What is Revival?
(2 Chronicles 34:1-33)
By: Mike Stokes
We live in an age of technology where progress is equated with breaking through the barriers of science and knowledge. However, progress does not always mean discovering something new. Sometimes it means rediscovering wisdom that is ancient and eternal, which is clearly seen in this passage from Second Chronicles. Josiah was the sixteenth of twenty kings of the nation of Judah. So, very near the end of the kingdom days of apostasy (22 years before Babylonian captivity) there was a revival. How did it happen? I see in this chapter a formula, A+B+C=Revival. The only question is to find what ABC means:
1) What is “A” (v3)
To begin a return to God the temple had to be repaired. Shockingly there had been no worship in the temple for many years. In the repair a book was found (vv14-15,18). We know of only two copies of the law, perhaps there were others, one in the palace (Deuteronomy 17), and one in the temple. One king took out his penknife, cut up and burned his copy (Jeremiah 36). There is one common thread that runs through every revival in all of history, a return to the Word of God. Now I know what “A” means; A return to the Word of God.
2) What is “B” (v19)
The first time Josiah heard the book read he realized the nation has departed from God. There is a point when he “Rent his clothes” (an act of extreme emotions), he repented (v20-21). Repentance is primarily a word for believers: for the unsaved repentance is included in believing which essentially is a change of mind and turning to Christ; for the saved, repentance is a separate act in progressive sanctification. I now know what “B” means; Repentance.
3) What is “C” (v31-32)
Josiah carried out a twofold program of reform: Positively, he removed idolatry with it’s accompanying sexual immoralities; negatively, he resumed the observance of Passover (2 Chronicles 35:18). Since the Passover pointed to Christ, these reforms renewed Christ’s presence in the nation. In the 16th Century the reformation was a renewal of Christ, a reordering the affairs of our lives according to the Word of God. I now know what “C” means; Reformation.
Well, the good news is, there can be revival in our churches but there is a formula: 1) A coming to the Word of God; 2) True repentance; 3) Reordering the affairs of our lives. That is what revival is.