Get in the circle (II Kings 18:1-8; II Chronicles 29-31; Psalm 48)

29:1  Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah[a] the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done.  II Chronicles 29:1-2

It was many years ago when I heard it for the first time.  I can still remember the penetration into my heart when I heard it.  You ask, “What did you hear?”  Here is what I heard:  “If you want revival, draw a circle on the ground.  Pray that God would revive everything in the circle.  Then get in the circle.”

When I heard those words, I understood personal revival.  This morning, those words came flooding back to my mind as I considered our readings for the day.

This day we are reading about the second greatest king in Judah’s history.  David would have to be the greatest.  But close behind would be King Hezekiah.  When he came to the throne, Israel is all but gone as a nation.  It would be in his early days as king when Assyria would come and take the people of Israel away, II Kings 18:11.

This was Judah’s fate as well, unless national revival came!!!

This revival would come in the form of a spark!!!  A spark at the top.  It happened as the new King of Judah did the following:

  • He came to the throne with a heart fully committed to the Lord, 29:1-2.
  • He ruled on the throne with a heart fully connected to the Lord, 29:3-31:10.

These chapters of II Chronicles tell us the glorious story of personal revival that led to national revival. Here were some of the things a man who has personal revival will lead out in:  He led the people to cleanse the temple (i.e. our churches).  He led the temple leaders to consecrate themselves (i.e. church leaders).  He led the people to restore true worship (i.e. churches worshipping one true God). He led the people to make atonement for their sins (i.e. Christ’s blood alone can cleanse us).  He led the people to celebrate Passover (i. e. the church must again celebrate the Lord’s Supper).

Revival did come. Certainly there were those who would not obey (30:10; 36:16), but there was revival unlike any other time except in the early days of Solomon.    Brothers and sisters, could it be that God could revive the church to be as she was in the beginning?

The answer to that question is, “Yes.”  If the people of God will fully return to Him.  Hear the words of Peter as He pleads with the church to be faithful in the midst of trials:

17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And

“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
    what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a]

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

I Peter 4:17-19

Lord, we can not ask for national revival until we first ask for personal revival!!!

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