Revive Us Again!
Scripture Reading — Proverbs 2
1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. 9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. 12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, 13 who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, 14 who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, 15 whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. 16 It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, 17 who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. 18 For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. 19 None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. 20 Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; 22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it. —
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart ... and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
The Great Awakening under Jonathan Edwards brought much change. Many people came to Christ in faith; many repented with deep sorrow for their wicked ways, experienced God's forgiveness, and began to live a new life. Others who were less outwardly sinful repented of their previous apathy. Church attendance grew; societies formed to study the Bible; parents taught their children the ways of the Lord. As a result of these spiritual changes, problems in the area's towns and cities found new solutions; divisive neighbors reconciled with each other; marriages healed; family life strengthened; crime decreased; education and commerce thrived.
Consider today's societies around the globe. News reports sound an endless litany of problems, perversion, poverty, and pain.
In the final scene of C. S. Lewis's book The Last Battle, Aslan the great Lion says to the children, "You do not look quite so happy as I mean you to be." God's intent for his children, ever since he created Adam and Eve, is described in the Hebrew word shalom, referring to peace and justice for all who live in God's world.
There is power in the practical exercise of holy affections. When God has center stage in the lives of people, families, communities, and nations, we will be as happy as God means us to be while we live on this earth.
"Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation." In Jesus' name, Amen.