemy, Judah was sliding rapidly into the pit of rank paganism.

Then, almost mercifully, Ahaz died. The nation did not honour him as they usually honoured their kings at death, but they did allow the son of Ahaz to reign. CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT ends with the observation: “Hezekiah his son reigned in his place” [2 CHRONICLES 28:27b]. The reign of Hezekiah began rather tenuously. His survival was questionable. However, the TWENTY-NINTH CHAPTER begins with this hopeful assessment: “[Hezekiah] did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done” [2 CHRONICLES 29:2].

Revival always comes at a time of great necessity. If all the people of God were walking with Him, if the house of the Lord was vibrant and vigorous with spiritual power, there would be no need for revival. It is precisely because the flame is dying out that revival is needed. In my years of studying the revivals of the Faith, I’ve observed that they seem always to begin with a handful of people. It is minorities and not majorities that write the history of the Faith. Large convocations of religious people are not the key to revival. Rather, it will inevitably be one person or a small group that unite to seek the face of the Lord. God seems delighted to use the few to accomplish His goals. And that should give us hope. The Lord God works in quietness rather than in the noisy shouts of a multitude. As God, speaking through Isaiah has said,

“In quietness and in trust shall be your strength”

[Isaiah 30:15b]

After the Chicago fire, in June of 1872, D. L. Moody went to London to rest and to learn from the Bible students there. He had no intention of preaching; however, one day at the close of the service in the Old Bailey prayer Meeting, Mr. Lessey, pastor of a church in the North of London persuaded Mr. Moody to preach the following Sunday.

The service seemed very cold, even dead. The people showed little interest, and Moody felt it was a morning wasted. He wished that he had never consented to preach. But at the next service, which was at half-past six in the evening, it seemed that as he was preaching, the atmosphere was charged with the presence of the Spirit of God.

As Mr. Moody preached that evening, it was as if “The powers of an unseen world seemed to fall” upon him and his hearers. As he drew the message to a close he felt impressed to give out an invitation. He asked for all who would accept Christ to rise. All over the house, people rose to their feet, indicating that they wished to become Christians. Mr. Moody thought that the people had misunderstood him, and so he said, “Now, all of you who want to become Christians just step into the inquiry room.” But no, they had understood. The people filled the room and extra chairs had to be brought in to accommodate the crowd.

Mr. Moody again asked those who truly wished to become Christians to stand. The whole audience stood. He was astounded, not knowing what to do, so he told all who were really in earnest to meet the pastor there the next night. And with that, the evangelist took his leave. He knew that he would be required to leave London the following day as he had plans to visit Dublin.

The next day, Mr. Moody did go to Dublin, but on Tuesday morning he received a dispatch urging him to return quickly to London. The dispatch said there were more inquiries on Monday than on Sunday. He did go back to London, and held meetings for ten days. Four hundred people were taken into the fellowship of that one church as result of those meetings.

After some time, what was, undoubtedly the secret of this marvellous revelation of the Spirit’s work was discovered. There were two sisters who were members of that church. One of the sisters was strong, but the other sister was bed-ridden. One day, as the bed-ridden sister was bemoaning her condition, the thought came to her that she could at least pray, and she began to pray that God would revive her church. Day and night her prayer went up before the Living God.

One day she read in a paper an account of some meetings Mr. Moody had held in America. Though she did not know him, she began to pray that God would send this man to her church. The stronger sister had been present at the church that Sunday morning. When this woman returned home, she said, “Whom do you think preached this morning.?”

The prayer warrior guessed one after another of those with whom her pastor was in the habit of exchanging, never guessing aright. Then, her sister said, “It was Mr. Moody from America.”

The sick woman turned pale, and cried out, “I know what that means! God has heard my prayers! If I had known that he was to be at our church, I should have eaten nothing this morning, but waited on God in prayer. Leave me alone this afternoon: do not let anyone come to see me; do not send me any thing to eat.” All that afternoon that woman gave herself to prayer.”

