Summary: Let's look at five examples of revival that began well, but failed.
Let's look at five examples of revival that began well, but failed.
1) Solomon's Revival and Failure
Can a man begin with revival and end up back in the world?
Solomon asked God for wisdom and knowledge, so God granted his wish and gave him incredible wealth as well (1 Kings 3). Beginning with settling a matter between two prostitutes (1 Kings 13), his fame for wisdom spread. With wisdom he built the temple (1 Kings 9; 2 Chronicles 3) and rebuilt Israel. Wisdom was not however evident in his marital choices (1 Kings 11). But God had warned Israel not to do this very thing, “Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, ‘You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.’ Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord” (1 Kings 11:1-3 NLT) Married to pagan women, Solomon’s faithfulness to God slowly faded. Pagan worship began to take hold in Solomon’s heart and a life that began with humility and revival turned from God and Israel began to split in two. Wives have a lot of power for good or evil, to destroy a man or build him up, to strengthen or weaken a revival.
Rejoice, lovers of God, that we can see the danger of turning from God to worldly ways.
2) Asa’s Revival and Failure
Is revival entirely up to God or does our choice to do what is right also important?
Asa “did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” (2 Chronicles 14:2 NIV) Was revival just a whim of heaven, or the result of something that Asa did? Taught by Azariah, Asa learned, “The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” (2 Chronicles 15:2 NIV) How revival functions is not a mystery. Revival is heaven’s response to men seeking God, our response to someone who will teach us faithfully about God’s will. Functions of revival in Asa’s life include repairing the altar, sacrifice, making covenant with God, seeking God eagerly with rejoicing, destroying idols and peace all around. But one bad decision to rely on Aram, Hanani the seer told him, “You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” (2 Chronicles 16:9 NIV) Failed, Asa became angry with the seer, instead of repenting. (2 Chronicles 14-16)
Rejoice, lovers of God, turn to Him with sincere hearts and He will turn to you with revival, but make sure that every decision is made according to God’s will.
3) Jehoshaphat’s Revival
Does seeking God have anything to do with Him bringing revival?
Why did God bring revival to Judah under Jehoshaphat? Did he seek God? “Now the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the former ways of his father David; he did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not according to the acts of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 17:3-4). Revival began inside him, “his heart took delight in the ways of the Lord” (vs 6). Come let us too take pleasure in our God and His ways. To relish when His word is taught, will bring revival to our hearts too. Jehoshaphat did however make some major mistakes; he helped wicked Ahab and Ahaziah, kings of Israel. (2 Chronicles 17-20)
Rejoice, lovers of God, because seeking God with a heart that delights in the ways of the Lord brings personal revival that can spread to others.
4) Amaziah’s Revival and Failure
Is doing what’s right the only important thing, or does God also look on our hearts?
Amaziah teaches a great lesson for all those who may be faithful church goers, but do not worship God from the heart, because he did what was “right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart.” (2 Chronicles 25:2) Obediently, as he executed the murderers of his father, he was respectful of the law of God, and so did not kill their children. Reversing a bad decision, he discharged troops hired from corrupt Israel. Bad decisions were to continue though, as he began to worship useless foreign gods which had not protected the people of Seir. Decisions have consequences, and Amaziah was eventually killed by his own people from Jerusalem.
Rejoice, lovers of God, because revival comes from the heart, not religious deeds alone.
5) Uzziah’s Revival and Failure