TEXT: 2 Chronicles 7:12-14
TOPIC: God, Send Us a Revival
Pastor Bobby Earls, FBC, Center Point, Alabama
August 6, 2006
If I were to ask each of you today to quote the most familiar passage from the book of 2 Chronicles, I’m sure many of you would quote 2 Chronicles 7:14. As we begin today our preparation for our “We’re Here for You” Revival with Brother Don Graham, I want to invite you to open your Bible to that familiar passage of Scripture found in 2 Chronicles 7. I’m reading beginning with verse 12.
12Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13“When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Beginning in verse 14 of 2 Chronicles 6, and continuing through verse 42, we have the longest recorded prayer in the Bible. Solomon, as a young King was deeply concerned for the spiritual climate of his beloved nation, the nation of Israel or Judah.
Although Solomon had just completed the building of the Temple of God, and although the nation was enjoying it greatest and strongest period of economic and military strength in its history as a nation, Solomon knew his people needed a spiritual awakening, and revival. If we were to condense Solomon’s great prayer into just a few words, I believe it would be this, “Oh God, Send us a revival!” Solomon prayed the prayer of the psalmist who in Psalm 85:6 cried out, “Lord, wilt thou not revive us again?”
Like Solomon, we need to fall on our faces before Almighty God and cry out to Him, “God, send us a revival!” Would to God that churches throughout America and around the world would pray that same prayer today, “God, send us a revival.”
But if revival is to come, it will be because we as God’s people see the need that Solomon saw. What did Solomon see in his day that we also need to see?
First, he saw the Circumstances for revival.
I. The Circumstances for Revival, 2 Chronicles 7:13
“When(If, KJV) I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people,
A. The Danger of Drought,
When I shut up heaven and there is no rain
Drought was a symbol of God’s judgment upon His people in Bible days. You might recall that time when the Prophet Elijah was sent by God with a message of God’s judgment against Israel. To confirm this judgment Elijah prayed and the Bible says there was no rain that fell on the land of Israel for 3 ½ years. (1 Kings 17-18, James 5:17).
Our nation is in danger of drought. I read just this week in the Birmingham News that 60% of America is facing drought conditions, from Georgia to Arizona. I also heard that this is the hottest summer on record, ever. Parts of the great Northeast and even Southern California are experiencing record breaking temperatures, some of them exceeding the 100 degree mark. We’re scorching!
Our churches are in the danger of drought. We are experiencing a spiritual dry season.
Illustration: I heard about the church clerk that sent in the church’s annual church profile to their association. The report showed no increases in membership, in baptisms zero, by letter zero, by statement zero, new SS members zero. And then she wrote on the bottom of the report, “Brethren, pray for us, we’re holding our own.”
92% of SBC churches are experiencing no real growth. We’re in danger of drought. Someone once said that the church has become a sacred society for the snubbing of sinners. “God, send us a revival.”
Not only are we in danger of drought but we are also in danger of devastation.
B. The Danger of Devastation,
or command the locusts to devour the land,
Again, in Bible times, devastation meant the destruction of life-sustaining crops and harvests. If devastating insects, blight, or invading enemies struck the food supply of Israel, it would be a national disaster.
Don’t think if could not happen to America. Our farm lands are drying up. Fruits and vegetables are in short supply. Our natural resources are diminishing.
We live in the shadow of terrorism. The threat of nuclear holocaust did not die with Castro. I heard someone say recently that the Islamic nation of Iran is producing nuclear missiles capable of reaching the U.S., and so is North Korea, and China. We also stand of the brink of economic bankruptcy. So I think we could easily say America is in danger of devastation. “God, send us a revival.”
C. The Danger of Disease,
or send pestilence among My people
Even the slightest sickness in Solomon’s day often ended in death. Leprosy was the most dreaded of all diseases. Leprosy at that time was an incurable skin disease and it too was symbolic of God’s judgment.
Today we are inflicted with diseases that rob us of our greatest natural resource, people. Heart disease, America’s number one killer, cancer, diabetes, STD’s, AIDS, and chemical or biological agents that could infect catastrophic death and suffering, are just a few of the dangers we face today. God’s send us a revival.
Solomon saw the circumstances that call for the need for revival, but he also say the conditions for revival.
II. The Conditions for Revival, 2 Chronicles 7:14
“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways
Notice to whom these conditions are presented, to God’s people. He says, “If my people who are called by my name….”
Revival is for God’s people!
A. Humility, will humble themselves,
Humility empties the heart of self-confidence and places our trust in God alone. The most difficult condition for us to meet is the primary requirement for revival.
Why do we not humble ourselves before God as we should? Is it because we are self-confident? Do we have the “I don’t need God” attitude? Most congregations I preach to are healthy, wealthy and wise. We are living under the curse of prosperity.
We suffer from the sin of pride and arrogance. Our attitude is “I don’t people to think that there’s something wrong in my life, that I am a sinner. Well we are sinners. We all have sinned!
B. Prayer, and pray
When we are willing to humble ourselves then we are willing to pray. The primary posture of prayer is that of bowing low before God, bending the knee and bowing the head in humility before the Almighty.
The word used here means “to beg, or to plead.” It carries a sense of urgency.
The truth about prayer and God’s people is that we just don’t pray much. We talk about it, but we don’t do much of it. We take longer sharing our prayer concerns than we do praying over them.
I heard that the average lay person in our churches prays less than 45 seconds a day and that the average minister prays less than 3 minutes each day. “God, send us a revival!”
The Bible says, “Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things…” (Jeremiah 33:3). If God does nothing but in answer to prayer then it is time to pray for revival.
C. Holiness, and seek My face
When we pray, we become God-conscious. When we become God-c0nscious and spend time with God we become holy. Not only are we to pray to God, but we are to be satisfied with nothing less than being admitted into the very presence of God. And when we enter His Holy of Holies, we like Moses returning from a 40 day time of fasting and prayer in the presence of God on the mountain, will shine with the glory of God’s holy presence in our lives.
God calls us to be holy even as He is holy. We are far too comfortable with sin. We too easily embrace a life of casual sin that robs us of a holy life devoted to God.
D. Repentance, and turn from their wicked ways
So another condition God is looking for in our lives is repentance. The idea of turning involves repentance from any and all sin in our lives.
One of the sad conditions of the church and the Christian in our day is that we are far too much like the world around us. The same sins that the world participates in also finds the Christian in our churches sub coming to as well. Adultry, premarital sex, drinking, profane language, unforgiveness, envy and jealousy, indifference, faithlessness are all a part of the wicked ways or sins we must repent of to know true revival in our lives and churches.
We have lost the sense of the hardness and the harshness of sin. Every tear, every heartache, every pain, and sorrow is caused by sin. Sin has placed every tombstone in the cemetery. Sin nailed Jesus to the cross. The Bible says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Is it any wonder that our churches are not experiencing revival?
Until we experience brokenness and a returning to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over us, we will not know revival. But because of our sinfulness, we need to cry out, “Oh God, send us a revival.”
III. The Consequences of Revival, 2 Chronicles 7:14
then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin
and heal their land.
A. God will Hear Us,
then I will hear from heaven,
1 John 5:14-15 says, 14Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
B. God will Forgive Us,
and will forgive their sin,
1 John 1:9, 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
C. God will Heal Us,
and heal their land.
Isaiah 53:5, But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
Three Commitments for our Revival, September 17 – 20:
1) Pray for our Revival daily
2) Participate in our Revival every service
3) Promote our Revival to others often