Summary: Judah’s revival under King Hezekiah teaches us how revival in America must begin.
Revival in the “City Set on a Hill” – Grant S. Sisson, MSCP, CI
Charlie Brown and Linus. Charlie brown asks Linus "What would you do if you felt that nobody liked you?" Linus responds "Well Charlie Brown I guess I would take a real hard look at myself, ask if I am doing anything that turns people off, How can I improve myself? Do I need to change in some way? Yep thats my answer Charlie Brown." Charlie Brown says, "I hate that answer."
When I look at the situation that we as Americans face now, I wonder how it is we got here. When we came from Europe in the 1500’s and 1600’s, we came to escape persecution. We came for religious freedom. We came so we could raise our families without governmental interference. We just wanted a better life for ourselves and our families. Since that time, with the exception of this generation coming on, we have all had it better than our parents. We have valued our freedom so highly that we have fought and died for it. And we gave the glory to God for all the tremendous blessings we have received here in this land. But you know what has happened; we have progressively moved away from God, and now socialists hold many of the highest offices of the land, and the government routinely decides some of the smallest details of personal life, such as what your child will be taught about values in school. Many of the things they demand are oppressive in nature; what if we don’t WANT our kids to be taught that homosexuality is a natural lifestyle? This is being taught in Massachusetts, and it is considered “not a parental notification issue(1).” One man objected and wound up in jail – and this is America!! In Louisiana, it has long been public policy that your children are wards of state, and that you only raise them because of the good graces of the State (and the fact that at least so far the State doesn’t have anywhere else to keep them.) Our most precious legal doctrines – beginning with personal freedom and the right to conduct our family and personal affairs as we see fit – are under attack. And we could go on and on.
We all know what the issues are. We all are feeling the pressure. Part of the pressure we feel is that of just not talking about it. We have been called intolerant so much that we are afraid to say anything that might tick somebody off. We are so afraid we’re going to hurt someone’s feelings. So we have this ten thousand pound bull elephant standing in the living room, and nobody says a word. We play like it’s invisible. And while we don’t talk about it, it has grown bigger and more threatening. And now, it is rampaging out of control.
I. REVIVAL STARTS IN THE HEART
I have heard people say, “What this country needs is revival.” I could not agree more! So I looked into the Bible this week to see some examples of revival. One of the examples is that of the nation of Israel under King Hezekiah. 2 Chronicles 29, 30, 31, 32.
King Hezekiah succeeded King Ahaz, who was one of the worst of all the Kings of Judah. Ahaz was so bad that when he died they didn’t even bury him with the other kings. So the nation was in need of revival. They had turned to the gods of the nations around them, even becoming guilty of human sacrifice, and had defiled the Temple. After King Ahaz got this going for a while, God turned His back and brought trouble on Judah, even bringing down Israel (this was during the times of the Divided Kingdom) from the North to carry them off into captivity. So things were not looking good at all.
2 Chr 28 tells the story of King Ahaz. His guilt rested in several areas, all of which fall in the category of denying God. He made idols for worshipping Baal, a false god.
Have we not done the same? Maybe it’s not an external god, like a pagan idol, on the throne, but have we not put ourselves on the throne of our hearts? Is that not what secular atheism is – the belief that there is no God, and that therefore it is OK to worship ourselves? Do we not do that every time we place something material – such as entertainment or money – as of more importance than our relationship to the Most Holy God? And we are so wealthy! We enjoy our money, and we work so hard to gather more around. That’s all fine and dandy, but where is that fine line between working to provide for one’s own, and putting work and money on the throne? Is it not God that has blessed us so much to begin with? Did He not bless Israel of old with peace and wealth when they obeyed His commandments? But then we see what happened when they turned their backs on the Lord – they began having wars that they could not win, destruction and disasters of all sorts on every hand.