This morning I was reading from Deuteronomy chapter 4. This is the story of the Children of Israel under Moses’ leadership just before:
- the giving of the ten commandments,
- the death of Moses,
- the leadership of Joshua,
- the crossing of the Jordan River
- and their taking possession of the promised land.
In Israel’s history they have repeatedly forsaken God. In their sin one of their patterns is to form some sort of image to represent what they think God looks like and then they worship that image. Usually by that time they have adopted one of the false religious systems around them and have forsaken the teachings of their godly ancestors. Ultimately, what happens is that God’s hand of blessing will be withdrawn, tribulation in the form of either poverty or oppression will arise, and the people, out of desperation and tribulation, will begin to call on the Lord once again and He delivers them.
It is this cycle of idolatry and God’s judgment that Moses is warning the people against.
Verses 29-31 are perhaps a few verses that speak not only of the unique situation that Israel found themselves in time after time, but also give us a picture today of God’s desire and willingness to reach out and pull people back to himself after periods of forsaking him. In these verses we read…
29 “But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the Lord your God and obey his voice. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.” Deuteronomy 4:29–31 (ESV)
I believe that like many passages of prophetic scripture, these verses have an application not only to an ancient time but also to a future time. Perhaps OUR time!
Can you feel the tension in the air? There is a small undercurrent beneath the daily lives of people. Slowly people are becoming aware of the emptiness and the hopelessness of a life without God in it. For many of them they have not yet recognized God as the answer to this growing uneasiness in their hearts but He’s preparing them for that realization. Just as in the days of the Children of Israel, Moses and Joshua, God is preparing through difficulty, the hearts of people to return to him. Through the fear and anxiety that always accompanies a life void of the Holy Spirit, God is breaking up the hardened ground of people’s hearts and while many of them don’t yet know it, revival is coming to their lives!
I love the last half of verse 30, “…you will return to the Lord your God and obey his voice.” What an awesome picture of what revival is, people returning to God and obeying his voice!
In these next few days leading up to our time of revival, you and I have some very important work to be involved in. We’ve been praying and asking God to revive us and I absolutely know that He is going to do just that. However, for those around us to benefit from this same move of God, we must reach out to them. Would you take some time today and make some calls, extend some invitations, send out a few emails, or simply share this this blog via Facebook?
For me the good news of hard times is that they always have a purpose within God’s plan. God’s not a belligerent father who takes pleasure in hurting people. He’s a kind, loving dad who will not allow the ultimate destruction of his children that will come if they remain separated from him through sin. Therefore, he allows difficulty to press his children back towards him. They begin to call upon him and he revives their relationship with him and the blessing of that life returns.
Are you ready for revival?
This weekend! Click for more information about the
Revival Services Coming at Abundant Life!