Moody believed that it was the prayers of this woman that carried him back to England the following year. [2] That second trip to the British Isles resulted in a powerful demonstration of divine power as God’s Spirit swept many souls into the Kingdom of the Saviour. One disabled woman gave herself to prayer, and God heard! What will He do when one someone, you, give yourself to prayer today?

PREPARATION FOR REVIVAL — We cannot bring revival, but we can ensure that we create the conditions that welcome revival. We must not forget that revival is God’s divine work. Multiple books have been written suggesting that following specific steps will bring revival. Often, these tomes leave the impression that we can apply specific steps to guarantee revival. Such planning ignores the sovereignty of the Living God.

I indicated that revival begins with a person, or with a very small group of people. Minorities, not multitudes make history. One such revival, perhaps the greatest revival to ever spread across the United States, began with a man praying daily. Outside the Old Dutch North Church at Fulton and Williams Street in New York City, a placard read, “Prayer Meeting from 12 to 1 o’clock.” Jeremiah Lanphier had been hired by the church in a last-ditch effort to reverse the downward trend of attendance at services.

Lanphier had been a stock trader, but he gave up his position in order to work as a lay visitor knocking on doors for one thousand dollars a year. He laboured without visible results for some time, returning daily to his room in the church consistory worn and discouraged. There, he would fall on his face before the Lord, spreading out his sorrows and seeking renewed strength.

After one such prayer time, the idea formed that businessmen might give up some time to pray each week while their offices were closed. Thus, he announced that the church would be open for prayer. When the day of the first meeting arrived, Lanphier was the only person on hand. The minute hand on his watch pointed to 12:30 when he heard the first footstep on the stairs. One man came in. Then another and another until there were six.

This small meeting was in no way extraordinary—there were no sensational signs, no great outpouring of the Spirit of God, no deeply emotional stirring of the Spirit. However, those men gathered at that meeting had no way of knowing what was about to break over the land.

Twenty men came to the second meeting. On Wednesday of the following week, forty men showed up. That was the week when the nation was staggered by the worst financial crash in history. Soon, those gathering for prayer filled the building, the crowds numbering more than three thousand. Lawyers, physicians, merchants and clerks, bankers and brokers, manufacturers and mechanics, porters and messenger boys all gathered to pray. It was the start of the last great national revival in the United States. During these days of revival, the fires of Faith would spread across the nation, spill over into Canada and lap across oceans to stir the hearts of God’s people in the Old World. Millions would be swept into the Kingdom of God as result of the work of the Spirit.

This great period of revival began because one man prayed, believing that God was in the business of refreshing His people and drawing sinners to life in the Son of God. [3] This particular revival is notable for the fact that it was not brought about through preaching or through the work of an evangelist, it resulted through prayer. God worked through lay people who committed themselves to pray, confessing sin and seeking God’s glory. Such revival fires can still touch a nation, a province, a community. I wonder, if not Canada, then which nation? If not our province, then which province? If not our community, then where? If not now, then when? If not us, then who? May our gracious Saviour stir the heart of some precious soul to give herself or himself to such prayer!

I’ve witnessed this divine work on two separate occasions. The memory of either of these movements are indelibly impressed on my mind. While ministering in the Outer Mission district of San Francisco, I participated in weekly prayer with a group of pastors seeking the face of God. God graciously moved on those men gathered in prayer, and He also began to move among them as He stirred holy fires in the hearts of people gathered among the churches those men pastored. God did send revival, though I learned how fragile revival can be, how easily revival fires can be extinguished. Still, for a brief moment, God did visit the churches, pouring out His Spirit and refreshing the saints. The revival came in response to men uniting their hearts to seek God’s glory. It was not because of any one man, but it was a demonstration of God’s mercy and grace.

Allow me to speak at greater length concerning another occasion when the Spirit of God did move in power on His people. In New Westminster, the old provincial capital of British Columbia, three pastors—a Baptist, an Evangelical Free and a Nazarene—covenanted together to pray for God to work in their hearts. These pastors knew that the churches of the city needed revival. Though they could not know it, they would soon realise that they themselves required a fresh work in their own hearts. Still, according to their covenant with one another, they began to pray for God to revive His work. They prayed in a perfunctory manner that He would begin His divine work in their own lives.

