Scripture reading: Deuteronomy 4:25-31
25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.
29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.
Revival is a natural part of divine-human relationships
- Stage Four of the “Sin-Correction” Cycle
- Many biblical texts: Deuteronomy 4:25-31; Judges 2:7-16; cf. 2 Tim 3:15-16. Four stages:
- Blessing: We enjoy peace, security and God’s blessing. Dt 4:25a.
- Sin: We turn away from God to “false gods” and moral autonomy. Dt 4:25b.
- Judgment: God brings his gracious but painful judgment. Dt 4:26-28. Rom 1:18-32: God “gave them over.”
- Revival: We return to God and God forgives and blesses us again. Dt 4:29-31.
- So, revival follows judgment if and when we repent.
Personal vs. Collective Revivals
- Personal (ongoing maintenance of our hearts): Isaiah 57:15; Psalm 51:10; James 4:8
- Collective (episodic “re-sets” of groups of God’s people): Numbers 11:16-30; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:1-7; 4:23-31; 10:44-48; 19:1-7).
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”