Weeks passed and these pastors met faithfully each Thursday for prayer. Gradually, the prayers offered up were being changed. Whether deliberately, or unconsciously, those praying noted that the pastors ceased asking that God would work among our parishioners. We began confessing their own sin and asking God to purify our hearts. The prayers could be brutally honest as sin was exposed and those confessing repented of the sins that had been committed.

As these men continued praying thusly, a few other pastors began to join in prayer—a Presbyterian minister, an Anglican priest, a Pentecostal preacher. And the prayers continued to grow more fervent. The prayers of the preachers were becoming bold, personal, confessional. Then, after almost eight months, lay people began to join in the prayer sessions. The numbers meeting for prayer grew until the church hall of the Evangelical Free Church in which the group was meeting was no longer able to hold the crowd. God moved, and a wonderful period of revival swept the churches. The period of refreshing was far too brief, but it was real. Those who had stood in the place where holy fire had flashed down could not be casual about the Faith any longer. Though the churches would again grow quiescent after a while, there would ever after be a longing in the hearts of those who had witnessed the power of God poured out on them.

Something like that happened in the reign of Hezekiah. Early in the young king’s reign, he opened the House of the LORD, repairing and consecrating the building. Somehow, God had touched the heart of this young man. Though he had been born into the family of a godless man, Hezekiah had a heart for God. God doesn’t hold against us the sins of our parents. Each of us has opportunity to be powerful before Him, to glorify His Name, to honour Him in all things. Recall GOD’s pronouncement through Ezekiel, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself” [EZEKIEL 18:20]. Therefore, despite godless parentage, the young man would glorify the Lord, pursuing Him with his whole heart.

Shortly after ascending to the throne of the Kingdom of Judah, Hezekiah insisted that the priests and Levites must consecrate themselves. He was obviously concerned that those who led in worship should be prepared to honour the Lord. And they could not fulfil their responsibilities if they were unholy, unsanctified, unprepared to conduct worship. When the servants of God had completed the work of purifying the Temple, the king gathered all the officials of the city, commanding them to go up to the House of the LORD. There, the king instructed the priests to make atonement for all Israel. The priests then offered burnt offerings and a sin offering for the nation. The Levites were stationed to again offer praise as commanded by the LORD God. Then, multiple offerings—burnt offerings, peace offerings, drink offerings—were presented before the LORD. And the service of the house of the LORD was restored.

Thus, worship in the House of the Lord was restored after an extended period of idolatry. When worship as God had commanded had been restored, Hezekiah addressed the assembly, encouraging them when he said, “You have now consecrated yourselves to the LORD. Come near; bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the LORD.” After this, we read that “the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all who were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings” [2 CHRONICLES 29:31].

If attending the House of the LORD becomes a mere formality, people will cease coming after a short while. Attendance will be perfunctory, something done out of duty. Members will pay a fee demanded by those overseeing the rites that mark this as a religious place. They will even identify what they pay as “a tithe,” but they will have no heart in what they are doing—there will be no generosity, no heart in their giving. However, when the services are consecrated, when those leading worship are committed to the LORD whom they seek, people will come. And their presence will be marked by joy, characterised by willing, vibrant participation as they seek the LORD God.

When the Spirit was poured out on that first congregation, the New Beginnings Baptist Church of Jerusalem, the divine chronicler made a note of what was going on. Doctor Luke has written, “[The disciples] were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women” [ACTS 5:12b-14].

What had taken place to cause such caution among the masses? The church was united! The Spirit of God prevailed and ensured that all who believed “were of one heart and soul” [see ACTS 4:32]. They were generous in the extreme, ensuring that none of their own had an immediate need. The congregation was marked as a holy entity, with graceless, wicked people being struck dead by the Holy Spirit [see ACTS 5:1-11].

There was no casual act of a preacher urging people to join the church of one’s choice, no thought of climbing the social ladder or gaining a better position in your occupation through joining the assembly. In fact, those who did come into the fellowship of believers recognised that they were risking the wrath of the elite of the city, they realised that they would be marked out as “Followers of the Way,” a despised people. Despite any negative feedback from the broader community, holy awe swept over the city. Those unwilling to commit themselves to the assembly stood apart, awed by the power they witnessed in those who followed the Risen Saviour.

A great truth must be stated. No one thrusts his hand into the flame; and the fire of the Lord burned brightly among those early believers. When the fire of God burns hot among the people, there will not be vast crowds clamouring to unite with the church. Souls will be swept into the Kingdom, but there will be nothing casual about their choice to seek out the fellowship of the faithful, there will be nothing casual their decision to walk with the people of God. Redeemed souls will seek out membership in the assembly because they are compelled to do so by the Spirit of God; but there will be nothing accidental about the act. These new saints will deliberately seek out the faithful!

Though the masses hesitated to join with the disciples, they held them in high regard, they respected them. God was working in power. One manifestation of His grace and power was seen in the work of God healing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits. I’m not suggesting that we initiate some dramatic healing campaign, but I am saying that when God’s people honour Him, He reveals His power. Revival of God’s people does result in transformed lives of those coming to hear the message. Sinners are converted and ruined lives are restored. Homes that were shattered by the wilful sin of one or both partners are healed and the families reunited. Above all else, God receives the honour and the glory as He works.

That does not mean there were no assaults against the Faith, however. Immediately after the events that induced such awe within the community, we read that, “The high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison” [ACTS 5:17-18]. I’ve said it before, and for your sake I am compelled to say it yet again, If you don’t want any trouble, don’t do anything, don’t say anything, don’t be anything. Whenever God works, Satan will raise up opposition. The opposition in this instance came from the religious community. That is not an aberration; that appears to be the standard when God works to reveal His grace among His holy people.

Many years ago, I pastored a congregation in the Lower Mainland. The Lord had blessed, and people were pushing their way into membership in the congregation. Every service was blessed with additions and many people were confessing their sin and seeking God’s forgiveness. One Sunday morning as I preached, I commented that some things needed to die. I continued by noting that attitudes that dishonoured the Lord would need to be put to death. We who professed the Lord needed to die to self, die to the power of sin, die to our pursuit of the things of this life. Some in attendance that day were horrified and complained. One woman in particular was incensed and charged, “That pastor said some of us needed to die!” Of course, I had said no such thing; but I realised that even religious people can be so attached to the world that they fully identify with this dying world, forgetting that “the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” [1 JOHN 2:17].

THE THING CAME ABOUT SUDDENLY — Make no mistake, it is God Who sends revival. And God does revive! I cannot stress too strongly that we are not the source of revival. We can prepare our hearts, but we cannot guarantee revival. We can ensure that we have prepared our hearts to be revived, but revival must always come from God. In our text we read, “Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because God had provided for the people” [2 CHRONICLES 29:36a]. It was God who provided for the people; it was the LORD who sent the refreshing breeze from Heaven. We may cry out, as does the Psalmist,

“Will you not revive us again,

that your people may rejoice in you?”

[PSALM 85:6]

However, it is God who revives His people.

Preaching on that wonderful Day of Pentecost, Peter urged those who listened, “Brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” [ACTS 3:17-20a]. And that is, after all, our desire—divine refreshing as we witness the presence of the Lord!

When God sends revival, it always comes suddenly. Thus, we read in the text, “the thing came about suddenly” [2 CHRONICLES 29:36b]. When we are least expecting Him to act, God intervenes in time and space revealing His might and His mercy. At the time we are seeking God’s mighty work, it always seems to take far too long. We want revival, but we are often not truly expecting revival. Despite our prayers for God to revive His work, believing that He will actually revive His people challenges us. It seems as if we are dreaming when revival comes. Our response is not unlike of the Psalmist, who wrote:

“When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,

we were like those who dream.

Then our mouth was filled with laughter,

and our tongue with shouts of joy;

then they said among the nations,

‘The LORD has done great things for them.’

The LORD has done great things for us;

we are glad.”

[PSALM 126:1-3]

Perhaps we are praying for revival, but the time between when we began praying and when God at last sends revival seems interminable. We are in a hurry; and we hold the opinion that if we only employ the right formulae, what we think we want will happen. We forget that God does not work according to the formulae which we value so highly; God works as God works, for His glory and for our good. When God works, it will always be to accomplish what is best and not because someone or some group found the right formula to manipulate Him into doing what they wanted.

Some years ago, I was privileged to dine with Luis Palau, the international evangelist. At that time, he was visiting in the Fraser Valley, and together with some other pastors, I had been invited to join him for a working lunch. As we talked, he said he anticipated that God was going to revive His work. Brother Palau said he believed that God would focus on the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. I confess that I wanted that to be the case, and I have no difficulty in believing that Palau truly believed that God would send revival to that area. Perhaps He shall still do so. However, my brother is now a man of eighty-five years, and revival has not happened yet. Does this mean that God misleads His people? Not at all!

With all my heart, I believe that God still revives His people. This has been His work throughout the entire Church Age. Even now, God appears to be blessing mightily in nations in Africa, in South American countries and even in some Asian nations. God has always worked to ensure that His people receive the refreshing breeze of the Spirit of God working.

After the Apostles had passed from the scene, the churches of North Africa were revived. When the Roman Empire had been penetrated with the message of Christ, the flame began to die down until stalwart souls such as Athanasius stood to defend the truth that the Triune God must not be divided. The flame of revival leaped the Pyrenees as Waldensian Christians declared that Christ is Lord. And when Rome had become so utterly corrupted that few saw hope of life for the Faith, God raised up men such as Luther and Calvin and Huss insuring that revival fires would sweep Europe.

When Europe began to darken, a light was shining in Ireland as Irish monks kept alive the proclamation of Christ as Lord. In England, godly men such as John Wycliffe, William Tyndale and Hugh Latimer would inspire generations to come. Revival fires leapt across the Atlantic as John Wesley and George Whitefield carried the burning coals to the distant shore. When those first fires began to die down, the Lord raised up men such as Solomon Stoddard and Jonathan Edwards to declare the claim of Christ on the souls of those who heard.

Throughout the years of expansion, circuit-riding Methodist ministers and Baptist preachers who tilled the soil throughout the week and preached the Gospel on Sundays ensured that Christ would be known throughout the North American continent. The churches of the past century dispatched missionaries to distant lands, and they had an impact in Africa, in Korea, in China and in Burma. God has provided a continuing line of revival among His people. I want to know WHY NOT NOW, and WHY NOT HERE? Oh, that God would revive His work among His people, even in this place and in our midst!

So often it seems to us as if the sharks are circling and escape is an impossibility. We are certain that we will soon but a distant memory. We cry out in desperation, and it seems as if the Lord ignores us. There is no hope of deliverance when, at the last possible moment, God reaches down with his mighty hand to lift us out of the tempestuous sea. And, yet again, God delivers in His time—and His timing is perfect! After the fact, after He has intervened to deliver us, we see that He knew best. After He has rescued us, we exult in tones that echo those penned by the Psalmist:

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me

and delivered me from all my fears.”

[PSALM 34:4]

I do not know whether I shall live to see revival; but I am assured that God does revive His people. He shall do so in His time and according to His divine purpose. Until He does revive His work, I shall continue to trust Him and to seek His glory. Until He is pleased to send revival to His people, I will continue to declare His glory, urging the righteous to prepare for the times of refreshing which He shall shortly send.

What of you who have not received Christ as Master over life? How shall you fare when you have failed to receive the gift of life? Christ has provided a means for you to know His mercy, to avoid His wrath. Even now the Son of God calls you who are outside of His grace to believe Him, to receive Him as Lord. He calls you, saying, If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, believing in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. With the heart one believes and is saved and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Believe this message and be saved today. Amen.

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[2] Adapted from William R. Moody, “The Life of Dwight L. Moody by His Son,” (Sword of the Lord Press) pp. 152-154; “Account of Two Women Who Prayed for D. L. Moody,” Women of Christianity,, accessed 1 August 2019

[3] Excerpts from Phil Taylor (ed.), America’s Great Revivals (Bethany House, Minneapolis MN 2004)